Earlier this month I posted about Friendster’s scheme to win new customers by sending emails that seemed to come from recipients’ friends but were in fact initiated by the company. Now some online dating services have been implicated for using even sketchier tactics.
Match.com is accused of creating phony matches in emails and even in person to stop subscribers from canceling. One former customer claims that when the company didn’t have any suitable matches for him they just hired a woman to trick him into thinking she was a legitimate match-seeker:
The Match lawsuit was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by plaintiff Matthew Evans, who contends he went out with a woman he met through the site who turned out to be nothing more than “date bait” working for the company. The relationship went nowhere, according to his suit. Evans says Match set up the date for him because it wanted to keep him from pulling the plug on his subscription and was hoping he’d tell other potential members about the attractive woman he met through the service…[he] found out about the alleged scam after the woman he dated confessed she was employed by Match.
Match.com denies it. Yahoo Personals is also accused of posting fictitious personal ads on its site to make it look more promising. With Friendster, Match.com and Yahoo Personals all accused of trying to trick people into using their services I might have to stick to finding friends and dates the old-fashioned way — offline.
Read more about the alleged Match.com scam.