Acquires - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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David Evans

Congrats to both teams.

Jane Davey

If this is true... then why the secrecy on MFO ?? Surely it would have been good manners for the ex-owners of the site to say thanks and goodbye... and also for the new owners to introduce themselves. There is an extremly loyal customer base on there (many from the beginning) and to upset them would be playing with fire.

MFO member


Well said Jane - a lot of disgusted mfoers on there just now - me included

Alpha*.....Former AF member.

So the MFO members can expect the same heavy handed 'thought policing'approach afforded to members of 'Anotherfriend',i.e suspension for discussing the sites policies on the message boards,omission of certain texts deemed unworthy of the site,and for their pictures to appear on any site which AF chooses to post them on? (and suspension for querieing same!) - read the small print,it's all there.


AF all. the members are seeing this heavy handed policing now, hundreds are joining fresh new FREE sites recently opened, they will LOSE their precious membership base literally overnite if this continues !!!


It has got very heavy handed as you put it Alpha - members leaving in droves

Jane Davey

It's not just the heavy handed way they are treating their customers but the lack of communication from the owners leading to mistrust,worries about their payments and bank details and accusations of mismanagement of their money. Seemingly now no-one can access their account details or cancel any bank mandates easily on their profile. When emails are sent to ascertain the situation they are not replied to. When members question this in public on the message boards they are deleted as it is considered to be criticising the administration.

Initially when the site was taken over by the new owners back in December a promise was made to all existing members that they would stay on their current price plan. The owners have renaged on this promise.

One free site on the past 2 days has had approx 230 members migrate over ( and more joining up). 30 x 230 is a hell of a lot of money to lose to what is now a dieing concern.

Surely the site needs its loyal customers to entice new members.

I expect one day to wake up and find the site has vanished.

Such a shame especially when there are many members who have been there from the beginning over 8 years ago.

Gary Woolton

Yes I agree with the heavihandedness and also that there are many disgruntled members leaving in droves

But here is the thing.... a 60% share in the market in Ireland does not make them the amateurs some have claimed. They are using tactics that worked for them elsewhere.

The members are in revolt but I think it is partly because they feel they have a stake in the site as well via their fees but they are not the owners.

The members also know the rules re: not discussing admin decisions. That was the same under the previous owners and as with the previous owners when the boards got unruly a zero tolerance approach was taken. At the moment each side is seeing the other as a challenge and who will blink first. The owners will win ultimately as more and more head for a ban whether they want to or not. If people openly flaunt another site as many have are they surprised they have been clamped down on?

For the record I will be leaving as well not because of the new owners, not because of the zero tolerance but because of the pricing policy. I recognise they are the owners and have the right to charge as they see fit. I also recognise that as a customer I have the right not to use that service but should I chose to do so then there are rules that need to be obeyed.

I'm sorry MFO members you don't own the bBC, you don't own Tesco or Lidl and you don't own MFO just because you give them money.

Enigma Code

Yes, but if Tesco's et al offer you a discount without end for loyal members then decide in the boardroom to withdraw it from a certain date and not tell the customers then when the customers find out they have to pay full price then the customers have a right to complain and take their custom elsewhere...

Having been in business myself for 15 years it is ingrained in you about keeping your customers... one unhappy customer have a louder impact on your business than a quiet happy one... Richard Branson will tell you that... so will the Original owners of M&S... that is the ethos of business as well as to make money... happy customers will return... as we have done for some of us 9 years.... unhappy customers will leave.... just like I will be doing when I have to pay the full fee which is nearly 5 times the amount I am paying now... that isn't an increase... that's extortion.

Jane Davey

A 60% share of a very small Market Gary !!! Do large websites like Match and Loopy love use these bullying tactics ?? No..they don't.

and no we don't own MFO. we understand that but feel cheated that our loyalty..of which you are one Gary has been cheated in such a rude and nasty way and counts fro nothing.

And as for discussing Admins decisions on the boards.. surely this wouldn't happen if they were transparant and actually had a dialogue with the people who are helping to line their bank accounts !!!!!!!!!!

Gary Woolton

I agree with both comments but I aslo understand that if I shop at Tesco (which I don't as I don't like them) that is what I do I shop there. That does not give me the right on how to run their business. That is up to Terence Learhy and the board.

One of the rudest yet most successful business is actually Ryanair. It's a very you take what you get or you hike it.

And that is the what the owners are doing. I'm not condoning what they are doing and you are right you have the right to complain but doing it the way that it is currently being done is playing into their hands. They want shot and you are helping them. Revolution comes from the inside out sometimes

As for price and for that matter Tesco, check your shopping bills over the past few years or so, or check your gas and electric bills. they have risen believe it or not quite alarmingly but we still use those services

It may not be you... but someone will use the services of MFO....

and 60% in any market, large or small is one hell of a percentage to have.


So if you now own makefriendsonline... how come its still registered in england and a guy call martin bysh is claiming he owns it.... these details were obtained from companies house and forwarded to the relevant authorities....

Lovelylynn (Lynn Morris)

I have been a member of MFO since 2004 and I am disgusted with the way they are treating their loyal customers, which at the end of the day, is what we are...customers! I was one of the lucky ones who managed to renew at the loyalty discount. They have gone back on everything they said on their original is disguting and immoral that the over 60s cant renew at the £9.99 on earth do the new owners think they can afford to pay more when they are on pensions...for a lot of people MFO is a lifeline. I think they should have a long hard look at their business ethics of lack of them cos it stinks!

Distressed MFOer

I'm one of those who trusted the public announcement which stated that loyalty bonuses would be honoured; it never occurred to me that the new owners would renege on this. Nor did I expect to spend 6 weeks trying desperately to renew but without success, since emails remain unanswered and there was no way of doing so on the site.

If the new owners took the time to READ the comments from the boards, the former lifeblood of the site, they would realise that the main concern is the complete lack of communication from the heirarchy. Yes, we know we are but members, but why on earth put an announcement up promising the earth then not follow up, retract or make any other announcement whatsover? Why allow hosts to remove the announcement on the basis that it is "no longer up to date"- the original announcement from the new site owner promised that fees would not go up "ever", it's disappointing to note that forever ended on Dec 31st 2009. It is patently obvious that a lot of distress has been caused. Had the members been kept informed a lot of this need not have happened. I dont care for the analagy with Tesco or other businesses of that nature- I could give other membership-based analagies with more relevance which DO keep their members informed of changes. Some even go so far as to ask our opinion!!

Rumours are now rife- the homepage invites people to sign up for free membership which makes no business sense to most. There is a general belief that the messageboards are to be gradually closed down. If that's the case- why not TELL us? Why allow speculation when a simple announcement of intent would suffice?

I feel the very header to this review says it all. "Grainne and Kevin have acquired the UK DATING site". Strange- many of us signed up for a friendship site, which is what we have enjoyed for many years. Yes, dates happened, even marriages, but for most of us it was what it said on the "tin"- the opportunity to MAKE FRIENDS ONLINE and I for one am deeply saddened at the current state of affairs.


cannot agree more faithful members of many years standing are leaving in droves to new sites which appreciate the "loyalty" of their members MFO is on the way out, oops here comes a strike or ban.

does this face look bovvred

Gary Woolton

Mke friends on Line is a UK regsitered company, the fact that the owners are Irish makes no difference.

Many UK companies are registered overseas.

Scarlet pimpernel

Martin opened the site 9 years ago, I bet he is disgusted with the way the new owners have destroyed it!

A Nony Mouse

I simply cannot understand why anyone would buy a business and change it in such a way that it will no longer generate any income for them.
They even advertise on the login page that there is no need to pay anything to email anyone. The boards are invisible to non-paying members, so no hook to pay up to be part of it.
It appears to me to be a systematic destruction process...but why?

A Nony Mouse


An absaloute joke .How you charge people so much and the restrict them and ban them from your site ..................
Your ship is sinking .........always said it would one day....................Stupid feckin strikes for dissagreeing with you .,They are adults not kids .PATHETIC!!!


Jane Davey

And this is the end result....... A very sad state of affairs.

''Actually, this isn't a message from admin, but from some of the Hosts. We've been hosting on this site for a number of years now. In that time, We've seen an awful lot of things on message boards that have no place on a friendship and dating site and had many personal comments aimed at us. Ultimately, they haven't mattered because we've loved the site, made friends here, met partners here and all the other enjoyments that other members have had. We agreed to stay on as Hosts to ease the transition of ownership when the site was recently sold. We've helped with the workload of the membership renewals and endeavoured to get as much information about the changes as possible. We've been routinely up until the early hours of the morning, carrying out a huge amount of unpaid work for the benefit of the members and for a site we have loved. That's not easy when we all hold down busy jobs in the outside world. Unfortunately, the undertakings to us that were initially made have not been carried out. Consultation, negotiation, and discussion were the three main parts of that. Our repeated requests for information have now been met by an absence of replies and empty promises to ring us. This puts us in a very difficult position as we, like everyone else, saw clearly the words on the announcements boards and were speechless when that particular undertaking of 'no price increase - ever!' was reneged upon. This doesn't sit well with the ethical standards which we have always endeavoured to conform to on this site. Since then, a far more Draconian regime has been instituted in relation to material being removed from the boards. Not by the Host group, but directly by the new administration of the site; removing material without communication or reference to the review framework which has served the site and membership fairly for years. They said nothing to online hosts; they bypassed the report system and just issued strikes. That is something we cannot condone. Consequently, We - as a substantial part of the Hosting team - have decided to now quit with immediate effect. This is not a site we wish to act as Hosts on. We wish you all every future happiness.''

original member

Remember Martin, Tina et al, were not innocent in the downfall of the site, they allowed hosts such as ean33 to use and abuse the position, went back on their decisions when banning people. The new owners are not right in what they are doing but neither was martin and the rest.


I personally couldn't care less what the new owners of MFO have done or plan to do in the future. I have been on MFO for 7 years and loved it. Now it means nothing because it isn't the website it's the people that frequent it that makes it worthwhile and most have moved on to 'the friendship site' anyway. So keep pushing the self destruct button owners of MFO and enjoy the new pickup joint you will end up with because I'm not arsed. I'm to busy having a laugh elsewhere hahaha

Teresa Kelly

I did not leave MFO because of the money side of it, but the fact that the new owners THEMSELVES put up a thread saying that the price for loyalty members would remain the same, they did not keep to their word, I refuse to be any part of a group where the owners don't have enough principles to be true to their word. I also have a long list of correspondence from all different people in admin, each person contradicting what the other had just said, seems the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing!



Can someone from either company comment on these accusations? Nice video of the banned comments.


WebDev Ltd the company behind AnotherFriend, what a joke and what a mistake they made with their new site, they moved all the data base to the new site but instead of usernames they used people's real names.

Jane Davey

Quick update... People are starting to take serious legal action againt the company... and guess what..winning and the owners are backing down !!! Small steps and all that !!! Vive la revolution !!!!

Communism is rife

Well, here we are, 7 March, and the Gestapo are still using their jackboots on members. Posts removed with no explanation, even though there was nothing offensive in them with the members being banned from even reading the boards, some members being 'struck off' the site for no reason - the list goes on. With their Irish site, AnotherFriend,the fact that it is based on one small country with a fairly small population and few major towns/cities makes it easy for members to get together. And I doubt that there are many true dating/friendship sites there so they have the monopoly. With MFO it covers from the very north of the UK to the most westerly tip. There are members from Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada etc so the message boards are a good way to cement friendships and some have even travelled to the UK for Meets.

Yesyou can join the site for free: So you can every other dating site in the world for free, but you can't join in chats etc in many of them unless you pay. The new owners have reversed logic on this - to match AnotherFriend. To even read the boards you have to pay - not good if you want to encourage new members as they can't see what it is they're paying for. But they have now opened up the site to all and sundry to send messages for nothing - so the women get mail from the African nations (20 yr olds) and no doubt the men get the Russian and those from the Far East. MFO always managed by way of limiting these people to 'winks' so keeping the place fairly safe. Now its just another third rate dating agency - but one of the most expensive. Stay well clear.

Past AF person

Get this everyone !! ... I used to be a Premium Member on AF Ireland (that means I was paying a fee)... AnotherFriend are so "heavy handed" and so 'unreal' that they sent a so-called "Warning" to my mail-box because in one of my member-to-member emails I simply asked a Standard Member, who had mailed me, were they going to an upcoming - (and get this, because it is just bizarre) - OFFICIAL ANOTHERFRIEND SOCIAL NIGHT WHICH WAS ADVERTISED ON THE WEBSITE FOR ALL MEMBERS!!! ... The "Warning" said that it is (and I quote) "FORBIDDEN" to try to arrange meetings with Standard Members and it could result in "THE CLOSURE" of my account !!
... AAAAND (get this also folks!!) - in this same email I had actually PROMOTED the damn thing telling the Standard Member that it would be a great night and that I had been at the last Social Night and it had be really enjoyable!!

So this brings to my mind a little joke (a touch of the wry Oirish wit, don't ya know)- Have you heard the one about the Irish Dating Site ??..... (grinnn).

Steer well clear of or any other Site that they own !


this site is a con i came off it a few months ago and i have just received a bank statement, only to find they are still taking money from me. so its off to the bank and then to the police

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