Installing an application and subscribing to a premium profile without ever reading the terms has it ever happened to you? Thierry, a resident of Nivelles, experienced the misfortune of trying to register for a dating application. Not knowing the general conditions, he did not know that the latter would cost him a few hundred euros without a month of use … Explanations.
At age 51, Thierry (first name admitted for anonymity) has a dream: to find love. For several years, this father of three has been looking for someone to be his life partner. For this shy person, it is not easy to take the first step. “For me, it’s complicated to approach a woman in a bar”, he admitted. Two years ago, to face this fear, Thierry turned to dating apps. “My story is about a man looking for love who, in the deep night and in a time of turmoil, installs a dating application. Beautiful photos, promises, the hope of break the loneliness and who knows? Find love, maybe “he testified.
That night, when she had already registered for multiple applications in this class, she turned to someone who described herself as a specialist in older singles. She entered her contact details and answered some basic questions: first name, date of birth, location. The application then asked about the behaviors the partner was looking for before performing a quick personality test. But too soon, the father of the family was disappointed. The functionality of the app is reduced due to its free registration. “Rcome on, you know we don’t have much access “, he regretted. He returned to premium membership, convinced that the app was the last possible alternative. “I tried everyone hoping to find something but it didn’t work. That’s why I took these paid services”, he breathed.
I received an email notifying me of an unpaid invoice
Weeks passed but nothing conclusive. Despite the large number of female profiles, “I haven’t seen anyone”. In fact, Thierry’s messages are always unanswered. “And if there’s an answer, there’s very little conversation. And it’s closed with no explanation or apology.”, he reports. Before adding: “It feels like someone is continuing a conversation just to inspire hope.” Thierry decides to end it all. “It didn’t work. So I lost interest, telling myself I might come back to it later”, explained the father of the family. He uninstalled the application after a few months and thus thought of ending this parenthesis in his life.
For this month of use, Thierry paid € 191.76. Because he subscribes for a one-year subscription. “It’s cheaper than the monthly formula”, he reasoned. Nearly € 200 in a few weeks of use, expensive to pay, Thierry agreed. But whatever. “I remember how I felt that night: it didn’t seem expensive to meet the person I was looking for. I was inspired and really wanted to put the hardships on my side knowing it wasn’t obvious”he remembers.
A year later, the withdrawal from his bank account intrigued him. The cost is € 239.40. Thierry understood that it was a fee for the dating application and decided to cancel the direct debit. The goal: to stop any additional payments. Problem. “The following year, I received an email informing me that an invoice had not been paid under the usual threats.” Then comes a letter of formal notice informing him that the amount of € 250 remains to be paid.
He contacted his bank to find out his rights and the conclusion was final. In a document we obtained, he was informed by his bank that there was no possible objection to the bank transaction. His bank confirmed that a subscription had been withdrawn, making these withdrawals completely legal. In general, his registration cost € 681.50collection costs are included.
A very legal practice
We consulted them. We read: “When ordering Paid Services, the User is notified, by receipt of confirmation of his order, of the duration of the contract, the date on which it takes effect and the duration of the change if his notice of termination not to intervene within the agreed deadlines ”. By accepting the general conditions, Thierry knows the price of the service. And if there is no termination of the contract, the latter is automatically renewed by the tacit agreement. This explains why Thierry, who did not terminate his contract, had to pay in subsequent years, even though the application was uninstalled.
I have no excuse and I will pay
In practice, it’s all legal. As explained by the European Consumer Center, most subscriptions on the dating site are for a specific term. In general conditions, the tacit renewal clause should be clearly stated. “This tacit change though is only valid if the service provider informs you of it in a clear and understandable way before you register”, determines the site.
In Thierry’s case, he was notified on the site. “The contract for Paid Services purchased through the website has been renewed
automatically by secret agreement “, wrote on the dating site. Unfortunately, Thierry did not go through the long pages of the general conditions of use. In total, 13 pages comprise this document we consulted (updated in May). “I know that my recklessness is the cause of the problem. I have no excuse and I will pay”, he admitted.
What the father of the family wants to reject here “a legal and well-established practice that requires caution from users who, tired of all the lengthy and detailed terms and conditions of use, don’t bother to know what they’re subscribing to and don’t know the ins and outs “.
Between 20 and 35 minutes to read the terms and conditions of the 5 top dating applications!
We are interested in the general conditions of use of 5 dating applications. They are among the most famous. For four of them, the reading time (for TOS integrity) is between 20 and 35 minutes. For one of them, the reading time is up to 50 minutes. In France, the consumer association UFC-Que Choisir has recently become interested in reading hours. The SNCF site shows the highest period. “It takes 6 hours 52 minutes to translate its T & Cs! A total of 256 pages to scroll in front of you”, wrote to the association. However, neglect of these terms and conditions prior to registration can have serious financial consequences. “Alone at the expense, my 3 kids and I have been depriving ourselves and for a long time. This case does not help “Thierry regretted.
Some tips to follow if you want to register for a dating site
- Before registering, you need to read the general conditions carefully. It is important to know the price segment, the right to withdraw, the duration of the subscription and the duration of termination. “Note this information in your diary. advises the European Consumer Center in Belgium.
- After registration, there are 14 days to withdraw.
- Removing your profile from the app is usually not enough to end the contract