Today consumers can choose from dozens of online dating websites and apps: Tinder, eHarmony, Grindr, Her, JDate, OK Cupid, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Hinge, Align, DOWN, Happn, Black People Meet, Christian Mingle are just a few - but there are many, many more.
Each matchmaking service has their own terms of service and claims that consumers are bound by their terms of service. The material terms are often buried in the fine print and seldom inform consumers of their rights under state consumer protection laws. When choosing an online dating subscription, or having a change of heart for one that you've already subscribed to, consumers should consider whether their state's consumer laws afford them with rights and protections.
Examples of Significant Consumer Rights and Protections in Online Dating
Protection against false advertising;
Protection against unfair, unlawful and deceptive business practices;
Right to cancel your contract within a certain period of time (usually three business days) without a fee or obligation;
Right to refund of moneys paid to company after valid notice of cancellation;
Right to disclosure of renewal policies in a clear and conspicuous manner, and in some circumstances, right to notification prior to the renewal to allow consumer to cancel and prevent the renewal from occurring; and
Ability to cancel auto-renewing subscription or recurring purchases through an online mechanism.
Some State Laws Limit the Terms of Matchmaking Services
Capping the amount a dating service can charge its customers;
Capping the time period for subscriptions; and
Requiring that the company furnish a specified number of referrals per month if they are charging over a certain amount of money.
Some state laws provide that the dating services agreement is void and unenforceable when a company fails to comply with the applicable law. Some states also provide that the rights and protections are non-waivable. However, it is important to note that these rights and protections may or may not apply to you depending on applicable state laws and your unique set of facts.
If you have a complaint about your online dating subscription, please fill out this form or call us at 844-200-5623.