“My daughters said online dating wasn’t good for me anymore, so I started looking for alternatives.” Aileen then came across Searchmate, a bespoke dating service which featured on the first series of Channel 4's The Undateables.It claims to offer a “safer and more credible alternative” to dating websites.But when he paid the money and logged back on, he was crushed to discover that not a single one of the profiles he’d been shown could be contacted.This was because they were “registered” and not “paying” members.He said: “I wanted to get back on the dating scene but I felt fragile from the split.Most people on these dating websites are just looking for a bit of fun, but I find that all a bit seedy.
Searchmate has now offered Aileen a full refund of £1,295.
Searchmate had so far suggested four – two of whom she’d already seen on rival site Plentyoffish.com, a free site, and who had both already declined to date her.
In November she received a letter from a Searchmate adviser saying that her membership was “not progressing as expected”.
In total, the site offered the man four suitable profiles “in his area” – none of which met his criteria.
One of them lived hundreds of miles away in Ireland and would be unreachable without an expensive ferry or plane journey.
The site explained that this was down to most of the gentlemen who were active within her area “going on hold”, meaning they could no longer be contacted.