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, 9 Oct 2006 @ 3:06am

    Re: Be Realistic

    No doubt GE works for some, but their sales tactics are high-pressure to the hilt. At the end of two hours you're forced to make a decision amounting to several thousand dollars with no trial period or chance of a refund. You're offered substantial discounts off of a highly inflated price, being told "it's only good for tonight." It's after work, it's late, you're tired, you're lonely and prone to feelings of desperation. They play to your weaknesses, and flatter you as well. But you must join now, so you do. Finally, after the photo and video session, you get onto the site and soon realize that this "selective" group is very small and consists of few you're even interested in. Then the sinking feeling comes in, that you have blown a major wad, and all you can ask is "how did I do this?" The few women I've spoken with have made references to the exorbitant price charged, but I guess in the overall scheme of things $3-5,000 is something you can bear when you have assets of several hundred thousand. I don't. I am going to try to negotiate a settlement with GE, as I haven't been in for very long, but I'm expecting it to be difficult. They appear to be sharks. It's been my most expensive lesson yet in the school of hard knocks, though hardly something you'd think an organization would be proud of.

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