Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




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
    Michael, 4 Jul 2007 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: GE in Dallas, TX

    Lonely yes. Desperate? Hell no! Far from it! I wasn't looking for a dating service. What I was looking for was organized parties where everyone was single.

    They got me for a lot more than you so it hurts more.

    I would think that checking on someones available credit without permission would fall under some sort of invasion of privacy law.

    I have a friend who was a former civil judge in my city. He's now an attorney again. He said hiring a lawyer wouldn't be worth it because the average hourly charge by lawyers in our area is $500/hr. That could surpass what I was conned on just gathering the facts, digging up the dirt and building the case.

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