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“My daughters said online dating wasn’t good for me anymore, so I started looking for alternatives.” Aileen then came across Searchmate, a bespoke dating service which featured on the first series of Channel 4's The Undateables.

Last year, 7.1 million single Britons looked for a partner online, 800,000 more than in 2011, when, according to uk, there were 6.3 million.

But despite the significant increase in the number of daters, total revenue for the UK dating industry is falling, meaning firms are making less money per head.

Aileen was promised support from Searchmate’s highly experienced team of matchmakers, and a guaranteed minimum of 15 recommendations.

Online dating scams: new tricks that fleece victims of an average '£9,589' But in November last year, Aileen felt a growing sense of disappointment as five months had passed and she had yet to meet any men.

So in May last year Aileen stumped up £1,295 for membership.

It offered her “unlimited personal introductions” to men serious about finding a relationship.

Because of this it had suspended her account, even though she had not asked for this to happen.

Searchmate has now offered Aileen a full refund of £1,295.

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.

I didn’t want to put myself through all that.” The man, 54, from the North East, came across Elite Singles and thought it looked like a better bet for meeting someone more serious about finding a long-term partner.