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But despite the significant increase in the number of daters, total revenue for the UK dating industry is falling, meaning firms are making less money per head.In the two years between 20 alone, revenue dropped by £9m from £168m to £159m.In the meantime, she contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau, which provided some information on her consumer rights.Searchmate has disputed Aileen’s claims and said it had not received any correspondence from her after the letter was sent in November.Searchmate offered to upgrade Aileen to its “Platinum” membership, a service via which customers are assigned their very own matchmaker who will proactively look for potential matches outside Searchmate’s client base.
So in May last year Aileen stumped up £1,295 for membership.
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.
It promises “affluent, educated men and women between the ages of 30 and 55, who are all looking for a long-term commitment.” It charges £180 a year for membership.
“Getting sucked into this made me feel really stupid,” Aileen said.
“My daughters said online dating wasn’t good for me anymore, so I started looking for alternatives.” Aileen then came across Searchmate, a bespoke dating service which featured on the first series of Channel 4's The Undateables.