Last updated on June 22, 2013 | by Aet Suvari0
Why we agree with the BBC about Cupid.com
The BBC recently made revelations about the online dating sites owned by the Edinburgh-based company Cupid. Among several sites they own are Cupid.com, Flirt.com, GirlsDateForFree.com, DatingForParents.com and I am sure that if you have ever used one of their websites you were not too surprised by what the 5 Live Investigates programme found out: not all profiles are genuine.
We’ve been involved in the online dating business for over a decade so know a fair few things about online dating. Online Dating Help tells you the ups and downs of the online dating world and points out the good and the bad sides in both paid and unpaid online dating. We’ve extensively reviewed all the major online dating sites in the UK and it is rather telling that none of the Cupid-owned sites have ever been given our Editor’s Choice award. In fact, we had such a negative overall experience on Cupid.com that we refuse to review the site until they sort themselves out.
We spent a fair amount of time there looking around and did not fail to notice how quickly after joining up we were bombarded with mails from ‘paid members’ which – of course – we weren’t able to read before we became paid members ourselves. Once we had done that, those messages stopped coming and the members who had apparently sent them turned out to be non-existent. Can it be a pure coincidence? We don’t think so. However, Cupid have denied the allegations that they have created fake profiles in order to lure in more paying clients.
We think the whole process of finding love online is daunting and stressful enough without falling victim to a cheating scam. The online dating business is highly competitive and therefore sites come up with different features to get people to sign up and part with their hard-earned cash. However, tricks like that should not be tolerated by anyone because they undermine the credibility of the whole online dating industry.
Hopefully things will start to change now that BBC has revealed the true nature of these sites. However, if you’re pondering whether you should or should not join a dating site after hearing these reports and are worried you could be cheated on, here’s a few tips how to recognise scam profiles from real ones and how to know whether you can trust a website:
- Always shop around a little before deciding to become a paid member. This way you’ll get a feel of the place before actually signing up. Quite a few sites offer free trials every now and then or have an option to sign up for a short period, so this might also be a good chance to get acquainted with the site.
- Good sites usually have a fair amount of users – if it looks like there’s not enough members, this probably won’t bethe best place where to sign up.
- Good online dating sites have invested in getting a good design. If it the outlook is wonky and weird chances are that so is the content.
- If you’ve only just created your profile and haven’t even put up a photo yet but are already receiving messages from potential dates, use your common sense – this sounds a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? It probably is.
- Read around. A good place where to start is with our reviews – they give an honest and balanced overview of the sites that are out there. It’s not just for the benefit of separating the scammers from the proper sites – we have also put in a fair amount of work in outlining the best features in the dating sites so that you can find the one that is most suited to what you are looking for.
In contrast to the sites under the Cupid umbrella we signed up to Match.com a couple of weeks ago and every interaction has been from genuine members – the way it should be. If anyone from Cupid is reading this then we’re based in Edinburgh too and would be happy to meet up to discuss these issues and find out what’s being done to stop such practices happening.
As for everyone else if you need help finding out which sites you can trust with your hard earned cash then check out our Top UK Dating Sites reviews.