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Dating service lawsuits

True was an online dating service that was founded in 2003 by entrepreneur Herb Vest. Its original name was True Beginnings.com, but the company felt that this name was too limiting, as company leadership wanted to expand the company into other markets one day.

In 2004 the domain name was purchased and the company changed its name.

True is known for its strict policies regarding background checks, which are used to ensure that members are not felons or married.

CEO Herb Vest has expressed a preference for pursuing such bills at the state level, saying "state legislatures are particularly vulnerable to influence from special interest groups because they are less in the media spotlight than the national Congress." True will cancel the account of anyone found to be married, separated or having a pending divorce without warning, and also reports them to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).Convicted felons will not only have their accounts canceled, but are reported to the IC3 and to local authorities.The company has even filed lawsuits against individuals for misrepresenting themselves on its site, under the premise that doing so is wire fraud.Most notably, it sued Robert Wells, a 66-year-old convicted felon and child molester from Walnut Creek, California.He had been able to avoid detection because California doesn't provide criminal data to businesses.Another True member discovered Wells' criminal history and alerted the company.Blogger David Evans is quoted in The New York Times as saying True's competitors were upset with True's sex-themed ad campaign, saying that "they worked hard to overcome the stigma of providing these services, [a]nd True comes in, grabs the lead in page views and drives up the cost of dating keywords on the search engines for everyone else." The New York Times and Online Dating Magazine have noted examples of customers having frustrating experiences trying to cancel their service, including the service failing to honor their cancellation request and charging them for several more months.True employs an optional, automatic "wink" to its members which seem to come from other members, without the latter's knowledge.The feature can be disabled at any time, and True maintains that this feature encourages communication between members.Still, it is the subject of much controversy, as members have no way of knowing whether the wink was automatic or manual, and thus creates confusion.Some people have asked in their profiles not to be winked at for this exact reason.

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