Dating sites to refund clients who were misled by fake profiles
The Right Link BV, a company behind 17 dating sites, agreed to refund customers who were misled by fake profiles on its sites, the Dutch authority on consumers and markets ACM announced on Tuesday. According to ACM, the company set 9 million euros aside for these refunds.
This involves clients who used a dating site run by The Right Link between 1 July 2016 and 17 April 2018. Customers thought they were talking to a real person, but were instead chatting with a 'chat operator' running a fake profile. According to ACM, the chat operators made sure customers had long chat conversations in the hope of getting a date with the person of their choice, but this would never happen. As customers paid per message sent, this resulted in high bills, some reaching thousands of euros.
"On these websites, users were seduced with fake profiles into long conversations. Not with the person of their choice, but with a chat operator. It never came to a meeting. Because the users have been misled, it is right that they get their money back", Cateutje Hijmans van den Bergh of the ACM said.
According to the ACM, the dating sites involved agreed to stop this practice, also in other European countries where the company is active with similar sites. The ACM will keep an eye on the sites and any further violations will result in a fine.
The websites involved are:
Only clients who were misled in the period of the ACM investigation - 1 July 2016 and 17 April 2018 - can claim compensation. More information on how to do so can be found here.