CMA investigates online dating service for suspected breaches of consumer law
On 31 October 2017, the Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) launched an investigation into Venntro Media Group Limited (“Venntro”), an online dating service provider, in relation to suspected breaches of consumer law.
The investigation focused on issues including:
- How the online dating service is advertised and described to consumers.
- Privacy and use of consumers’ data.
- Subscription, cancellation and variation of contract terms.
In response to the investigation, Venntro agreed to provide certain undertakings in relation to the provision of its online dating services in the future including:
- Being clearer with customers about how it shares their personal data and ensuring that it allows members to control and delete their personal data more easily.
- Ensuring that claims about membership or usage of its websites are not misleading.
- Providing members with clear information about any automatic renewal of their subscription including information about how to prevent automatic renewal.
- Giving notice to members before the amount the member is required to pay is varied or there is a material change in the service to be provided.
The CMA has also carried out a review of the terms and conditions of other online dating service providers. As a result, warning letters have been sent to a further 14 online dating websites and app providers in relation to compliance with consumer law.
Online dating service suppliers are now being encouraged by the CMA to follow their official guidance on complying with consumer rights law, which has been published here.