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.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.It promises “affluent, educated men and women between the ages of 30 and 55, who are all looking for a long-term commitment.” It charges £180 a year for membership.Another Telegraph Money reader, who does not wish to be named, turned to online dating after his relationship came to an end in February.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.
This was because they were “registered” and not “paying” members.
In the two years between 20 alone, revenue dropped by £9m from £168m to £159m.
This is mainly because cheaper competitor sites and smartphone apps, such as Tinder, have boomed in popularity, explaining why some of the UK’s pricier dating services are suffering – and possibly going to greater lengths to keep singles signed up on their books, Another site at the higher end of the dating market is Elite Singles, which is designed for people with a certain level of education.
When Telegraph Money spoke to one of Searchmate’s agents, we were told matchmakers would go to “great lengths” to find matches for singles, for example putting up posters in local sailing clubs (if the client listed sailing as a hobby), or even posting advertisements in newspapers. She said she sent several emails to Searchmate’s agents since November but did not hear back.
In the meantime, she contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau, which provided some information on her consumer rights.
When the man complained to Elite Singles, it refunded him without a fuss, as it has a 14-day refund policy.