Across the room dating agency

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When Telegraph Money spoke to one of Searchmate’s agents, we were told matchmakers would go to “great lengths” to find matches for singles, for example putting up posters in local sailing clubs (if the client listed sailing as a hobby), or even posting advertisements in newspapers. She said she sent several emails to Searchmate’s agents since November but did not hear back.

In the meantime, she contacted the Citizens Advice Bureau, which provided some information on her consumer rights.

They were good-looking women in his local area with similar interests – world travel, theatre and cooking.

He didn’t hesitate to pay the £180 for 12 months’ membership as pretty much everyone he’d seen so far he would have gone on a date with, so there seemed to be a lot of potential for meeting someone special.

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This was because they were “registered” and not “paying” members.

The site explained that this was down to most of the gentlemen who were active within her area “going on hold”, meaning they could no longer be contacted.

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.

When the man complained to Elite Singles, it refunded him without a fuss, as it has a 14-day refund policy.

When contacted by Telegraph Money, Elite Singles admitted that disappointment over the number of paying members was a “very common” complaint.

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