It is an awesome scam. 20+ million plus men signed up hoping to have affairs, and perhaps as little as 12,000 women were ever on-line to respond. Ashley Madison personnel created as many as 5.4 million fake female IDs, but the company was so lazy in its fraud that it didn't even bother to have someone occasionally engage the men in some harmless chit-chat and a gradual turn down.
Certainly some men had to be unhappy with paying to get laid but never getting laid, but what real alternative did they have? "Hey. No chick wants to do me! Give me my money back." Dude, you are a troll, of course no one wants to bang you. "I am a catch! I have a wife! Give me my money back." Look, we won't charge you going forward, OK? "I want my money back!" Sue us. And when you sue us, we will send a subpoena out to depose your wife on whether you lost anything by not having sex with random women.
"Oh......OK....look, just close my account." (Ashley Madison says it will, but doesn't).
Amazing stuff. Great scam. Look for a Chapter 7 filing soon.
You wonder whether AM might have been able to operate more effectively as an escort service. I mean, if you could recruit enough escorts (say 100,000) you might be able to keep up with some small amount of the pent up demand here. And the women could, if they so chose, have a date with the guy, find him hideous, and not have sex at all. (It is a dating service after all, AM is not claiming that you will always get laid - you just are supposed to find folks who want to "have an affair". It isn't AM's fault if you cannot close the deal). Of course hiring actual escorts would require the actual outlay of money, so it doesn't make for as profitable of a scam....and before the computer hack, no one ever complained that they were not getting laid.