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Class Action Calls Match.com a 'Scam'

More than 90% of potential dates are "phantoms," suit charges

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.

Kaposi claims that Match.com  uniformly  misleads  Subscribers  to believe  that  any  Member  may access  and  read  an  e-mail  and see  who  sent  it  by  proclaiming  in  the  Terms  of   Use that "Receiving  email  is  free;  you  can  receive  responses  even  if you  have  never  subscribed  to Match.com" -- even though such e-mails cannot be opened, viewed, read and/or replied to. 

"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

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