Customer Retention A High Stakes Game

Reuters: is accused in a federal lawsuit of goading members into renewing their subscriptions through bogus romantic e-mails sent out by company employees.
The Match lawsuit was filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by plaintiff Matthew Evans, who contends he went out with a woman he met through the site who turned out to be nothing more than “date bait” working for the company.
“This is a grossly fraudulent practice that is engaged in,” said H. Scott Leviant, a lawyer at Los Angeles law firm Arias, Ozzello & Gignac LLP, which brought the suit.
Leviant said his client found out about the alleged scam after the woman he dated confessed she was employed by Match. The lawsuit also claims the company violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, a law best known for being used in prosecuting organized crime.
The company said it does not comment on pending litigation. But Match spokeswoman Kristin Kelly said the company “absolutely does not” employ people to go on dates with subscribers or to send members misleading e-mails professing romantic interest.
U.S. consumers spent $245.2 million on online personals and dating services in the first half of 2005, up 7.6 percent from a year earlier, according to the Online Publishers Association. That’s a slower growth rate compared with several years ago.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.