In our review of True.com, we've already warned people about joining. But that was a review, and in the spirit of reviewing we attempted to paint a balanced picture of that online dating site. That was before we saw this:
1. True.com Thinks That They Can Prosecute You If You are Married
You read this right.
Ahhh, but isn't the fine print something more...nuanced than that? It is. But there are two angles to this that we want you to be aware of.
1st Angle: Fine Print
In short, True.com doesn't want to be a hookup site for married people, similar to something like AshleyMadison.com.
Here is what True.com says in full, emphasis added by us:
If you are married and representing yourself as single, or if you are a convicted criminal, be aware that you could be guilty of fraud and subject to civil and criminal penalties under U.S. federal and state law. For example, Title 18, Section 1343 of the U.S. Code authorizes fines of up to $250,000 and jail sentences of up to five years for each offense. TRUE reserves the right to report violators to appropriate law enforcement authorities and seek prosecution or civil redress to the fullest extent of the law. If you are married or a convicted criminal, please close your browser.
2nd Angle: What Gives Them the Right?
So, even though the fine print is nuanced and might have a legal basis (more on that later), True.com still chooses to boil it down to this one, offensive statement, which we have copied directly from their site:
WARNING: MARRIED PEOPLE AND CRIMINALS WILL BE PROSECUTED
18 USC § 1343, which they dangle over users' heads like a club, is nothing more than the general wire-fraud statute, used for ages to prosecute thousands of cases of fraud over TV, radio, Internet, telegraph, and other electronic transmissions.
Oh, but wait! True got the statute entirely wrong.
The U.S. Justice Department's interpretation of 18 USC § 1343 is that it pertains to an attempt to "defraud another out of money." A married person going online to hookup with someone is not defrauding another of money.
True.com digs themselves in even deeper by having a so-called Safer Dating Guidelines page that perpetuates the lie even more:
We will shut down the account of any member who's discovered to be married – including those who are separated or have divorces pending.
The Dating Gurus find True.com's attempt at social engineering to be highly offensive and bad business.
2. Fake "Winks"
True.com sends out fake "winks" to potential members to sweeten the pot. The idea is that you'll see these attractive people "winking" at you, and you'll think of the site as a hotbed of hotties who are interested in you.
3. Duplicitous Billing and Cancellation Policies
True.com is expensive: about $50 per month. While this doesn't make True the most expensive dating site around (that honor goes to eHarmony), it's certainly one of the more expensive sites. At least with eHarmony you get a fairly good product. With True.com, you get fake members, fake winks, and angry fist-shaking of Biblical proportions. What fun.