June 9, 2009 / 7:09 PM / 11 years ago

NY man sues dating website Match.com for deception

* Suit says site causes “humiliation and disappointment”

* Match.com says suit lacks merit, will defend vigorously

NEW YORK, June 9 (Reuters) - A New York man sued dating website Match.com on Tuesday for misleading members by posting profiles of prospective dates who are unable to respond to any interest in them because they do not have a paid subscription.

Sean McGinn, of Brooklyn, who filed the lawsuit in New York federal court, accused Match.com of causing “humiliation and disappointment” for some members who feel rejected when their attempt to contact a prospective date gets no reply.

McGinn wants Match.com to stop “its deceptive practices” and demands unspecified damages.

People can create a Match.com profile for others to see and search the database of prospective dates for free, but to be able contact someone of interest or respond there are fees, ranging from $39.99 for one month to $19.99 a month for six months.

The lawsuit said that “despite the emotional vulnerability inherent in the dating process, fraught as it is with fear of rejection and anxiety, Match defrauds the consumer of his/her time, labor, and emotional investment” by not telling them that someone they are contacting does not have a subscription.

“Because the writer has no way of knowing this, he or she may experience profound personal anguish, suffering which is easily preventable by Match,” the lawsuit said.

Match.com, which is owned by Barry Diller’s Internet media company IAC/InterActiveCorp IACI.O, is still reviewing the complaint, but said “we believe this lawsuit is without merit and we will defend it vigorously.”

“On any given day, upon information and belief, many thousands of members log into the Match site hoping to find someone special,” the lawsuit said. “At any given time, a significant percentage of the emails a member sends cannot be opened, read or responded to by the recipient.”

Match.com’s website it has had more than 100 million members since 2000, offers services in 24 countries and territories and hosts sites in 15 languages. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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