By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – They claim to be Philadelphia’s number one dating service for “high caliber, sincere singles.” But some clients say the only thing “high” was the price, and after paying thousands of dollars, they have nothing to show for it.
“How can they just hurt people like that just to get money out of you?” asks Sue Gladfelter. It was an investment in her love-life that left her feeling a bit uneasy. She says, “There were so many flags that went off right away, like the high pressure sales pitch especially.” But she went ahead anyway and hired a matchmaking service called Two of Us to help her find the man of her dreams.
Sue shelled out almost $2,800 for 11 introductions. She says, “They say that their clients are vetted, that it’s safe, that you go through a criminal background check, a public records check.”
Among the first batch of introductions that Sue was sent by Two of Us was a man named David. He was 56 and separated. Sue says, “They’re sending me a separated person who’s still a married man. I kept thinking “well maybe the next guy is going to be better, and it’s the same guy!” That’s because Sue was e-mailed 31 introductions to the very same man. The company later blamed a computer glitch. But Sue says, “I’ve never gotten any more matches.” So she sued in small claims court and won a judgment against the company.
Shelley VanClief was looking to meet successful businessmen who were fit and physically active. She says, “They told me point-blank that they recruited directly for men that were professionals.” Shelley’s membership cost around $3,000 and came with nine introductions.
Those e-mailed introductions include the clients first name, phone number and a four to five line blurb about them. No photos are ever provided.
According to Shelley, she never heard from six of the men provided in her introductions and among those she did meet, “there was one gentleman who was a good 75 pounds overweight who had some unfortunate health issues, very melancholy, wearing orthopedic shoes. I mean how this match ever crossed their mind was beyond me, it was beyond him as well.” When Shelley complained she says, “you don’t get any phone call back, you don’t get an e-mail back ever, not ever, just another referral.”
So 3 On Your Side went looking for answers, visiting the King of Prussia location which now does business under the name Philadelphia Singles. Personnel in the office told us that no one was available to speak with us and that instead we should contact their attorney with any questions. The first of which comes from Shelley who says, “why pay for something and not get what you’re looking for?”
By phone, the company’s attorney told 3 On Your Side that these complaints were isolated and that staff changes have been made at the King of Prussia location. He said the company will pay the small claims judgment awarded to Sue, and they’ll reaching out to Shelley to resolve her complaint as well.
Two of Us, now operating as Philadelphia Singles, does require clients to sign membership contracts. Clients are also told that their membership fees are non-refundable. That’s why before signing any matchmaking contract, consumers need to read the fine print. In the Two of Us membership agreement that fine print indicates that client’s preferences are guidelines and the company makes no guarantees regarding making a successful match.