SANTA CRUZ — The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office is leveling consumer protection violation allegations against online dating site Match.com in a new lawsuit seeking $10 million in penalties.
The District Attorney’s Office Consumer Affairs and Environmental Protection Units is working with the California Auto-Renewal Taskforce in bringing the legal action. In the spotlight is Match Group Inc. a Delaware company doing business in Texas which owns and operates the world’s largest conglomerate of online dating services sites including brands such as Match.com, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid and Tinder, according to a release from the county office.
“Match.com engaged in a pattern and practice of designing a signup and cancellation process intended to hook in consumers and make it difficult for them to extricate themselves from the contract,” the District Attorney’s Office release states. “They used actions that included misleading billing characterizations, nonconspicuous auto-renewal disclosures, elimination of required cancellation disclosures, and imposition of a long and tedious cancellation process.”
Santa Cruz County also was part of a previous statewide action that obtained a $1.2 million judgment against another dating site, Harmony.
“Dating services is one of the areas in consumer protection in which companies take advantage of consumers by getting them in and not letting them out,” District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell is quoted in the release.