Not So Great Expectations: Dating Site Returns Thousands For Lack Of Dates

from the false-advertising? dept

Online dating has obviously been quite popular for some time now, but it appears that one company may have overstepped its legal bounds -- though, it's unclear why those legal bounds are there in the first place. The company, Great Expectations, apparently set expectations a little too high. The service, which started out nearly thirty years ago as one of those video dating services, has moved into the online world in a big way, and apparently thought that let it off the hook of the NY State "Dating Services Law." A judge thought otherwise and is forcing the company to refund the fees of two women, which could open up many, many more lawsuits. The company plans to appeal, but the really odd part of the story is just how much the service cost. Apparently, one woman paid $1,000 for a six month membership and met no one, while the other woman paid $3,790 for the (no, seriously) "Marriage Program." Ah, no wonder the expectations were set a bit high. State law apparently says dating services can't charge more than $25/month. Whether or not you agree with the law (and it's not at all clear why such a law is needed), it still seems like these women entered into an arrangement where they knew what they were getting into. In what world can their be a guarantee that you'll meet someone if there simply are no matches and no one wants to meet you back? If the company promised meetings, that's one thing (and one the woman in the four year program says she was promised dates, so perhaps there's a claim there), but it seems unrealistic to simply expect dates when there's the entire other half o the equation to consider. While the fees being paid (and the idea of signing up for a four year membership that promises marriage) seems somewhat staggering, especially considering the competition, it just seems like these women made a bad decision in signing up for this service.

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  1. identicon
    disappointed GE customer, 24 Feb 2007 @ 6:23am

    Re: Stopped payment on the check within 24 hours..

    I don't think they'll go to court. GE is nothing if not practical, and will not throw dollars away in a quest they know is futile. My guess is they'll call and try to coax you back, possibly even try to intimidate you with the charge that you signed a contract, but as you intimate, their bark will be worse than their bite.

    I've been a GE member for too long to have any hope of getting my money back, so I'll just offer my perspective on the experience. I've gone out on several dates and the women have been pleasant, but as yet, no sparks have flown. I've had a fair number of women contact me, but thus far only one who has aroused my interest. In its favor I would say that after paying all this money, GE members generally try harder. Some would say if you ultimately connect with that one person it's all worth the money, and yes, it would be, but the issue is that GE is an incredibly overpriced service. If all ends well, the money becomes an afterthought, but in what percentage of cases does that actually happen? For the money they charge you would think they'd have to GUARANTEE a marriage!!! So, my money is gone, but might as well make the best of it. From my experience thus far I don't see any special advantage to GE over a Match.com, which charges one-hundred dollars per six months. GE offers a selectivity, but it pretty much amounts to selectivity based on income. I'll admit, I got sucked in, but as someone once said, "if you have a lemon, make lemonade."

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