All ODA members should have effective and appropriate arrangements in place to deal with complaints and enquiries. Take a look at our FAQs to find out what to do if you have a complaint about a dating service.

What do I do if I have a complaint about a dating service?

You should get in touch with your dating service. All ODA members should have effective and appropriate arrangements in place to deal with complaints and enquiries. Like any other business, dating firms should be dealing direct with users seeking help or who have a complaint. Services should always offer ways of contacting them online and, perhaps, by phone. We would expect enquiries to be dealt with effectively and in a timely manner.

Understanding the dating service

Services should be clear in their “terms and conditions” about where they stand when it comes to sign-up and membership charges, rules on behaviour, and the use of the service. We encourage services to keep these clear and easy to follow but realise Terms and Conditions are not often an exciting read. But they do set out the rights and responsibilities you and the service have. You should read through these to see if your issue is answered.

Further ODA advice on membership subscriptions, cancellation and managing profiles can be found here.

If you do think you need to contact the service, please try to be as clear as possible on your worry or complaint. Try to include any information or links to other content that helps the service understand where you are coming from.

Complaints about other Users

Services should set out how you can block other users if you find their online behaviour unacceptable. Services will have their own rules about unacceptable behaviours, including removing people if they need to. No-one should have to tolerate seriously offensive behaviours and the distress that can happen online or in person. Services have reporting tools and daters should not hesitate to use these if they must.

If anything more serious happens while on a date, we always encourage people to report it to the relevant law enforcement bodies and alert the dating service.

Fighting Fraud

Online fraud is a challenge across apps and online services, not just in the dating world. Dating services use profile moderation, in-service messaging options, extensive advice and guidance to users and reporting tools to fight any attempts at so-called romance fraud. If you have been the victim of a fraud or think one is being attempted, please alert the dating service as well as reporting it to the police.

What is the role of the ODA in relation to complaints?

The ODA is a trade association. We aim to ensure high standards are shared across the sector and work with dating services to ensure user trust and safety.

The ODA “Putting Safety First” logo on a member site is a clear indication to users of that company’s commitment to high levels of user trust and confidence. You can find out if a dating service is one of our members by also using our Check-A-Site service.

We believe users benefit more by us taking a lead and a far more inclusive approach to setting out what is good practice. Therefore, we do not become involved directly with complaints.

Advice and Tips for Dating Safely Online