Auto Renewals & Online Dating Memberships

  • Monday, November 10 2008 @ 04:44 pm
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A major complaint of almost all paid online dating sites are the subscription auto-renewal policies. In most cases, once a membership is purchased for a dating service, the auto-renewal is enabled. This means that once your subscription is expired it is automatically renewed and usually for the same time period as you bought previously. Usually you will be charged at the current price of the subscription. Some dating sites like don't require any notice to turn off auto membership renewals but, some like eHarmony require at least 24 hours notice. This would mean if you decided to turn off the membership auto renew feature at eHarmony on the day your membership is set to expire it would be too late and according to their Terms of Service you would be charged for the new renewed subscription. Other dating sites may even ask for a week or more of notice. I've also heard of some dating sites requiring you to speak to customer service before your account renewal will be turned off.

The best thing here to do is once you have signed up for a dating site and paid for a membership is to turn off the auto renew. This way you will not forget. There are benefits to this too, even if plan to continue the membership. When your membership is close to expiring most dating sites will let you know by email and usually offer you a discount for your continued subscription. Very few let you know when your membership is about to expire if you have the subscription auto renew feature enabled. Most dating sites auto renewal feature can be disabled in the Account Settings (or My Account, etc...) section of the site. I've never had this problem (others have reported such issues) but, as a precaution I would also double check that your subscription auto renew remains unchecked.

One other thing you should know about. Some dating sites may renew your membership if you continue to use the dating service after your subscription has expired. This can easily happen by receiving a message from a member and you go online and reply to it.

Always double check the Terms of Use (or User Agreement, etc...) of the dating site if the auto renew policy is not clear when you buy a subscription. Most dating sites don't make it difficult to turn this off but there are always a few bad apples. Other industry subscription services have similar policies when it comes to renewals. Just take a look at any TV, Internet or cell phone contract. In fact I would say these industries are worse in most cases. That said, dating sites should have subscription auto renewals deactivated by default. Enabling this automatically in a way is like admitting their service may not work for you.

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