Safe Internet League asks Prosecutor General’s Office and MPs to inspect eDarling dating site

16
Sep

A note requesting the Prosecutor General’s Office, as well as First Deputy Head of Russian State Duma Committee on Information policy, information technologies and communications Andrey Tumanov, to review the activities of the eDarling international dating service (www.edarling.ru) has been issued by the Safe Internet League.

«Our Cyberguard activists have been receiving complaints of this website. The complaints dealt with former customers who, having had at some time in the past registered with the website and paid the membership fee via a bank card, didn’t use service since. Despite no longer providing them with services, the website carried on debiting their accounts, employing debt recovery firms when there were no longer any funds on the accounts. We think activities like these need to be investigated for possible fraud and extortion» commented Safe Internet League Chairman of the Board Denis Davydov.

In particular, in 2013 a woman named Alisa Belousova registered at eDarling and paid a fee of 2,500 Roubles (with her credit card). Despite ceasing to use the website’s services, in 2014 she nevertheless received a message from is administration informing her that there is an outstanding dept to her name of 2,990 Roubles. The website, it turned out, has unilaterally prolongated their contract with Ms Belousova and tried to claim the sum with her bank (which, the card being inactive, it failed to do). The website’s customer support spokesperson further informed the woman that her case was forwarded to a debt recovery agency, which later began harassing Ms Belousova with calls and letters.
To terminate the contract, as the dating agency personnel explained to her, Ms Belousova had had to inform, in written form, the agency a fortnight before it was due to expire and wait for a confirmation. Despite the procedure outlined, the woman claims, the agency employs all manner of tricks to prevent the customer from receiving the confirmation (citing technical glitches, etc.) so that they would still be hold indebted.

«On the one hand, there are the terms of the user agreement binding upon eDarling customers. On the other hand, the service provider cannot demand payments for services customers did not use. It is important to look into this situation, for the purpose of which we have contacted the Prosecutor General’s Office and the MPs» explained Mr Davydov. Acting on the communication, the MP Andrey Tumanov has already put a parliamentary question to Roskomnadzor.