Registering for an online dating service free of charge may create the impression that the service is available free of charge or against a nominal fee, at least to a certain extent.
However, European Consumer Centre Finland can confirm that foreign dating services are always subject to a charge. Too many consumers contact European Consumer Centre Finland with the complaint that the company has been charging them a monthly fee for as long as 8 to 10 months.
The European Consumer Centre Finland has compiled a checklist for avoiding expensive mistakes when using online dating services:
1. Is the website/company trustworthy? For example google the service and find out about other people’s experiences.
2. What does the service cost? Please remember that a free trial membership is almost always converted into a paid membership automatically unless you terminate it by a certain deadline.
3. Read the terms and conditions. Never tick the “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions” box unless you have actually read them. The terms and conditions include important information such as the length of the paid membership, the automatic renewal policy and the notice period for terminating your membership.
4. Is it possible to cancel? Remember that it is not usually possible to cancel an online dating site membership when the service is provided at your specific request and you have been informed that there is no right of cancellation.
5. Always pay by credit card if you can. That way you will be able to turn to your credit card company if the online dating company ignores your justified claim for a refund.
6. Who can help?
You can contact the European Consumer Centre Finland with any problems that you may encounter with online dating companies based outside Finland in another EU country, Iceland or Norway. If you are a resident of other EU country than Finland, contact your national European Consumer Centre.
European Consumer Centre Finland provides you with information on consumer issues in cross-border trade when you buy products or order services outside Finland, in other EU Member States or in Norway or Iceland.