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Help | ABIA Code of Practice

ABIA Code of Practice for Online Dating Sites (Draft October 2012)


Loveandfriends Ltd is a member of the Association of British Introduction Agencies (ABIA) - which is the long established association for both traditional and online dating sites in the UK.

Loveandfriends adheres to the ABIA Code of Practice for Online Dating which is currently in draft form and is due to be officially launched early in 2013. A draft is contained below - we will update this page as soon as the Code of Practice is officially launched:

As we operate a "Dating Network" of affiliate partner sites we also adhere to the best practice guidelines for running shared/linked databases.

 

CODE OF PRACTICE FOR ON-LINE INTRODUCTION SERVICE PROVIDERS

Definitions

ABIA Association of British Introduction Agencies
ABIA Website www.abia.org.uk
User A website user with no membership
COP Code of Practice
Member A website user with membership
OISPAn Online Introduction Service Provider bound by this COP

Aims

1. The aims of this COP are: to give Users and Members of online introduction services a standard against which to measure the services offered and supplied, and to create an industry performance standard to which reputable OISPs may aspire.

ABIA Membership

2. Any online service provider wishing to subscribe to this COP will pay an annual subscription fee as stipulated on the ABIA Website.

3. The OISP must clearly state on its home page that it adheres to the COP.

4. The OISP must provide easily accessible links to the ABIA Website and the COP on its home page. A statement that the OISP adheres to this COP must appear prominently on the OISPís home page together with a clearly visible ABIA logo providing a hyperlink to the ABIA Website.

5. The OISP will provide the ABIA with: a registered company name, a registered company number, a registered business address, a business telephone number (not a mobile number), and an email address. This information will not be passed on to any third party without the express consent of the OISP.

THE CODE OF PRACTICE

Legal Compliance

6. The OISP must comply with all legal requirements of their business under the law of England and Wales, including: Data Protection legislation, E-Commerce legislation, Companies Act and related legislation, and Advertising Standards legislation.

Membership

7. The OISP must provide Members and Users with clear and easily accessible information about the site. This includes: who owns the OISP, where the OISP is based, a regularly monitored active contact email address, terms and conditions, privacy information, data protection information, and the criteria against which potential Members are assessed.

8. The OISP must clearly specify before any User or Member can make a payment:
  a. the services offered for the payment, the duration of any services offered for the payment,
  b. the duration of any subscription period resulting from the payment, and
  c. whether the subscription period is automatically renewed or not, any membership requirements.

9. Members and Users must be provided with clear information about the different options for membership and how to upgrade or cancel.

10. Any payment made by a User or any new subscription or change in membership made by a Member will be immediately confirmed by email.

11. If an OISP offers free registration or suggests a free service, it must clearly state whether the free offer is for a limited time only. If the free service is for a limited time only, the OISP must not suggest that it is permanent. The OISP must clearly state where any charges apply.

12. Members and Users should be able to easily access information on the OISPís website setting out: what type of membership they hold, what subscription rates are applicable to their membership, when any payment is due to be taken, and how to cancel their membership.

13. OISPs must clearly state, in an easily accessible location of the OISPís site, their right to terminate membership without giving a reason.

14.Members must be able to cancel memberships and/or subscriptions by sending an email to the site administrators, or by clicking on a part of the site which is easily accessible and within a reasonable number of clickthroughs from the home page.

15. If a Member wishes to cancel their membership, they must not be required to give more than 7 daysí notice. Cancellations must be immediately confirmed by email.

16. If a Memberís information is stored on the OISPís site after cancellation, the Member must be informed of this fact. Members must be able to request the removal of all information visible to Users and Members of the OISPís site, and any mailing list or communication policy from the site with 7 daysí notice.

17. All websites must refer to a refund policy in their Terms and Conditions. All refund policies must be fair and reasonable. If a Member pays for a service in advance, there is no entitlement to receive a refund once they have started using the service and have subsequently changed their mind.

18. OISPs must ensure that any figure used when quoting Member, User, or other website data is true and accurate.

19. Users and Members should be warned about the risks of internet dating. The OISP must have easily accessible safety information providing advice and guidance.

20. The OISP must provide Users and Members with easily accessible guidance on what constitutes acceptable behaviour under the OISPís terms and conditions.

21. The OISP must provide a means for Users and Members to correct inaccurate data and should allow clients to modify their personal profiles and preferences. The OISP retains the right not to publish any material it judges to be distasteful or misleading.

Member Complaints

22. The OISP must have an easily accessible, fair, and effective online complaints procedure.

23. Emails regarding complaints must be replied to within a 72-hour period. In the event that a solution cannot be provided within this period, the OISP must send an email to the Member setting out the reasons for the delay, and a reasonable time frame for the OISP to respond in full.

24. Members should be easily be able to report abuse by other members and these reports should be acted on promptly, appropriately, and responsibly by the OISP.

OISP Requirements

25. Unsolicited automated messages sent between Members are a breach of this COP. If emails or other forms of communication can be sent between Members, they must be genuine. The Member from whose account the communication has been sent must be fully aware of having sent this communication.

26. The OISP must have policies, systems and facilities to prevent misuse of their services. Profiles of Members should be individually checked and proper measures must be taken to detect fraudulent or misleading profiles and to remove them from the site as soon as possible. All Member profiles should be created by or on behalf of genuine Users. No OISP should allow Users to create profiles designed to mislead or harm other members.

27. Information disclosed about individual Users or Members must not include telephone numbers, home addresses, or e-mail addresses unless prior express consent has been obtained from the User or Member in question.

28. If an OISP ceases to trade, it must not pass any details of any User or Member to another OISP unless prior express consent has been obtained from the User or Member in question.

COP Complaints and Monitoring

29. The OISP must display an easily accessible proforma e-mail hyperlink to the ABIA contact page. Users and Members are able to make complaints relating to the OISP and its obligations under the COP in confidence via this page. The ABIA reserves the right to further investigate individual complaints and require the OISP to take further steps.

30. If the complaint cannot be settled by this means, the parties involved are encouraged to seek independent mediation, arbitration, or other dispute resolution.

31. The ABIA will periodically monitor the contents of the OISPís website. Any OISP in breach of the COP will be invited to rectify shortcomings within 10 working days.

Termination

32. If the OISP does not comply with the COP, or any request made by the ABIA pursuant to this COP, the OISPís membership of the ABIA will be withdrawn and a statement to this effect will be published on the ABIA Website citing reasons for the termination of the OISPís membership. ABIA subscription fees are non-refundable upon termination.

33. Any terminated OISP must remove the ABIA logo, links, and any reference to the ABIA or the COP within 5 working days.

34. Any terminated OISP must remove the ABIA logo, links, and any reference to the ABIA or the COP within 5 working days.

35.We have also submitted to the ABIA our suggested guidelines for "Whitelabelling, Shared and Linked Databases" - which we hope the ABIA will adopt as a standard in 2013 for all ABIA online dating agencies. Crucial to this is the publication of our Databases and Sites List.



This website or service is provided "as is" and may contain links or information to or from other members or third parties. Any use of this website or service is at your own risk and constitutes acceptance of our privacy policy ,copyright policy and terms and conditions. This site is operated in partnership with Loveandfriends Ltd, Registered Office 46 Manchester Street London W1U 7LS. Loveandfriends Ltd is 100% committed to fair, genuine, non adult/casual and scammer/spammer free dating. Loveandfriends Ltd adheres to the Guidelines for Shared and Linked Databases and the UK Data Protection Act 1998.