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Online Dating: What can I expect from my dating site

In recent years, the online dating industry has exploded and nowadays there are literally thousands of dating sites to choose from. These sites differ greatly from each other in their offerings and itís not hard to see how one could get confused when coming to choose between them. One point of contention when using sites is what exactly can the user expect the site to provide in terms of service, support etc. While there are no clearly defined guidelines for what is expected of a dating site, there are some general industry standards which are adhered to by reputable sites. Here are a few things you can expect from a good dating site, as well as a few things that would not be included in the service. Things to be expected:

1. Reliability When using a site, itís not unreasonable to expect it to run smoothly and efficiently and allow you to make use of the features it advertises. This is especially true if you have paid for the services, but is also a reasonable expectation even if you are using a free site.

2. Privacy policy/terms and conditions Never trust a site that does not advertise its terms and conditions and privacy policy openly. These are usually available as links from the main page or the about page of the site, sometimes at the bottom of the page. Although often lengthy and boring, these documents are an important read if you want to know exactly what it is you are agreeing to when you sign up to the site.

3. Problem resolution Dating sites are designed to be a safe and secure environment for people to meet. While sometimes itís impossible for the site to weed out every dodgy person immediately, itís perfectly reasonable to expect the moderators of the site to respond quickly to complaints voiced by users and for offensive users to be removed from the site.

4. Support for issues to do with the site If you have problems using any of the features on a site, you can expect help and support from the site staff. This includes explanations of anything from the chat system to how to contact people or how to upload a photo. Moat sites offer email support and

5. Free search before payment Allowing you to ďtry before you buyĒ is pretty much industry standard. Most sites wonít expect you to put your credit card details in before running a quick search on the site. Itís always best to have a look around a site to see whether it has any members and whether any of those look like the kind of people you want to talk to. If a site requires you to pay first, be suspicious: it may well be a scam. What canít I expect from a site: 1. 100% fault free Dating sites are not as easy to maintain as any of us would like. As a result, occasional downtime or bugs are inevitable. While itís fair to accept a decent level of service (see above), do take into account that sometimes mistakes do happen. The fact that a site is big and successful doesnít necessarily mean it will run properly 100% of the time. As a rule, a few bugs here and there and the occasional few hours downtime are to be expected but if a site is down for days, youíre probably better off going elsewhere unless the situation improves drastically. 2. Instant results Even online dating takes time and even the best sites may not deliver the results you want straight away. Even if a site looks disappointing at first glance, it may still turn out to be a winner if you give it a bit of time. Spending a few weeks on a site should be enough to tell you whether itís the right site for you. If, after that, you are still not convinced, at least youí 3. Support for issues not to do with the site Any good dating site will have a customer service team who will readily help you with any issues relating to the site itself. They are less likely to help you with issues relating to your own computer or Internet service and your ability to use them. Some may still do, but in general, the support teams who work for dating site companies, expect the users to have a basic level of Internet/computer knowledge. 4. Being able to deal with offensive things that happened off the site The people who moderate dating site only have jurisdiction over what happens on their site. They cannot, for example, act on the basis of emails sent off site, phone calls etc. The only thing they can do is cooperate with the police in cases where there is a need for further information when investigating a case. It is common practice for Internet scammers to try and lure people away from a dating site and into private conversations offsite as soon as possible, exactly for that reason. 5. Getting involved in personal relationships (telling you if a person has read your messages or not) It is impossible for site teams to get involved in what happens between users on the site unless the issue is someone is being offensive. They couldnít, for example, tell you whether someone has read your messages if that feature is not a standard feature on the site. They will also not be able to speak to another user on your behalf.


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