A list of New Zealand”s top 10 dating sights came up on my Instagram feed so I thought I”d check it out. I hadn”t heard of Academic Singles but they came in quite high on the list so I thought Id have a look. You had to join up for free in order to have a look at the website so I did that. The website was very smart and well designed and on my first look there was a nice doctor at the local hospital so I thought the website was ok. After a while I decided to take a paid membership – this was 29 Sep 2017 – It was $59.95 (later I saw they had increased the 3 month membership to$89.95) for 3 months. Straight away I noticed that there were multiple profiles with the same pictures – and almost no-one replied to emails messages which I thought was a bad sign. I then decided to look out of my area for new people but found that updating my search criteria did not change the search results. I went into the FAQ section on the website but couldn”t find an FAQ for my problem so looked for a customer services email contact. I found one but where is said “contact customer services here” there was no link or email address…it was like the coder just didn”t put the link in. It was at this stage I checked my credit card and found they had debited my card on 29 September for $269.70 from a company called Be2.com. I eventually found a confirmation email from Academic Singles which was in my spam folder. The confirmation email said they had charged me $269.70 and included a whole list of terms and conditions that were not provided on the website prior to putting in my credit card details. The confirmation email said that the subscription would renew automatically at the end of the period at which tine, if renewed an additional charge would be added. This additional charge was not specified. I emailed Be2 and told them that they were a scam, that the people they had matched me with were mainly made-up profiles with the same pictures and people that were no academic singles at all but looked like they had hacked the database of the local prison for mugshots. I told them I was cancelling my subscription and that I wanted a refund of the $269.70 as I had not authorised them to debit my credit card for that amount. I also told them they had breached the terms and conditions by not providing the service they advertised and debiting me more on 29 September than I had authorised. I told them they were a scam. I did not hear back from them in the 48 hours that they said they would reply within in their confirmation email. They never replied to this email at all. I rang my bank and they immediately told me about this website and told me there were a number of similar complaints and it looked like this was a scam website. They told me my only option was to put in a formal dispute which I did providing them with a copy of my 12 November email to Be2. On receiving my dispute the bank reversed the credit card charge but told me Be2 had 45 days to dispute the reversal. They cancelled my card. I did not hear from Be2 or my bank until recently when Be2 tried to debit my card for another $269.70. It failed as my bank had cancelled my credit card. Be2 started sending me threatening emails saying they were adding collection charges. The $269.70 went to $318.70 and then 7 days later went to $607.40. I have since sent Be2 3 or 4 emails saying I have no contract with them and that I cancelled my membership but could not delete my profile as they had blocked my access but I wanted it removed. I also threatened to sue them for damages and to make a complaint to the Serious Fraud office and to have their website removed. They then actually replied!!! They said that I had not sent a “sufficient cancellation” but as a “gesture of goodwill” would accept the outstanding payment and then cancel my membership. I replied with my previous response that we had no contract, I owed them no money and told them to cease and desist etc. Tonight they sent me the same email as they did 2 days ago and I have replied again with a similar message to all my messages to them. Their tone is a lot more polite now and all the threats have stopped and they gave me access to my profile which I duly deleted. They still want the 2nd subscription but haven”t mentioned the first one which was reversed. After 2 calls to my bank in the last week about the status of the charge to my credit card, my bank has emailed me tonight to say Be2″s bank has sent through a copy of my “documentation” which is basically Be2″s confirmation email with all my details and my bank has given me ten days to respond or they will have no option but to redebit me. Obviously they just looked at how proper and normal the email from Be2 looked and didn”t read my letter of complaint (again). I”ve since responded to the bank and I am sure once they re-read my letter and look at this website they will realise that this is a pretty big scam.
This complaint and/or review was posted on HolySmoke.org on 14:28 pm, March 05, 2020 (CST) and is a permanent record located at: https://www.holysmoke.org/scam/academic-singles/.
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