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
    mark, 10 Nov 2005 @ 10:03am

    the inside scoop

    I was ata party a couple years back and talked with a girl who worked at one of those places. It might have even been GE. Anyway, she said the clientele tended toward a couple of architypes. The guys were nerdy engineers and lawyers who had busted ass for 10-15 years to have a decent salary and were now looking for a young hottie to validate their professional success, but were too socially awkward to approach women on their own.

    The problem with that was, hot young chicks don't need to pay a dating service, they already have more attention than they can handle.

    The female profile tended toward professional women who had achieved managerial success to the point where they had priced themselves out of the mkt. i.e. They all wanted to marry guys who were more successful than they were, but the guys who were that driven and successful were picking up their potential trophy wives without 3rd party help.

    She said very few clients ever got what they joined for because objectively, nobody had very realistic expectations of their actual mkt value. A lot of the times nobody even got past the video viewing stage.

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