A proposed class-action suit has been filed in Illinois federal court against online dating service conglomerate, Match Group Inc., accusing the company, through its website OkCupid.com, of fraudulently enticing subscribers to upgrade their profiles to a premium level. The suit alleges the company misleads customers by alluding to potential matches accessible only through the upgraded service, which turned out to be non-active accounts and hence, not legitimate potential matches.
In the complaint filed on April 20, 2017, named plaintiff Chad Perkins says that he was initially a subscriber via OkCupid’s free, base subscription but was constantly notified by the site that other subscribers were viewing and liking his profile. However, Perkins claims that OkCupid told him that in order to reveal the identities of his secret admirers he would need to upgrade his profile to a premium “A-List” status. Plaintiff says that it was only after he had paid $45 in subscription fees that he discovered that the previously vaunted potential matches, who had “viewed and liked” his profile, were actually linked to non-active or dead profiles.
The suit accuses the defendant company—which owns 45 other online dating sites in addition to OkCupid, including the ultra-popular dating app Tinder and the eponymously named Match.Com—of taking advantage of users emotional connection to the defendant’s services, which Plaintiff argues makes OkCupid subscribers more susceptible to fraud than ordinary consumers in a different setting. Specifically, Plaintiff accuses Match Group Inc. of unjust enrichment, breach of contract and of violating the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. In addition to the above-mentioned charges, which have become synonymous with consumer fraud class action suits in recent years, Perkins has also accused the defendant of violating the little referenced Illinois Dating Referral Services Act. The Dating Referral Act allows for treble damages if a dating service misleads its customers.
In response to Perkins allegation, OkCupid insists that the plaintiff’s experience was a one-time error and that the sites developers are aware of the error andactively working to remedy it. Despite these assurances, the class seeks to represent all OkCupid users who experienced a similar site error after upgrading to a premium subscription status.
The case is: Chad Perkins et al. v. Match Group Inc. et al., case number 1:17-cv-2988, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
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