An “A-List” OkCupid user alleges in a proposed class action lawsuit that he and similarly situated individuals routinely learn that “most if not all” of the ostensible users who “liked” their profiles on the online dating website have inactive or “dead” accounts.
What does the plaintiff say happened to him?
The plaintiff, who filed the 17-page complaint against OkCupid parent company Match Group, Inc. late last week in Illinois, alleges he and others with premium subscriptions were unlawfully enticed by the defendant into shelling out between $9.99 and $19.99 per month for a fraudulent service.
The plaintiff created a free OkCupid account in early December 2016, upon which the lawsuit says he immediately began receiving messages from other users who had supposedly liked his profile. To learn the identities of those who had like his account, however, the plaintiff was prompted to pay for OkCupid’s premium, or “A-List,” service. The plaintiff alleges that right after dolling out $44.99 for OkCupid’s A-List treatment, he knew something was amiss.
“Shortly thereafter, upon reviewing the profiles of individuals whose identities were previously hidden from free OkCupid users, [the plaintiff] discovered that most if not all of these people were associated with inactive or ‘dead’ accounts, making interaction or dating impossible,” the lawsuit reads.
OkCupid claims dead accounts were caused by “bugs”
The lawsuit claims that when OkCupid users complain to the company, they’re hit with a “uniform explanation” that the dead accounts are the result of software issues or bugs. After sending an email to the defendant on February 18, 2017 about his dead accounts problem, the plaintiff says he received the below message in response (emphasis ours):
“It does look like the reported Likes number was a bug on our end, that included Likes from accounts that have subsequently removed from OkCupid. Our developers are aware of the issue, and are working on a fix so this doesn’t happen going forward. It’s definitely not something we did on purpose, and I’m sorry to hear that this bug affected you at all.”
Predictably, the lawsuit contends that the above communication was merely a cookie-cutter cover up to disguise the defendant’s deceptive business practices.
“Upon information and belief, the above message was not so much an explanation as an effort to conceal the fraud perpetrated on [the plaintiff] and the class,” the complaint alleges. “At the very least, [the defendant] knew of the flaw in its programming but nonetheless collected premium payment from [the plaintiff] and the class, thereby cheating them out of the amounts they paid for the A-List service, and caused them other forms of damage alleged herein.”
Who does the case seek to cover?
The lawsuit seeks to certify a proposed class of individuals throughout the United States who paid Match Group for a premium OkCupid “A-List” service during such time a programming error, software malfunction, bug, or similar issue caused the user’s number of likes to exceed the actual number of persons who actually liked his or her profile.
Match Group, Inc. is a Dallas, Texas-based company that operates a portfolio of more than 45 online dating brands, including Match, Tinder, PlentyOfFish, BlackPeopleMeet, and OurTime.