Dating services

Looking for love on the internet can be a journey fraught with difficulties, and this can start when you subscribe to a service offered by a specialized website. If you want to end your subscription, this can also cause problems. Here’s all what you need to know.

Free registration, yes but…

Dating sites often promise free registration but be wary of the terms they use! Generally, creating the profile is free, but accessing the messaging services or seeing all of the other profiles may require a paid subscription.

Paid subscription check points:

Do not be fooled by appearances. If a dating site has a “.de” URL or German advertisements, do not automatically assume that the site is based in Germany. Before you subscribe to a site whose headquarters are in another European Union country, verify the following:

  • Identity and address of the company offering the dating site: You can usually find this information in the general sales conditions or disclaimer.
  • Price of the subscription: Verify with caution the cost as well as the payment conditions. Pay careful attention to the total amount levied.
  • Beware of promotional offers: They are only valid for a short time; if they are not terminated on time and under the right conditions, it can lead to a classic subscription (several months with only one month discounted).
  • Commitment period: be aware of the initial duration of the commitment.
  • Renewal conditions of your subscription (often automatic) and method of cancellation: This includes the advanced notice period provided by the terms of use and also the form of cancellation (mail, fax, email).

Pay attention to the price! Some sites present their rates per month to allow price comparisons. The longer the commitment period, the lower the price will be per month. However, the entire subscription will be collected at once and not monthly. Check the final price before payment because this is usually what will be immediately charged to you.

Subscriptions to these types of sites are often renewed automatically and without your prior consent. This is called a tacit renewal.

Beware of so-called “testing periods” that are usually short-lived. They generally have an automatic contract renewal but for longer periods, so therefore, more expensive. Be very vigilant and quickly terminate if the service does not interest you.

Useful Advice

  • Read in detail the general conditions of the site and the points of information appearing throughout the subscription procedure. As soon as you validate the subscription, the general conditions and information notes apply, even if you did not read them!
  • By validating the online subscription, you accept the entire contract. Keep the confirmation email for the subscription because it contains proof of the contract.

Your subscription on the internet is worth the same as a paper contract with your handwritten signature. Keep a copy of the general conditions of the contract.

Canceling your Subscription

The profile is usually created for free, and the paid subscription is a separate contract with the site. If you just delete your profile, it does not cancel your subscription. It must be expressly requested according to the termination method provided by the site (always keep track).

On the other hand, if you cancel your paid subscription, the profile is not necessarily deleted. Free and limited access may be maintained.

It is your responsibility to delete your profile if you do not wish to appear on the site or receive promotional offers from it.

Know that you have a right to rectify and remove your personal information. If, despite the removal of your profile, you still receive solicitations from the site, expressly request by mail or email with acknowledgement of receipt the deletion of your account and your personal information.


Right of Retraction for 14 days

For the most part of goods or services purchased remotely within the European Union, you have the right of withdrawal for 14 days. Online dating sites are not an exception to this rule.

If you retract within 14 days, without using the services, the site is required to reimburse your total payment.

  • If you started to use the service before the end of the term of retraction, you can always use your right, but the site could ask you to pay a consideration.
  • No amount is due if you have not expressly agreed to start using the service or if the professional does not fulfil his obligation to inform you of this right.
  • Refer to the general conditions of the site to know the form conditions necessary for a withdrawal.


Undergoing the Termination of a Subscription

If you no longer wish to benefit from the services for the next renewal, you can terminate your subscription according to the termination conditions indicated by the site. Pay attention to deadlines and form conditions. Read the general conditions carefully.

Practical Advice

  • Request the cancellation of your subscription to the site in writing, via email with acknowledgement of receipt. Make sure to keep a copy. Avoid doing this process by telephone because the evidence will be difficult to prove in case of dispute.
  • Simply deleting your profile or  your account on the website does not constitute termination of your paid subscription. Similarly, opposition to the credit card is not enough to cancel your subscription or settle a dispute with the service provider. In fact, a payment order is considered irrevocable (since you have given your consent). You can oppose the credit card only in cases of theft, loss, misappropriation, or fraudulent use of the credit card.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.