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Because of this it had suspended her account, even though she had not asked for this to happen.Searchmate has now offered Aileen a full refund of £1,295.Aileen was promised support from Searchmate’s highly experienced team of matchmakers, and a guaranteed minimum of 15 recommendations.Online dating scams: new tricks that fleece victims of an average '£9,589' But in November last year, Aileen felt a growing sense of disappointment as five months had passed and she had yet to meet any men.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.When the man complained to Elite Singles, it refunded him without a fuss, as it has a 14-day refund policy.When contacted by Telegraph Money, Elite Singles admitted that disappointment over the number of paying members was a “very common” complaint.

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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.

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.

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”.

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