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So in May last year Aileen stumped up £1,295 for membership.It offered her “unlimited personal introductions” to men serious about finding a relationship.
He didn’t hesitate to pay the £180 for 12 months’ membership as pretty much everyone he’d seen so far he would have gone on a date with, so there seemed to be a lot of potential for meeting someone special.But when he paid the money and logged back on, he was crushed to discover that not a single one of the profiles he’d been shown could be contacted.This was because they were “registered” and not “paying” members.When the man complained to Elite Singles, it refunded him without a fuss, as it has a 14-day refund policy.When contacted by Telegraph Money, Elite Singles admitted that disappointment over the number of paying members was a “very common” complaint.Searchmate had so far suggested four – two of whom she’d already seen on rival site Plentyoffish.com, a free site, and who had both already declined to date her.
In November she received a letter from a Searchmate adviser saying that her membership was “not progressing as expected”.One woman who is no stranger to the various pitfalls of dating services is Aileen Edwards, a 61-year-old health worker who cares for dementia sufferers. In her spare time she enjoys theatre, swimming and the great outdoors.She says she “isn’t looking for a major spark” but is searching for a man with a good sense of humour to share her life with. The first blow was when she fell victim to a scammer on an online dating site.He claimed to be a high flier in a major American toy firm, but then managed to convince her to give him £200 for medical treatment, encouraging her to take out credit cards.“Getting sucked into this made me feel really stupid,” Aileen said.“My daughters said online dating wasn’t good for me anymore, so I started looking for alternatives.” Aileen then came across Searchmate, a bespoke dating service which featured on the first series of Channel 4's The Undateables.