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
    michele, 2 Apr 2007 @ 11:19am

    Great Expectations of Scottsdale, Arizona

    After I saw a sign in my neighborhood about a website for a great place to meet singles, I went online and "registered." Next thing I know I'm getting phone call after phone call from Great Expectations wanting me to come in to take a look at their services. "Just a quick appointment." "It will only take you an hour." "We just want to show you what we can offer you." I kept saying that I really didn't think so. Well, reluctantly, I went in for an appointment this past Saturday. I have never been so pressured in my life. Two and a half hours of pure torture. I thought used car salesmen were bad...they have nothing on these people. I consider myself an intelligent person...fairly educated....and they put me in that dimly lit room and kept stringing me along. I kept telling her that I just didn't feel right. I about freaked when she told me the price. She kept leaving the room and coming back with better deals and I kept saying no. She actually told me that within 6 months I would probably be dating this rich guy and he would just pay off my debt. She said that she talked to most of the guys that were signed up and they all said they wouldn't have a problem paying off a woman's debt. I was so disgusted she would say that. What does she tell the men? Then, she could tell I was down for the count and she took my credit card and my driver's license for "verification" purposes and the next thing I knew she had already ran the transactions. OMG....I'm thinkin' what the heck happened?!?!? She kept saying that I would feel better the next day because I was making such a great decision to start my life and that I was doing something so wonderful for myself. Unbelievable. Thankfully, both contracts have a 3-day rescission period. I'm hand-delivering my letter today with the materials they gave me. I'll let you know how it goes.

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