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.
He was also impressed with the advertised fact that 18,000 new members were registering with the site every week – giving the impression that he’d be spoilt for choice of potential dates.
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.
Searchmate had so far suggested four – two of whom she’d already seen on rival site Plentyoffish.com, a free site, and who had both already declined to date her.
In November she received a letter from a Searchmate adviser saying that her membership was “not progressing as expected”.
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.
He claimed to be a high flier in a major American toy firm, but then managed to convince her to give him £200 for medical treatment, encouraging her to take out credit cards.