A pair of US Freedom of Information requests have uncovered thousands of online dating complaints.
Ivan Zhykhariev-Kelly of The Capitol Forum, a site providing “investigative news & analysis on how policy affects market competition”, and Alan Dellinger of Newsweek Media Group, umbrella for the International Business Times, were behind the requests.
Dellinger’s request asked for access to “all records of complaints concerning the following companies:
Coffee Meets Bagel
Zhykhariev-Kelly requested a sample of complaints levelled against Match.com between 2015 and 2017.
The FTC said in their response to Dellinger: “We have located approximately 2,802 responsive complaints. Please consider this our first partial release of the records located. I am granting partial access to, and am enclosing copies of the accessible records.”
2,491 of the 2,802 were released. The redacted complaints include those from foreign nationals who requested confidential treatment.
So far, files have been released detailing complaints concerning Blendr, Match.com, Bumble, Coffee Meets Bagel, Grindr and OKCupid.
There are five Blendr complaints listed from December 2012 to December 2017. Coffee Meets Bagel had two complaints during that time.
There is one Bumble complaint, seemingly related to an incidence of catfishing, over the same timeframe.
For Grindr, there are 38 complaints. Many relate to billing practices or instances of identity theft.
There are 195 complaints against OKCupid, with romance scams, billing practices and accounts being blocked as the main areas of concern.
For Match.com, the complaints have been divided into multiple files. From January 2013 to April 2017, there were 1,527 complaints.
A further 611 complaints were filed between April and November 2017. The, 76 were filed between mid-November and the 1st of December.
Of the most recent 76, 54 are concerned with refunds, subscriptions and payment problems. Eight are people who had their accounts hacked and cannot cancel payments after being frozen out.
Four were romance scams, two were user theories about Match using fake profiles to lure subscriptions, and eight were other concerns.