Users were not likely to see – much less understand – this icon.
In addition, the defendants are prohibited from failing to honor a refund or cancellation request that complies with their policies, and failing to provide a simple mechanism for consumers to stop recurring charges – at least as simple as the mechanism consumers used to initiate them.
The order also prohibits JDI Dating and Thomas from violating the ROSCA and selling or otherwise benefitting from customers’ personal information, and requires them to pay $616,165 in redress.
“JDI Dating used fake profiles to make people think they were hearing from real love interests and to trick them into upgrading to paid memberships,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
“Adding insult to injury, users were charged automatically to renew their subscriptions – often without their consent.” According to a complaint filed by the FTC, JDI Dating and William Mark Thomas operate a worldwide dating service via 18 websites, including cupidswand.com, and
The defendants offered a free plan that allowed users to set up a profile with personal information and photos.
As soon as a new user set up a free profile, he or she began to receive messages that appeared to be from other members living nearby, expressing romantic interest or a desire to meet.The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint and proposed stipulated order for permanent injunction was 5-0.The complaint and stipulated final order were filed in U. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, on October 27, 2014.The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.The Commission’s complaint charges JDI Dating and Thomas with violating the FTC Act by misrepresenting the source of the communications from fake profiles and by failing to disclose the automatic renewal terms.