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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.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”.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.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 has now offered Aileen a full refund of £1,295.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.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”.
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.