You came across an offer for a free trial membership to the Internet dating site Fling.com and, after checking out the site, decided to sign up after being drawn in by scores of young local beauties looking for "no strings attached" fun. However, following a number of queries that resulted in responses directing you to other pay sites--as well as finding your in-box flooded with spam--you realised the site wasn't what it presented itself as and decided to bail. But with no icon or instructions to cancel your membership, how do you escape from the Internet trap?
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Computer with Internet access
- Postage stamps
Sign on to Fling.com and click on "My Account" in the upper right-hand corner of the page. A drop-down menu will appear.
Click "Profile Settings" to reveal a page of three options. Check the box next to the third option, "Make My Profile Inactive," and click "Save Changes." Doing so won't cancel your membership, but it will make your profile invisible to anyone else who visits the site.
Click "Help" in the "Profile Settings" drop-down menu, which will reveal a list of options on the left side of the page. Click "Contact Customer Service," which is the last entry in the list. A message form will appear.
Click the box that reads, "Select a Reason" to reveal a drop-down menu. Select "Other."
Tell Fling you want your trial membership cancelled immediately by typing your request in the text box. Don't click "Send" just yet.
Select the text you've just written by holding down your left mouse button and moving your cursor over the body of the message. Right-click the highlighted text and select "Copy" from the drop-down menu, or press "Ctrl-C" on your keyboard to copy the message.
Paste the message into a word processing program by clicking the program's "Paste" icon or by pressing "Ctrl-V" on your keyboard. Make a note of the date and save the document for your records.
Return to the website and click "Send." If your account is still active a week later, go on to the next section.
Write a letter to Fling's corporate office, Global Personals. Mention the date you originally tried to cancel your membership, and e-mail a copy of the letter to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Make sure you include a "cc" to the ICCC at the end of your letter so Global Personals knows you mean business. Even though it's not illegal to make cancelling a membership difficult, the fact that the ICCC is run in part by the FBI might be enough to get Global Personals to take action. Global Personals' address is 930 Washington Ave., Suite 230, Miami Beach, FL, 33139.
Call Global Personals and demand to speak to someone who can cancel your account. Be forceful; if you're told the person who can help you is unavailable, ask for that person's supervisor. Get the names of everyone you speak to and make notes about what each of them say. If your account remains active after a few days, don't waste time dealing with the same person again--call back and ask for his or her supervisor. The phone number for Global Personals is 305-531-0216.
Write to Fling's custodian of records, who is in charge of making sure all ads comply with child pornography laws. Tell him you're the parent of the person pictured in your ad, which violates Federal Law 18 U.S.C. 2257 because he or she is under 18 years old. Threaten to report the company to the ICCC if the membership isn't cancelled immediately. Send your letter to Fling's custodian of records in care of Fling.com LLC, 225 7th Street, Third Floor, Miami Beach, FL, 33139.
Change your e-mail address so Fling can no longer flood your in box with junk mail or share your information with other companies that do the same. While this is a last-resort measure, it's an absolute way to completely sever your ties with the website.
Visit an Internet watchdog site like the Ripoff Report or the Complaints Board, both of which are have had numerous complaints about Fling.com.
Post your experience with Fling to help prevent others from falling into the same trap.
Visit the message board section of a dating website you believe to be reputable and share your issues with Fling there as well. This can help to discourage others from signing up to Fling.
Tips and warnings
- While fibbing about your age to Fling's custodian of records might prompt the company to take action on your request, doing so to a government-run agency like the Internet Crime Complaint Center could be considered fraud and is not recommended.
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