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ALT.com / Bait and switch!

445 Sherman AvePalo Alto, CA, United States Review updated:
4.45
Contact information:

Alt.com standard (free) members are constantly encouraged to 'update' their membership by taking out a subscription. If you click on a members picture or name you are taken to an upgrade page with the members thumbnail, 'handle' age and area. However they have now changed this page so it no longer includes previously displayed information that told you when last that member signed into their account.

The have deliberately withheld this information now so potential customers are unaware that an account may be inactive until after they pay for a subscription to contact that person. As Alt and other various.inc sites are full of inactive accounts this is poor business practice and I suggest anyone caught by it demand an immediate and full refund.

Bait and Switch.

Ever time a Standard (free) member signs in to Alt and other Various.inc dating sites they are offered the opportunity to purchase 'Gold' or 'Silver' membership subscription packages. I particular they tell customers that 'Gold' will allow them to; Be the FIRST to contact new members, and they tell silver they can; Contact new members. In actual fact they can only contact new members who have also taken out a subscription. They fail to mention that new standard (free) members who form the vast majority are unable to view contacts made to them within their first 50 days of membership. As standard members mails are only held on record 30 days any lost sent is lost before it can be read.

On contacting customer support about this I was advised that they would be able to read and reply to my contact if I purchased 'Standard contacts' (a service only described as allowing standard members to read your profile and INITIATE contact). So they ask you to pay to contact new members yet when you do so they then tell you need to pay for an extra service to enable these new members to actually see the contact. Nowhere in the advertising or in the help pages of the site is this explained, this is all kept from the prospective customer until they have their money.

This is Bait and Switch.
Va
0

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Vi
  12th of Jun, 2008
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
I did call AT&T to let them know my phone don't have tone. I piked up the phone and show me; the line is in use; phone off hook. I am tired to call them because I did called them two times and they told me; didn't find any problem. I have the same problems in each day and I can't use the phone and nobody can call me. Thanks. Have a nice day. My phone number is ;678-376-3566
Ju
  20th of Jun, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have been tracking and their patterns. I am surprised nobody has begun a class action law suit against them. These types usually bank on people not wanting others to know of their secrets. The best way is to document everything. But this will only happen when you realized you have placed your money in the wrong place. Yes they do have and provide a service in more than one website. But it is the inability to verify if many of the people are for real. The best thing is to think with your mind, reason before making any decision and then if you have a legitimate complaint then follow the proper protocol documenting everything. But remember do not complain unless you really have a problem and then attempt to handle informally through the provider.
If
  15th of Jul, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I was foolish enough to have a membership there. I was looking for kinky women. What I got was a truckload of ugly transvestites throwing themselves at me. It was awful. I would politely tell them I wasn't interested in guys dressed up as women, but real women, I would get endlessly harassed by them. They'd go on my profile and "wink" or "flirt". They'd bug me in chat rooms. I'd get hit on in IM. One followed me around from room to room. Most were 50 years old or more, married and really, really unattractive.

Another technique they use that's bait and switch is when your account is a standard membership, they show you all these different pictures of people online. It looks like you have a whole lot more prospects. When you upgrade, then your distance preference kicks in. All of a sudden you're seeing the same old profiles again. People you contacted who blew you off or never got back to you.

I'm surprised someone like the FTC or the California State Government doesn't go in and clean them up. I get a sense Penthouse is regretting having bought them.
Mw
  20th of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I too have been ripped off by this company, I had even sighned up for the "GOLD" membership yet everytime i tried to log on all i got was another advertisement to upgrasde my membership. Also i get these notices that someone using a female name wants to contact me and to log on now when i did they asked that i upgrade my membership. I feel that ive been ripped off for $200 plus dollars and recieved squat. If there is any class action suite filed please contact me . Michael Wolf (760) 681-1790 or e-mail wolfmichael52187@yahoo.com.thank you for any assistance
Br
  10th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

ALT.com - They are using my email address for what appears to be as a relay center i checked out there site but did not sign up for membership
710 1/2 IOWA ST 46203
INDPLS
Indiana
United States

I WAS CHECKING MY EMAIL AND FOUND A MESSAGE TO SOME ONE I DO NOT KNOW IT WAS SENT BY SOMEONE ELSE . I CLICKED ON THE SENDERS EMAIL ADDRESS AND IT WENT TO ALT.COM I HAVE TRIED TO REMOVE MYSELF FROM THERE LIST TO NO AVAIL WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS
Ds
  20th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
You guys mostly seem to be complaining about the fact that you failed to pull any of the women local to you.

The trick with all these dating sites is to hang out in the chatrooms. You'll only look like a loser trolling the profiles.

I met some cool people on alt, and I even got the kinky sex I was looking for - yes, in real life. It can happen.
Ja
  22nd of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
Very scammy site here as well. Signed for a year with 6 months bonus for free on top. When already paid they said that there were conditions for the 6 months bonus, which I wasn't told in the first place. Rubbish site.
Mi
  28th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
They're sneaky. I've been on there nearly a year. When it's time for renewal they have a teeny box that they've already ticked for you. (I turn Auto-Renewal Off). Next to the box it says, in very small print, "Turn On My Auto-Renew".

Some members have complained that they've taken their money when they didn't want them to, but I'd assume that's why, unless there's more sinister methods at work.

I'm on there more to share my thoughts on the DS lifestyle and the guys are thankful I'm not a pro-domme or webcam girl. It's great fun, when the Messenger works (!). You have to avoid a lot of the sleazoids though.

Also I recently got my profile re-written (!) without permission which made me VERY angry. I had lots of witty stuff on there, and said in detail what I was looking for. I also had a story which took me ages to write.Worried it may have gotten hacked somehow, and maybe even my Credit Card details stolen!! Maybe I'm overreacting there. Still awaiting a reply from Alt.

It doesn't help that their own-site Instant Messenger was buggy for months. I'm contemplating leaving now.
Mi
  28th of Oct, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I should point out that the Alt Instant Messenger is the ONLY way for Standard (ie, free) members to communicate with others.

When the Instant Messenger wasn't working properly (the HTML version anyway, Vista doesn't like the "newer" version) I couldn't chat to anyone, so relied on emails as I was a paid member.

I had to email a few times until they eventually admitted it was a widespread problem. Maybe it encouraged some to cough up, though I wouldn't be surprised if others gave up and deleted accounts.
Ba
  11th of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I agree whole heartedly, as a silver member I would never recommended this to anyone. This place is one hell of a joke!!!
Wr
  12th of Mar, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Does anyone no the phone number to Alt.com. i got a tree month silver membership and after 30 days the bumped me down to a standard member, they wont email me back and cant find the number anywhere?????? text me the number pleae 720 628 5081
Na
  9th of Dec, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Is there anywhere else we can go to live a little? Anywhere REAL? I have a free membership on there but get no kink just sleeze.
Ef
  28th of Sep, 2012
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
Ef
  28th of Sep, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Alt.com is part of the FFN network. I've had significant issues with this company for many years. Rather than detail all of the issues, I thought I'd share with you some advice on how to deal with complaints. Firstly some facts.
1) There is no customer service. I have 15 years worth of emails logged that proves this. Your complaint will never be addressed through their stated process.
2) Staff are shared resources across many online businesses. It;s a very low cost business and their a no KPIs for staff that are geared towards Customer service.
3) The culture cannot be changed, The lack of customer service stems from middle to senior execs in the company that have been with the company for so long, that they don't know any other way and are blinded to any cultural change.
4) They will never call you. Ever. I've beem trying to get them to call me for 15 years to address my concerns.
Here are some pointers to influence FFN to resolve your issues.
1)LOG everything. Only use Email so you have an Audit trail. Do not use the online webform means of contacting them.
2) If your issue involves unauthorised recurring charges, and ALT.COM are not listening, email your bank or financial institution and have the charges reversed. If you choose to call your bank, make sure you record the call, Emailing is better as you have an Audit trail. This was a major issues for me for years. Your bank will always reverse it.
Advise Alt.com of your actions, and ask them to confirm that the issue is over, and that you can continue using your payment method as you require. They have a culture of banning people who reverse payments that have been fraudulent from ALT.Com. Once again this is a cultural issue of FFN never admitting any liability, or billing error.
If your still not having your issue addressed, my advice is as follows.
A) Find the top 3 institutional shareholders of FFN and email them with a text file of your correspondence. If you word your email politely, and your FFN emails confirm a lack of customer service, then the shareholder will move quickly to contact ffn. Any good investor will always be on the paying customers side.
B) Update your profile on Alt.com requesting everyone to send a message to ffn to resolve your issue.
C) Send a message to each FFN director and senior executive via Facebook or Linkedin asking them to adress your issue.

Hope this helps
Ma
  1st of May, 2013
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
The site is for ugly gay cross dressers only
Da
  12th of Jun, 2013
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
As many of you know alt.com is an affiliate of the ffn network. There's another major problem that I feel someone should address because it seems to me its illegal at best. I found that ffn is creating fake acct profiles of women to attract new members. I know this because I live in a very small town. The women that they say were members in my town I know for a fact don't exist because believe me if some of these women really lived in my town I would have said forget the website and introduced myself in person.
These websites need to be held accountable for their actions since they are making tons of money taken from hard working people who deserve to get what they paid for. This is America isn't it?
W1
  29th of Jul, 2013
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I was urged to renew my Gold membership before it expired. The maximum renewal period available was 6 months. As soon as my membership lapsed, I was offered an 18 month renewal at only a slightly higher cost!

And the very day my sub expired, I received THREE "emails" from members expressing interest in me - all sent within 15 minutes! What an extraordinary coincidence. In the UK, this is called fraud.
Da
  29th of Jul, 2013
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Oh there relentless. I cancelled my membership and turned all my email settings to off and Im still getting sent offers to renew my membership. As if. Plus I now know some of their ads are fake. That site really needs to be looked at hars by the FCC. Its a shame too because it did used to be a fun site and they screwed it all up..
Ji
  1st of Oct, 2013
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Alt .com is the same company as FriendsFinder. com and it is the same management team that is reposnible for the misleading and fraudulent marketing practices. In particular they claim that you can use search function to search for matching people.
Here is how their search works. You tell it you want people in radius of 20 miles. So you expect few people. What you get is you get people from 400 miles away so they can fluff up their results. Frequenty the people who are supposed to be from neighboring cities are from out of state and occasionally Canada and Mexico. Some of the profile look like they are generad by writers. For 4 weeks I am talking with Margie Lyn P. and the stupid person is telling me to remove cookies (which I have done just so I can continue my argument) which of course does nothing for fixing their search function. So if their search function does not work on something this simple you can imagine how useless that is. Here are some phone numbers you can try to tell them what you think: all are 408 and they are in Sunnyvale 745 5400, 470 3930, 543 0024, 702 1040. Unfortunately, the ods are you will get an idiot on the phone who will tell you to remove cookies.
To
  30th of May, 2014
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
As soon as I signed up on ALT.COM I started to get loads of spam sent to the unique address I gave them.

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910 E. Hamilton Ave. Suite 600
Campbell
CA
United States - 95008
+1 408 702 1033
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