A cautionary tale about scummy dating websites like Blackwink.com

Would you like to lose more than €250 by using a dating website for 1 hour? Howlogic & cronies have something for you.

ℹ️ Received an unjustified dating website bill from Novalnet AG and/or eCollect AG?
That's very well possible. You probably don't have to pay.
Read advice by actual lawyers here.

Dating apps. They're in everyone's lives at this point for about every walk of life out there. And if you ask me, that's great! But if I may offer you one word of advice: stick to the reputable dating brands. There are plenty of bad apples in the dating space.

Would you like to know what can happen if you don't stick to the reputable brands? Let me tell you the tale of my experience with one of such bad apples: Blackwink.com.

Getting to know the brand

Blackwink.com is a dating website that markets itself around single people of colour.
They sometimes run ads online, which is how I found out about the website. I'm not a person of colour but I am single, and I'll say I certainly think the lady on the front page is very attractive. Since the entire homepage looks quite professional, I decided to give it a spin. What can go wrong, right?

Getting to know the companies involved

BlackWink is operated by Tech Medialand Kft, a company based in the Hungarian village of Újlengyel. The company is associated with Together Networks Holding Limited, Nelfor Services Limited, Bulova Invest Ltd & UCG LTD (all four in Tortola, British Virgin Islands), NSI Holdings Limited (London, United Kingdom), Apricot Digitals LLC (Sofia, Bulgaria), Howlogic Kft & Cyberence Kft (both in Csomád, Hungary).

I'll choose to call this line-up of companies 'Howlogic' in the rest of the article, mostly because Howlogic Kft has a tiny web presence with the crappiest of blog filler accompanied by horrible stock photography. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Soundcloud)

Howlogic operates a slew of very similar themed dating sites like GibMirDeinHerz.com, BeNaughty.com and wilddate4sex.com. There are also a few mobile apps: HookupsFinder, UpForIt, FlirtyDesires and HelloHotties. In other words: ✨quality stuff✨.

The German company Novalnet AG processes payments for Howlogic. The Swiss company eCollect AG ('a member of Inkasso Suisse') takes over when Novalnet AG fails to collect payments. If eCollect can't get the money they may refer cases to the lawyer's office Themys & Dyke Rechtsanwälte GbR.

Getting sucked in

I won't go into great details about the user experience and user base of the site, because it's horrible and well-documented.
We're talking many (many!) profiles that are obviously bots, or thousands of kilometers away, or so close to your very specific location that it must be fake because you've never seen them or the backdrop of their picture in your own environment.

But you don't know much about that when you have a free account, because the free experience is severly limited. Basically, the only way to experience this... experience, is to pay up.
I created my account on the 4th of December 2021 at 19:25, shortly afterwards I paid for a subcription, and then I saw the true trashy nature of the website. So at 20:01 I decided to cancel.

That was easy

The first problematic issue with the way cancellations are handled, is that they do it in a (potentially) illegal way.
You see: I'm a Dutch citizen. Firms selling in The Netherlands "cannot create any obstacles to cancellations. For example, consumers must be able to cancel their subscriptions in exactly the same way as they signed up for them" according to market watchdog ACM. It looks like this will apply to the entire European Union soon, too.

Why is this relevant? BlackWink has an elaborate maze that it sends you through when you choose to cancel a subscription. Then, after a number of steps, it gives you a free phone number to call 'to complete the cancellation'. Great that the number is free, but it's certainly not as easy as starting the subscription online. Also, why did I fill out all that information if I have to tell it again over the phone?

On the phone, the call center agent was quick and polite. The entire conversation lasted for 3 minutes and 25 seconds, and I hung up with the impression that I had canceled my account.

Something else had happened

On the 11th of January 2022, Novalnet AG tried to deduct €35,70 with the most random description known to mankind:

By this time, more than a month after I had called in to cancel the subscription, I had long forgotten about BlackWink. None of the terms in this opaque charge rang a bell with me. Since I didn't recognize it, I disputed the charge with my bank and didn't think much of it. 'Someone will reach out if this charge is real', I figured. I never heard from anyone.

Novalnet tried one more time about a month later, on the 17th of February. This time around I called my bank and had Novalnet blacklisted so they couldn't try deducting again -- I still didn't recognize them, and looking for the company name in my email yielded zero results. The bank took care of it quickly and no money was deducted during both tries. Great, the system worked!

But then, on the 28th of March, things became a lot clearer and also a lot stranger:

'Aha, so it was that crappy dating website that was behind this! Why are they charging me for months of service I did not even have?', I wondered.
Well, since it was already deferred to a debt collector I figured there was no use in talking to BlackWink customer service any more. I decided to explain the situation to debt collector eCollect AG (a proud member of Inkasso Suisse!1!!1) instead, including a screenshot of the actual call in my phone's history log. They were... less than lukewarm in their response.

I searched through my email and then that sinking feeling hit my stomach. You know, the feeling when you drop your phone in the toilet or you realise you left the oven on while you're already 60 kilometers away from the house.
Nobody had ever sent me a cancellation confirmation.

This must be a mistake, right?

That's the (gullible) assumption I immediately made, so I called BlackWink customer service anyway.
Luckily, I had already lost enough gullibility to record my phone calls this time.

Surely, someone should be able to find my call from the 4th of December, confirm that I called in to cancel, send me that in an email and then I could show that to eCollect. Right? Right?

Well, no. The first agent wasn't even able to find my account and directed me to the very assuring email address [email protected].
I sent an email, hoping they would come back to me swiftly. They never did.

Three days later, I called again. After some persuasion (read: making reasonable requests and remarks with the raised-voice-yet-calm-breathing-characteristics of a deranged lunatic about to drive into the call center with a bulldozer) the agent was able to finally pull up my details. He was able to confirm that I did in fact call in on the 4th of December. But there was a mind-boggling detail:

You heard it right. Howlogic's version of events is that it's entirely normal to set up a silently auto-renewing subscription for someone who calls in to cancel. This logic is, of course, impenetrable.
I have my doubts about if this is even what happened. Two separate agents told this story, but none could listen to or provide a recording so we could get rid of any doubt. None of them could bring me in touch with a floorwalker or manager -- the agents work in an outsourced call center geologically and organization-wise far away from Howlogic.

The only thing they could provide me is the email address that's supposedly Really Not Another Unread Customer Service Inbox But Truly A Head Office Email Address™: [email protected]. I think you can guess the amount of replies I got after sending a message there. Coincidentally, it's equal to the amount of real profiles I've talked to on the scummy shady money pit called BlackWink.

The bottom line

After figuring all of this out, some time had already passed and costs had accrued on the side of the debt collector. They charged me for a """"subscription"""" in January and February, and also the costs of the debt collection case.

Grand total:

Because it wasn't clear to me what my rights were, I decided to pull out the wallet and pay this amount. I figured the peace of mind that eCollect wouldn't bother me any more and Howlogic would hopefully ban me as a customer was worth it.

I should've been less hopeful than that.

The bottom line, part II

Literally the next month this whole circus started from scratch. Novalnet reached out to settle a new claim for a different dating site from the same company I hadn't even ever visited. I presented them with recorded evidence that I had explicitly cancelled, but Novalnet referred the case to eCollect anyway.

This time however, I came prepared. The European Consumer Centre has written an excellent article based on my and other people's experiences with eCollect and Howlogic, which contains advice and resources to protect yourself against problems.
After using the steps in this article and supplying eCollect with my evidence, they promised me to ask Howlogic for the required evidence they must provide in order to have a collections case. At the time of writing, three weeks later, they're still looking for this evidence -- they won't succeed and can't do anything at this point.

That's a key piece of knowledge I was lacking at first: the collections agency can say anything they like, but if they cannot prove that a valid sales agreement exists, there is no case.
The aforementioned article shows you how to determine if such an agreement exists, and how to communicate to eCollect that they have a fraudulent case on their hands.



Yes, the author of this piece is reasonably anonymous to the outside world.
The reason for my anonymity? Of course I'm embarrassed that I fell for what some people might call shady business practices or even an outright scam. That's why I'm not publishing this article under my own name or on a platform publicly associated with me.

I'm sure the involved companies can find my case in about 3 minutes of furious typing on their keyboards, which is fine. I don't care about that.
I gave these companies a more than fair opportunity to fix their (in my eyes) wrongdoing, but they did not take this opportunity. In that case it'll be a terrible experience that I as a customer will want to write about. If you're mad about that concept you should probably sue Yelp as well.

If you represent one of the companies mentioned in this article and you truly believe there is an inaccuracy anywhere on this page, feel free to contact me through the email address at the bottom of this webpage and I'll have a look.

Opinion ≠ law

There are words on this page that suggest certain activities conducted by aforementioned companies are possibly illegal, a scam or otherwise potentially against the law. Since I'm not a lawyer you should read these qualifications as opinions of a (rightfully pissed off) layman.

If you represent one of the companies mentioned in this article and you disagree with one of the opinions stated on this page, please provide an explanation by email about how exactly you don't work for the scum of the earth and how this is all false. You know where to find the email address.


Stuff that's good to know when you're dealing with or investigating these companies:

  • AS196962 is the/a dedicated internet pipeline on the British Virgin Islands for Together Networks. A slew of its dating websites are hosted from this AS, and this is also the AS from which invoices for the sites mentioned on this page are generated towards the payment provider.

  • Together Networks Holdings Limited (British Virgin Islands) is the only shareholder of Together Networks Limited (Malta). The Maltese Chamber of Commerce is extremely open and lists names, passport document numbers and addresses for some of the people involved:
    Name Nationality Address Document number

    Anna Matevosian

    Director, Legal Representative, Judicial Representative


    Deborah Vella



    Finanz-Audit Limited


  • Tasneem Hussain is registered as a representative for Bulova Invest Ltd on five U.S. patents for dating website names. (1234, 5 is "UPFORIT" with S/N 85859219 -- this one's only visible on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website.)

  • Bulova Invest has a website on bulova-invest.com which also mentions an email address: [email protected]. UCG.io is the website for a company called Universal Commerce Group - operating from Ukraine, registered as UCG LTD, Quijano Chambers P.O. Box 3159, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
    According to their own LinkedIn: "UCG has been a platform for launching innovative IT projects. Universal Commerce Group is a fast growing food holding with offices in Kyiv, Dnipro, Lvov, Zaporozhye, Warsaw, Moscow, Madrid. The Company's head office is located near the Olimpiyskiy metro stadium in Kyiv. More than 500 people work for the benefit of the company."
    The company has or had its head office at Shota Rustaveli St 16, Kyiv, Ukraine.

  • The email address "[email protected]" is connected to this group of websites through their DNS zone. This is likely correct as Nelfor Services Limited is one of the companies tied to this hellscape.

  • The following websites share the same SSL certificate with blackwink.com: www.findmatches.com, www.woohoodates.com, www.iwantucougar.com, m.snuskflirt.se, m.fristemeg.no, www.sexyblackpeople.com, www.treffegirls.com, www.igetnaughty.com, m.sexintouchbbw.com, m.dammisesso.com, www.sexintouch.com, www.coupledates.com, m.piacerediscreto.com, m.amourtimes.com, m.sexefemmemure.com, m.cherchemilfs.com, www.seksueltforhold.dk, www.blackwink.com, m.nastyhookups.com, www.noitedesexo.com, www.amantssexy.com, m.iwantumilf.com, m.wilddate4sex.com, m.iwanthotties.com, www.meetmesexy.com, www.snuskflirt.se, www.iwantumilf.com, m.sportyhottie.com, m.fristmignu.dk, m.bangexperts.com, www.tuhmameille.com, www.iwanthotties.com, m.sexlugar.es, m.delightsexy.com, meetdatekiss.com, www.sexintouchbbw.com, www.dammisesso.com, m.rampetepiker.no, www.fristemeg.no, m.sexigdate.se, m.cougaramoi.com, www.sexefemmemure.com, www.cherchemilfs.com, m.naughtysporty.com, m.affairdating.com, www.piacerediscreto.com, www.amourtimes.com, m.meetdatekiss.com, www.nastyhookups.com, m.woohoodates.com, m.iwantubbw.com, m.treffegirls.com, m.gibmirsex.com, m.seksueltforhold.dk, www.wilddate4sex.com, www.iwantubbw.com, m.sexyblackpeople.com, m.findmatches.com, www.sexlugar.es, www.delightsexy.com, www.sportyhottie.com, www.fristmignu.dk, m.sexintouch.com, m.coupledates.com, www.gibmirsex.com, www.sexigdate.se, www.cougaramoi.com, m.noitedesexo.com, m.amantssexy.com, m.blackwink.com, www.rampetepiker.no, www.bangexperts.com, m.meetmesexy.com, www.naughtysporty.com, www.affairdating.com, m.iwantucougar.com, m.igetnaughty.com, www.meetdatekiss.com, m.tuhmameille.com