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Dating Direct


Please note:
If you want to contact Dating Direct please click here.

You can register your own views and experiences of Dating Direct here

Please do not use the article rating form below
to tell us about Dating Direct.
Use the link above instead.

If you want to recover money from Dating Direct or write a formal letter of complaint,
you may want to see our complaint letter writing service.

NOTICE

Until recently, this page contained an article which was critical of the service provided to one customer by Dating Direct in 2003. The company believed that the article was unfairly critical.

Under threat of high court action, we have removed all narrative comments from the article - leaving only the email dialogue and a statement which was dictated by Dating Direct, below.

The customerís view

The customerís view is that he paid £30 to join the service without realising he could examine the database without paying. Within minutes he had examined the database, and believed that there were few members locally, and none of them suitable for him. Since he had not used any of the paid services, he requested a refund as a goodwill gesture, recognising that the company had no legal obligation to grant this refund. In pursuing the refund, the customer believes that the correspondence was unfriendly and dismissive. The customer also feels that the refund which was eventually promised, should have been delivered promptly, and without the need for multiple reminders and the intervention of trading standards.

The companyís view

The companyís view is that it is unlikely that there were few members local to the customer as it has millions of members all over the UK.
The company believes that it explained clearly and politely on a number of occasions at the outset as to why a refund was not payable and that the delay in crediting the goodwill refund (which the company agreed to provide before the customer contacted trading standards) in no way reflected adversely on the company's standard of customer service, on which it prides itself.

Emails

Sent 20 June 2003 @ 10:10
Hiya.

I just signed up for three months, which perhaps wasn't very clever. In the space of a few minutes I've browsed all eligible ladies in Bedfordshire, and not really found anyone
interesting.

I'm now wondering what to do for the next three months. Are new people coming onboard daily?
Can I cancel early for a (partial) refund?
Sent: 20 June 2003 10:59
Hi Chris,

Thank you for your email. Please be aware that if we cancel your account you will not be given a refund, so please reply stating if you still wish to cancel your membership.

If you are canceling because you have found that "special someone" on the site we would love to hear about it!

If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards
Sent: 20 June 2003 11:11
Hi,

Your response is puzzling - it looks like you either didn't read my email, or that this is a standard response.
Either is a little annoying, because it means I must waste more time in repeating myself.

I asked: "Can I cancel early for a (partial) refund?" and explained why.
I have been a member for just a few minutes.

Will you issue a refund?

Regards,
Chris
Sent: 20 June 2003 11:31
Hi Chris,

Thank you for your e-mail. I can confirm that you cannot have a refund. The error was on your part however please be aware that if you cancel your membership and change your mind you can re-activate your account at any time.

If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards
Sent: 20 June 2003 11:38
Hi,

What error is it that you feel I made?

Thanks,
Chris
Sent: 20 June 2003 12:38
Hi Chris,

Thank you for your e-mail.
I can confirm that the error was obviously because you signed up for 3 months when in actual fact this tariff doesn't suit your needs as stated in your first message.

If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards,
Sent: 20 June 2003 12:58
Hello again.

I am not trying to exploit you.
I have not gained any benefits surreptitiously from my membership.
You will know that I have not sent anyone mail, nor received any.

Rather - I have discovered, unexpectedly, that your database does not contain interesting people in my area. And so the membership I purchased from you does not suit my needs.

I run my own business.

If a customer of mine, in good faith, buys something which does not suit their needs, then they are welcome to return it, and I issue them a refund.

I do this as part of providing good service and of being a decent human being.
I don't want to make money from un-satisfied customers.

Isn't that the decent thing for you to do in this case?

Regards,
Chris
Sent: 23 June 2003 09:59
Hi Chris,

Thank you for your e-mail.
I can confirm that after looking into your account I can see you have 1 message in your inbox received on 21/06. You cannot have a refund we strongly advise you keep your account open as if you change your mind you can just log back in. However if you do decide to cancel your membership and then change your mind you can re-activate your account at anytime.

If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to
contact us.

Kind Regards
Sent: 23 June 2003 10:06
Hello.

This message arrived after I sent mt email to you.
But in any event, it's arrival has little impact on my argument.

Please explain why you will not give a refund.
Is it simply that you just don't have to and so you choose not to?

Or is it that you believe that I am trying to abuse your goodwill?

Thanks,
Chris
Sent: 25 June 2003 11:54
Hello.

Please give me the name, phone number and email address of your customer services manager.

Thanks,
Chris
Sent: 04 July 2003 11:15
Hello,

I'm sorry it has to come to this, I've tried hard to avoid hostilities, but I'm very unhappy with your treatment of me, and I would like to speak to your superior.

I believe your conduct contravenes the sale of goods act, and the distance selling act.
The former requires that goods be fit for the purpose they are sold - I think the small number of eligible ladies in your database makes it unfit.
The latter grants me the unconditional right to a refund within 7 days for things sold over the web.

But far more importantly than the law, I feel you've been an unpleasant person, and that you deserve to be exposed and corrected. I'm not going to go away. If you don't respond, I guess I'll have to find your phone number and call, then write, then yada yada. Let's not go there. You
know I have an excellent case - legally and morally. I'm not trying to rip you off, I just want you to give me my money back, in light of the fact that the service you offered (which remains unused by me) turned out to be unsuitable for my needs.

So please arrange my refund, or give me the name, phone number and email address of your customer services manager.

Thanks,
Chris

============================
DISCLAIMER: My disclaimer trumpts yours.
I reserve the right to share any and all of this correspondence with anyone,
in whatever way I choose.
Sent: 04 July 2003 13:17
Hi Chris,

Thank you for your email which has been passed on to me. We very rarely give refunds as the site allows you to Join for free and search for members in your area for free, it is only when you see members you want to contact that you need to upgrade to premier membership therefore you "see the members in the database before you buy".

Having looked into this further I can see that for some reason you have chosen not to use your account and send messages, therefore as a gesture of goodwill we are prepared to offer a full refund.

Please understand that this has nothing to do with "the sale of goods act, and the distance selling act" etc as our terms are clearly displayed in our Terms and Conditions which you agreed to when joining.

Please allow a few days for your refund to appear on your statement.

Kind Regards,
Sent: 11 July 2003 10:59
Darren,

Thanks for reversing your decision.
I still cannot see the refund on my Cahoot Visa debit card statement.
Please confirm which card you refunded to.

Thanks,
Chris
Sent: 16 July 2003 10:44
Darren,

My refund has still not appeared in the account from which you took £29.95 on June 22nd.
It's now 12 days since you announced your decision to refund, so I'm wondering what the dealy is.
Please let me know.
Thanks.
Chris
Sent: 21 July 2003 10:41
Darren, still no sign of the refund you authorized.
Please advise on your plans.

Thanks,
Chris
Sent: 25 July 2003 15:48
To: tradingstandards@birmingham.gov.uk
Cc: corporate@datingdirect.com; darren.richards@datingdirect.com

Hi,

I wonder if you can help me recover some cash promised to me but never delivered by Dating Direct.

I took out a membership of their online dating agency for £29.95.
At that time, I did not understand that I could browse their database without joining.

So, once joined, I browsed the database, and within a few minutes I discovered there are no suitable
ladies in my age range and area. I asked for a refund.

This was flatly declined for a long time but eventually agreed to, by Darren Richards.

However, the money was never returned to my account, and Darren has not responded to my emails requesting an explanation.

Please do what you can to encourage the return of my money from Dating Direct.
I have enclosed the entire correspondence below for your information.

Dating Direct's registered company address is:

DATINGDIRECT.COM LIMITED
38A GEORGE STREET
BIRMINGHAM
WEST MIDLANDS B3 1QA

Thanks & Regards,
Chris
Sent: 25 July 2003 16:22
Hi Chris,

I replied to your email several days ago to inform you that the refund had been processed. It appears from your email below you did not receive this email?
Please allow a few days for the refund to appear on your card statement.

Kind Regards,
Sent: 26 July 2003 12:06
Darren,

I have not received any email from you since July 4th.
I.E. No responses to any of the three reminders I have sent you since then.
Perhaps you could re-send your email.

I can confirm that my refund is still not in my account, which is puzzling if you made it several days ago.

I don't really understand why it would take more than three days, and it has been TWENTY TWO DAYS since you agreeed to refund me.

I look forward to receiving it soon.

Regards,
Chris
Sent: 28 July 2003 08:20
Hi Chris,

Thank you for your reply, it can take 5 working days (i.e. not counting weekends) depending on your card and the banks involved.

Please check again and I will personally chase the card company for you if you have still not received it on your card within this time scale.

Kind Regards,
Sent: 29 July 2003 11:03
Darren,
Thanks - I see that my credit has finally been made. 36 days after I requested it.

FYI - I will be publicising your performance on this - including the full correspondence - at my website and on the reputation manager website www.dooyoo.com.

If you're happy with your policy and proud of your conduct, then I'm sure you'll welcome the publicity, and the boost it will doubtless give to you business.

Regards,
Chris
Sent: 29 July 2003 12:15
Hi Chris,

I am pleased to hear you have received your refund. Please understand that as was mentioned in the first correspondence with yourself that we do not usually give refunds as you can use and search the site for free before deciding to pay a fee, that is the whole point in letting members join for free first. This is also clearly stated in our terms and conditions you agreed to when joining the site. We offered this refund as a gesture of goodwill.

Your original email to us actually stats "I just signed up for three months, which perhaps wasn't very clever. In the space of a few minutes I've browsed all eligible ladies in Bedfordshire, and not really found anyone interesting. I'm now wondering what to do for the next three months. Are new people coming onboard daily? Can I cancel early for a (partial) refund?"

And to answer the question "Are new people coming onboard daily?" - Yes, we are the UK's largest service with over 875,000 members with literally thousands more joining every day.

I doubt you will be including this email and those relevant points in your "publicising".

Kind Regards,
Sent 29/7/3
Darren, I will be including this too, along with any further comments you choose to make.

My website is at www.letsfixbritain.com.

What I usually do is to complete an article, then give the subject of it the chance to make whatever comments they choose, which I include verbatum.

I'm not about presenting my best side - I'm about presenting the truth. All of it.
People will be able to decide what they think, based on a complete record of the dialogue.

Clearly - I didn't pay enough attention initially - I should not have signed up before checking the database.

People make honest mistakes.

Your performance in dealing with my mistake, I feel, left very much to be desired.

And I think the general public would agree.

Regards,
Chris

You can register your own views and experiences of Dating Direct in our public forum here

Please do not use the article rating form below
to tell us about Dating Direct.
Use the link above.

If you want to recover money from Dating Direct or write a formal letter of complaint,
you may want to see our complaint letter writing service.

 
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