More than 90 percent of the potential dates on Match.com are canceled subscribers, people who never subscribed, duplicates, or phantoms the company created to snare its $40 a month subscription fee, a class action claims in Federal Court.
Match.com knows this, yet still collects $39.99 a month from its Subscribers, all the while perpetuating a scheme to the detriment and disappointment of its subscribers, the suit charges.
"At bottom, Match.com is a scam," Jesse Kaposi of Novato, Calif., alleges in his suit, filed in federal district court in Dallas.
According to its website, "20,000 singles" join the Match.com community every day and "hundreds of thousands" of people find love on Match.com every year, the suit notes.
Match.com has two types of "Members" -- Subscribers and Non-subscribers. Unless a Match Member is a paying Subscriber they cannot respond to contact from other Members (i.e. e-mails, winks, etc.) or view the profile of people who contact them, the suit says.
Match routinely offers new Members or cancelled former Subscribers free trial memberships that permit Non-subscribers access privileges normally restricted to paying Subscribers. Match then lumps together profiles of Subscribers and Non-subscribers and displays them as if they are the same, Kaposi charges.
Match.com advertises that it has 15 million "Members" but does not disclose that only 1.4 million of its "Members" are actually "Subscribers," the suit alleges, quoting documents filed by Match.com owner IAC Inc. with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Less than 10%
"Thus, less than ten percent (10%) of Match.com's 15 million Members can actually be reached by another Member," the suit charges.
If a Subscriber identifies an interesting online profile and desires to make contact, Match.com encourages the Subscriber to send the person an email or a "wink". Match.com also may give the Subscriber a signal that that person is "Online Now" or has been "Active Within One Hour " -- which the suit charges is often not true, alleging that Members will be labeled "Online Now" even when they are not logged into the Match site and have not been for months.
Only when the intended recipient also is a Subscriber, may he or she receive the sender's email or "wink." On the other hand, i f the intended recipient is a Non-subscriber, Match.com does not inform the Subscriber sending the e-mail that the intended recipient cannot open, read and/or respond to their emails or "winks" and/or the intended recipient cannot view the Subscriber's profile, username or photographs - although Match.com has the capability to do so, the suit charges.
"In short, only a fraction of the people Match.com Subscribers attempt to reach will ever be reached and not only does Match.com affirmatively conceal this fact but it misleads Subscribers to think that the opposite is true," the suit charges