How to Pick a Dating Site

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Black and white image of two interlinking hearts in the sandThere are thousands of dating websites out there, from large generic sites to very niche sites, so choosing the right one can be quite a minefield. However, when choosing a dating site, it is important to do background research to ensure that the website meets certain standards.

Do your homework

Trading Standards recommend that you carry out the following checks before joining an online dating website:

  • “Thoroughly check the dating website’s terms and conditions” – Although it’s really tempting to skip through the terms and conditions, look out for details about how you will be billed and how your details will be used; Muddy Matches is independent, so your profile will only appear on our website, however some dating sites share details across a dating network.
  • “Check out a website’s ‘how to’ section if there is one, even if you think you know how they work: each site may operate slightly differently” – Our ‘how to’ section can be found in our FAQs and explains how to use the site and its different functions. You can also find more information about how to make the most of the website in this dating advice blog. You can also email us, phone us, or contact us via our social media accounts; Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
  • Pay particular attention to the company’s pricing structure and cancellation policy. At Muddy Matches we offer a clear pricing structure. If you are setting up a direct debit with an online dating website, make sure that there is a simple cancellation policy, whereby you can easily cancel the payments when you are no longer using the website.
  • “Check the website for the company’s address and full contract details. If it is not easy to find, ask yourself why?” – Our contact details can be found on our contact us page, along with our normal working hours. However, if you can’t find a company’s contact details it means that you would not be able to get in touch with them if you have any problems.
  • “Ensure the site’s payment page is secure – look out for the ‘s’ in https. A padlock on the payment screen is also a mark of security” – This advice is important for all online transactions. At Muddy Matches all online payments are secure and we also offer other safe methods of payment, including cheques, postal orders and PayPal.
  • “Remember – a web address is no indication of where a trader is based. For example, if the trader has a web address, this does not mean the trader is based in the UK” – If you are looking to join a dating site that is based in the UK or Ireland, check for the company’s address in either a specified contact details section or in the terms and conditions.
  • Using a European website guarantees you certain rights under the E-Commerce Directive, including the right to an acknowledgement of payment and the right to know the geographical location of the business. However, it is important to note that dating sites are exempt from the seven day cooling-off period set out in the directive if the service commences immediately. This means that it is important to look around a dating website before making a payment! You can join Muddy Matches for free and carry out unlimited searches before paying for a subscription, to see if you enjoy using the site.

Look for recommendations

When it comes to seeking out recommendations, the best place to start is by asking friends and family about their experience of using dating websites. With 1-in-3 people now meeting their partner online, it’s likely that you will know at least one person who tried online dating.

Another way to find recommendations is by checking out review sites such as Yell and FreeIndex.

Lastly, don’t forget to search for the dating company online to find out more about them.