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They were good-looking women in his local area with similar interests – world travel, theatre and cooking.
He didn’t hesitate to pay the £180 for 12 months’ membership as pretty much everyone he’d seen so far he would have gone on a date with, so there seemed to be a lot of potential for meeting someone special.
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.
Searchmate offered to upgrade Aileen to its “Platinum” membership, a service via which customers are assigned their very own matchmaker who will proactively look for potential matches outside Searchmate’s client base.
After filling in the questionnaire, the man registered for the site and was delighted with the follow-up email he received.
It contained several profiles of highly promising matches all “waiting to contact him”.
I didn’t want to put myself through all that.” The man, 54, from the North East, came across Elite Singles and thought it looked like a better bet for meeting someone more serious about finding a long-term partner.
He was also impressed with the advertised fact that 18,000 new members were registering with the site every week – giving the impression that he’d be spoilt for choice of potential dates.
It claims to offer a “safer and more credible alternative” to dating websites.
When the man complained to Elite Singles, it refunded him without a fuss, as it has a 14-day refund policy.
When contacted by Telegraph Money, Elite Singles admitted that disappointment over the number of paying members was a “very common” complaint.
Aileen was promised support from Searchmate’s highly experienced team of matchmakers, and a guaranteed minimum of 15 recommendations.
Online dating scams: new tricks that fleece victims of an average '£9,589' But in November last year, Aileen felt a growing sense of disappointment as five months had passed and she had yet to meet any men.
He said: “I wanted to get back on the dating scene but I felt fragile from the split.