Suing dating agencies – now there is an idea that I haven’t tried yet (partly because I’ve never used dating agencies):
A mum who failed to find a partner after signing up for online dating has been awarded an eye-watering payout.
Tereza Burki, from Chelsea in London, was awarded $22,087 after a High Court judge in the United Kingdom said she had been swindled by the Seventy Thirty company.
According to Metro, the 47-year-old was searching for the “man of her dreams” when she signed up to the agency in 2014.
She was also looking for someone to have more children with, and someone who was wealthy and owned “multiple residences”.
Judge Richard Parkes QC said the company’s former managing director, Lemarc Thomas, had fooled Ms Burki because the company promoted itself as having 7000 active members, while in reality there were just 100.
“A membership of 100 active men cannot by any stretch of the imagination be described as a substantial number,” he said.
I suspect that exaggerating active membership is quite common in the industry, sometimes by counting everyone who has ever used a particular service and sometimes by pulling the figure straight from one’s backside. Misinforming customers is clearly actionable in some circumstances under trade practices, consumer protection, and other laws, though in most cases customers pay nothing or almost nothing for the service, making lawsuits quite pointless. Seventy Thirty being an “elite” dating agency, Ms Burki seems to have paid quite a lot.
An observation, though, even at the risk of appearing unkind: when she joined Seventy Thirty, Burki was 43-years old. Isn’t it a bit too old to want more children? More importantly, a single mother of three in her 40s expecting to find a wealthy partner with “multiple residences” indicates to me completely unrealistic dating expectations. Not impossible but very very unlikely. Maybe that’s unfair but that’s life, and not more unfair than a balding, beer-bellied gent in his 40s expecting to find – but not finding – a sexy 20-year old. Seventy Thirty might have lied to Burki, but the person deceiving her the most was herself.
There is even more to the story:
However, she was also ordered to pay the company $8764 in libel damages thanks to a scathing Google review in which she branded the business a “scam” — … the judge argued he didn’t believe the firm was “fundamentally dishonest”.