‘No More Friggin’ Adverts’: Faceparty Goes Premium-Only

44 Comments

Irreverent adult-oriented social network Faceparty is shifting strategy to rely solely on its premium SMS income after ditching all ad support to return to its “naughty” roots. Looking for, let’s call it, a “date”, members of the eight-year-old community, pay £1.50 per time via their mobile bill to send web messages to potential mates.

That has long been accompanied by display ads but, according to a statement posted by admins: “We used to be naughty to the hilt and get away with all sorts of mischief. Our advertisers gradually demanded change… after change… after change to our website, making it impossible for us to say words like ‘t**s’. All of a sudden we realise we’d stumbled onto this hideously ugly path, and before we knew it we ended up in corporate wh***sville.”

Used by 16-24s, Faceparty had offered targeted social advertising. But the audience is declining – whilst its UK monthly uniques rose from a modest 1.576 million in February 2007 to 1.904 million three months later, they have since slid back to 1.223 million, according to data given to paidContent:UK by comScore (NSDQ: SCOR), and international traffic shows the same trend. Last audited ABCe data gave it 5.1 million uniques in March 2005, though this is measured differently.

The site admits: “Without ads, we won’t have as much spare cash to spend on staff etc, so you guys are gonna have to help us out – if we all chip together we can make this site so cool.” More detail via NMA – Faceparty is cutting 14 of its 18 staff, including commercial director Matt Nash and sales manager Lorna Boyle, who had moved from ad network 24/7 RealMedia in 2006. Faceparty is a specific beast – its users focused specifically on meeting and flirting with each other. A couple of years back, the site inked a short-term music deal with Sony BMG.

Rather bucking the trend toward ad-supported free services, upstart Badoo is now trying the premium-only mobile payments route, too – but it has funding behind it.

44 Comments

gaynor

yes, my profile got the boot too, after being a member for the past 3 years i assumed it was because i was 'to old' and according to Faceparty they didn't want older people using the site as a free 'dating site'.. errmm hello? but theres plenty of free dating sites to use other than Faceparty! Also faceparty says :- ' New government legislation means we need to check older users on the sex offenders list.' .. so younger people can't be sex offenders????? Faceparty also state:- 'Accounts are deleted for in-appropriate behaviour in chat rooms or forums. For example; flooding, scrolling, racial abuse, sexual discrimination, violent threats, or a generally foul tongue.'…. well they brought that one on themselves by allowing swearing in the chatrooms about 2years back. Its just a shame many genuine people have been penalised, but in my oppinion,its on the slippery road to nowhere now…..

asha41

As like everyone else who has commented I was a mamber of faceparty for 4+ years and had my account deleted last week and was very angry as I had purchased cool tools a few months ago and used the site every day to chat to people all over England. They should have looked at each case individually, lenghth of time, pics or no pics etc, and certainly not deleted your account when you have paid or had the decency if you had cool tools to send you an e-mail apoligizing.

We all want sites to be safe from weirdos and pervs but surely they could of got people to send proof of ID people wouldn't mind rather than just deleting everyone over 35+.

Surely with modern technoligy they could of seived out the genuine people.

I understand from various people there is no point in trying to contact them as they won't reply, such a shame to be treated like this.

Sephiroth

I had my 6 and a half year account randomly deleted in the past two weeks. I was a semi-active user and never caused any problems. I am disgusted in the way that they are treating their members. They are definitely not just discriminating against over 35s because I am 24. I imagine even my age is above their new target audience however. The sad thing is I was 17 when I joined the site and us guys are who joined in 2000 and 2001 helped build the site into what it was six months ago.

I am surprised the site hasn't been shut down by the police to be honest. It is illegal for under 18s to post nude pictures of themselves online and for over 18s to view those. Until recently this was easily done on their website. I remember seeing a news report on TV about it around six months ago. It might still be as easy, I can't comment.

I am glad I never paid for any of their services because I definitely would be taking legal action if no refund was given. All of you who are in this situation should work together and fight them. Demand a refund as well as compensation. The site will only close through financial or legal difficulties because their core audience (16-18s) are unlikely to care about the politics and legal side of their actions. Add to this the fact FaceParty administration are trying desperately to convince them that the people they're deleting are the problem and that it's in efforts to improve the site; most of them will believe the garbage.

I am surprised the press haven't jumped on this.

Rosie

I have just been removed from faceparty after I asked questions like….If f/p are banning over 35's then should Grim Rita get the boot???
In the looking for section, I said I was looking for the legislation f/p claims states folk over 35 are more likely to be "sex offenders" …..But oops couldn't find it as doesn't exist!!!!

Face party is now accessible by invitation only…..How will that work? I am sure it can't be a leader in its field if its never going to recruit new members! What is it going to do keep banning current members then asking them back again?????

To be honest I think the whole organisation has gone to pot and the management have lost their senses. They are going on about paedophiles, yet are aiming for a younger market………Hmmmn doesn't sound right does it????

Its a shame as it was a great site until the past few months. I have lost touch with many folk off there I only hope like me they have moved to better sites who are not "Ageist"

facesarky

It seems that Mr. Andrew David Bamforth of CIS Internet
Limited – who someone on this thread states is also the controlling influence of Anarchy Towers – is in a spot of bother with FACE-PIC

This link [altho full of legal jargon] explains it all……

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/o10408.pdf

James

anyone who came to this page after googling “faceparty account deletion” as I did is advised as follows:

if you paid faceparty on your credit card for AVS (adult verification service) and/or cool tools, you are advised to telephone your credit card issuer and put the transaction(s) into dispute.

Faceparty (through whatever their legal entity is) entered into a legal agreement with you to supply services for 12 months, and they are breaking that agreement. Additionally, they are in liquidation apparently.

If enough people do this, we can ensure that their shareholders do not receive any money whatsoever, as it will all come back to us in refunds.

jon smith

was a member of faceparty for many years, had regular nice, non sexual chats with many other old ( over 35 fogies ) – don't think I ever spoke to anyone under 32 ever – not happy at being treated in such a way but if that's they way they are good riddance, the only sad thing is the lost content with the people I talked to on there

Neil

Perhaps someone could set up a website where people could report problems with the site and lack of support. Faceparty should be taken to the Watchdog TV programme to see what they have to say.

Neil Bradley

I have also tried contacting them by telephone at: 0207 426 9494, but the telephone line is constantly 'busy.'

Companies House doesn't list any telephone numbers. The address listed is the same as the one on the website:

Anarchy Towers Ltd
89½ Worship Street
London
EC2A 2BF
United Kingdom

According to their Company file, Anarchy Towers was only incorporated in February 2008. I had previously contacted CIS Limited to try and discuss with them directly my concerns about the website, but they claimed they were not connected with Faceparty.

Neil Bradley

I also use Faceparty, but their support is non-existant.

Foolishly a few months ago I purchased the Cool Tools option which also claims to have a 48hour response timeframe to support emails.

However, in the past 6 months that I have been sending numerous support requests about abusive members etc, I have not once received a reply. I recently called them up and they told me to direct my enquiry to the Billing team, because that would be ' a good email address' to get hold of someone.

Still no response. I cannot believe a site like this is so lax on things like abusive members. I'm 27 and I have had all sorts of abuse sent to me through the site, but Faceparty tells you to simply block messages from being sent. This is in no way a control mechanism for such activities on a site like this.

To a point I can take the abusive comments (although i shouldn't have to) and ignore them, but my fear is that there is a much younger audience on that website and Faceparty has a duty to protect them – particularly if they receive such abusive messages and profile comments.

Steve Long

I'm another of the people who have been booted from Faceparty with no explanation. They do have a web page which claims they have had problems with sex offenders, and they quote things like this:-

Start >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Over 36 years old?

New government legislation means we need to check older users on the sex offenders list. This legislation is based upon checking email addresses against a government provided list. Faceparty has never insisted on validated email addresses and can therefore not participate in this new scheme. Having discussed the use of our website with the home office and the police, and further some pretty serious crimes caused by older users, we were left with no option but to terminate a huge amount of accounts, and without notice, immediately. We understand that only a minority of older users are sex offenders, but you must understand that we cannot tell which – we can only delete all to make the site safe and we apologise for that. However, we are following the law and you cannot think we are wrong for doing that.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<< End

However, I'm not aware of any such legislation as they mention, which sounds like a scare-off tactic to me. They are on very dodgy ground and they know it.

Since I'm a youth worker I know that I'm regulalry CRB checked, so their arguments are drivel I was a member on the site since a short time after it started (8 years) and introduced very many friends to it. I also made many chat friends who I can no longer contact. Some of them used Faceparty as one of their few ways to talk to people outside their own neighbourhood.

I had paid in advance for their extra services, which had the better part of a year to run, so they are in breach of contract under UK law.

So what is the new face of the Faceparty community? It's not a business model that I would expect to last long, where they kill off their paying customers.

I suspect we'll shortly hear of action against this Andrew David Bamforth….

Such a shame – I'd predict they'll go down in a blaze of litigation….

Steve

Rieann

Faceparty has today deleted my account..I am one of the over 36 year olds,,in fact over 50, and have been a menber of the site since 2005. I had recently renewed my cool tools and this has money  not been refunded.It seems the site is now being run by a bunch of condescending idiots who have no business acumen whatsoever. You only have to read their explaination of "missing accounts" to realise this.The site is acting illegally and I ask all people in the same position as me to get everyone they know to boycott  the site and remove their own profile. They are in breach of English contract law no matter how they try to wriggle out of itThere are many other properly run chat sites you can sign up with.
With support we can at least close the site down this way.

Many thanks
Rieann MCIPS

exfp

Sounds like they are scamming us! File a complaint about the directors at companies house, get them all struck off.

I've paid for the supply of a service for a period. I have not breached the T's&C;'s in any way. I feel they are in breech of the sevice contract entered into

exfpartyswan

I too have had my account deleted this morning after being a member for over 5 years, and more than just a member as I actively reported members who were under age or racist etc.

The "missing accounts" statement that is accessible on the home page of the site is full of blatent lies. There is no obligation for them to check against sex offenders email addresses,… sheesh can u imagine how many addresses anyone could create in a day to get round that ? There is also a suggestion that the new owners Anarchy Towers Ltd have purchased the company from CIS Internet the previous owners. I did a search at Companies House and the director of both companies is the same … one Andrew David Bamforth, the secretary of the new club is listed as CIS Internet Ltd .. so much for them having nothing to with one another as is implied. If you are wondering why the age of 35 has been taken as the cut off point … it may be that Mr Bamforth's date of birth on the records shows him as not being 35 until november this year ! ! I fear that no one will get any refunds from payments they may have made for adult and cool tools !

The statement that is was for teenagers anyway is a load of rubbish .. why have an adult paying membership system ?

I fear that this is just one huge con … have they actually got rid of their advertisers .. or is it the other way round ??? that would give them sudden cash flow problems, we read above they have got rid of staff … now get rid of over 35s and they save a massive amount of bandwidth overnight .. plus of course they dont refund the subscriptions paid by the cool tool and adult members … in some cases that could be 50 quid !!

If anyone wants to go and get answers … reports at companies house give office AND home addresses…anyone near to Braintree fancy a ride out ??????

gmale

yep I know what you mean I was a member of face party for 5 years I regurly went to the site and made loads of friends then my account is deleted just like everyone else… looks like one big puplicity stunt tome…. to boost there sales…

Still I am going to http://www.bbful.com as it is an up and coming site… looks interesting

olwyn

well all i can say is if ever faceparty gets booted then it will know how it feels to be treated in that way !!! I hate to say what goes round comes round but sadly in this case a tough lesson would be learnt. Regards Olwyn

dark __knight

yes i too had a face party account for 3 years & was deleted without warning

deaspite 2 emails requesting a reinstatement or reason for deletion face party support would never reply or answer thier premium rate help line

i too tried ro open bew accounts but again found them deleted within 20 mins & no reason given

i think its a shame that i am now unable to contact friends i made on there as most have also been deleted too

its def an age thing – shame on you gaceparty us older ones have as much right to a social life as any one else & as you started off as a site open to all i resent the way we have been treated

i hope your site & income suffers from its change in policy

tabbi

Ahhhhhhhh it's an age thing. I did wonder – this lifted directly from a list of prizes offered for their latest competition:

"Explanation why the Old Biddies have gone from FP!
…apart from the fact we don't wanna see any old biddies drenched in sauce. A lot of you have been asking us if & why we're taking the oldies off the site. This could be your chance to find out ze TRUTH! "

I guess that just leaves the kids for them to groom :(

SHAUN

total bunch of shits i loved this site and used it as it should be used thanks , I WOULD LOVE TO BE BACK ON THIS SITE BUT THEY WONT EVEN ANSWER THE PHONE , FINE WAY TO RUN A SITE IM SURE

Joanna

ABSOLUTELY disgusting behaviour of a site which has been promoted over the years by myself to others…. I feel that the way in which account holders information on their profiles has been dealt with is an infringment of our personal rights.

Good riddance to a site which deserves now to go down the pan and have no support from the decent people who used this site as intended.. to make friends and socialise. Heartless, souless, cretins are the Face Party Uk team.

tabbi

My story is much the same, I had a faceparty profile for 6 years which i used every day. I've made many friends thankfully, some of whom I have contact with through ordinary email, so I wont lose them. But there are many acquaintances who I will lose now that my account has been deleted without any warning or explanation.

Although I'm sad at not being able to contact some of the nice people I socialise with on Faceparty, to be honest I'm not sad at losing the account. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable being a member of a site that openly assists the promotion of pornography and supports advertising from people offering sex services for money, have a stand at the erotica exhibition and yet enable under age people to have profiles They promote themselves as child friendly and concerned for the online welfare of youngsters……. hmmmm money conscious and greedy at the cost of anyone they can exploit if you ask me.

Shaz

My faceparty account was suddenly deleted with no warning whatsoever. I,ve tried to set up at least 4 other accounts and every one of them has been deleted too, oddly enough within at least 15 min?????? I,ve sent a message to them via their useless contact us section, had automated replies but then selected the miscellellanious title and had absolutely no replies. I,ve sent them at least 4 messages but still nothing.

I,ve had my account with them for about 5 years and i,m not happy about being booted off without explanation or warning….they really do need to get their act together!!!

Shaz

Megus

If Faceparty are unwilling to be less agest.. Then perhaps members over 35 might like to join a new in development site – http://www.heartnrose.com – Its a totally 100% free site that is a long term project.. Go see and give it a try..

A community site thats free means you have nothing to lose..

olwyn

and just to add faceparty is not used by 16 to 25 year olds alone it now has a wide age range from 16 to 90 so think bout all those people being removed who can only chat on line because of health problems not being able to get out and the only way of making friends is on line so please return all the people you have removed regards Olwyn is bout time people though of others !!!!!!!!! or is that asking for to much?????????///

reply please olwyn

olwyn

please put the people u removed off faceparty back ,i have made lots of new friends there and would like them back how can u do that to people with out warning??????? a reply would be nice regards Olwyn ps and even better to be put back there would be nice

olwyn

please please can u restore my account i have lots a few really nice on line friends due to being removed from f/party and with no warning what so ever ,i even told the sun newspaper about f/party removing accounts with out warning!!! please be so kind as to restore the accounts. yours truly olwyn

olwyn

please please can u restore my account i have lots a few really nice on line friends due to being removed from f/party and with no warning what so ever ,i even told the sun newspaper about f/party removing accounts with out warning!!! please be so kind as to restore the accounts. yours truly olwyn

Bonita

Dont know about cutting your staff but have you sen the amount of complaints ion te net about people having their accounts deleted with no warning perhaps Faceparty if it wants to continue (and it was a good site) could try to restore some of the missing accounts as this happenedwith no warning people were just trying to log in and were informed their accounts doo not exist e mail a complaint and back comes a bog standard e mail which is no help whatsoever

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