There are of course many dating websites online. Some are more useful than others, some are more scammy than others. It’s one thing to pay for a membership subscription for a service you are seeking, and it’s another to be tricked into paying for repeating subscriptions which have either been hidden, or which are nearly impossible to cancel.
I call a dating website a SCAMMY dating website when it uses nefarious tricks to try to extract more than your intended subscription payments from you. A simple example should suffice to begin with: solterosconnivel.es is a dating website with a highly polished appearance. It hosts a simple click-to-subscribe facility, which deceptively hides the difficulty of the unsubscribing process, until it’s too late. The usual trick is to con you into a 1-month subscription which cannot be cancelled before the next subscription starts. As you must cancel more than 30 days before the next renewal date which is the end of the month, this is an impossible task and the core of the con.
This website is run by the be2 S.à.r.l. company in Luxembourg from the following address:
13 rue du Commerce -1351 Luxembourg - Luxembourg
The be2 is a franchise company which hosts a number of similar dating websites: https://solterosconnivel.es, https://be2.es, https://www.be2dating.ro/, https://www.singleexpats.com/, https://solteros50.es, https://www.premium-dates.at/ and many, very many, others, all share the same technique to trick you into signing up and then making it very difficult to cancel. It seems the model is very successful for extracting money from hopeful singles who then find themselves unable to get out of their subscription without a great deal of hunting for the cancellation process and then manual letter writing using the purposefully vague and complex instructions. The usual process goes something like this:
- Subscribe with a single-click (very easy).
- Some time later, attempt to unsubscribe by finding and clicking the link to “cancel” your subscription from your profile (so far so good).
- Follow the instructions to send an email to the help email address (firstname.lastname@example.org in this case).
- The reply will then tell you to respond to that email with an attachment specifying your cancellation.
- The attachment must be an image: gif, jpeg or png, file!
- Wait patiently for a response, this will almost certainly take you quietly across the next renewal date because you need to unsubscribe more than 30 days before the next renewal date.
- When you do get a response it may be of the form “the last payment has not been made and charges for collection will be applied”.
- Send another email to the company to complain of their service and demand immediate cancellation of your subscription again.
- If the company disables your password, you may find yourself unable to login to clear any so-called debt at which point further charges will also begin to mount…
- Attempt to release your password so that you can pay the mounting charges (good luck with that).
- Continue and repeat…
This procedure will continue until the company has extracted several months subscriptions from you, plus numerous accounting charges. Until you give up, or change your credit card, and even then you will have to deal with threats of legal action from a non-responsive “support” line. One expects the EU to have a fraud department capable of prosecuting this Luxumbourg company for nefarious business practices. I’m still looking for it.
In the meantime, if you think this is a one-off problem, read some of these:
I encourage others who have fallen for the nefarious business practices of be2 to both share this post far and wide to warn others of this scam. Also, you may contact me with details of your own experiences and we can add them, or post links to them, here. Perhaps together it might be possible to make an effective legal case against be2 in the EU courts.