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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.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”.So in May last year Aileen stumped up £1,295 for membership.It offered her “unlimited personal introductions” to men serious about finding a relationship.Last year, 7.1 million single Britons looked for a partner online, 800,000 more than in 2011, when, according to uk, there were 6.3 million.But despite the significant increase in the number of daters, total revenue for the UK dating industry is falling, meaning firms are making less money per head.
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.
“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.
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”.
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He said: “I wanted to get back on the dating scene but I felt fragile from the split.