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Thursday, February 21, 2008

CNN says,"Be a savvy consumer when looking for love online"

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On Valentine's Day, ran an article titled, Be a savvy consumer when looking for love online. My reaction to the article is "WOW, really?" You'll understand this reaction after you read the article for yourself. Could any of this be more obvious? I guess not. It always amazes me when I read about someone being duped in these ways. Let's all finally learn from these mistakes!

"WOW, really?" #1- "They talked on the phone several times a day, everyday. He was engaging. He gave great advice. He was even supposed to visit her parents in Houston. But then, he started asking for money, with promises to pay her back. In two months, Kate wired him a total of $2,000. Not to mention the phone bill she was stuck with for $1,500. To this day she has not seen him -- or her money."

Come on. I mean really. Naive isn't even the word to describe this. Sad thing is she's not alone, complaints like this apparently flood the Better Business Bureau all the time. Approach Dyanamics rule of the day- DON'T LOAN MONEY TO SOMEONE YOU HAVEN'T EVEN MET! And don't waste your time trying to meet people that live on the other side of the planet. We have covered this before.

"WOW, really?" #2- "Complaint No. 1 [to the BBB] about matchmaking is, well, bad matches. Singles were set up with were smokers, people who weren't religious or lived too far away. In some cases, matches were already married!" Again, come on! Complaining because of imperfect matches? Reality check, nothing is perfect. These matches are provided to you, but in the end it is you who decides if someone is right or wrong for you, not a computer.

Here is a sobering thought about the people running these matchmaking services. One of the WORST dates I have ever had was a prominent New York City matchmaker. She would consistently show up late, had HORRIFIC manners, lacked any consideration for anyone other than herself and once offered to buy a round of drinks (keyword... ONCE), only to call me 'cheap' when I called her out on it after she refused to pay the check. And then she actually sent me an email wondering why I stopped calling her! Yes, folks. Here is an example of someone you are shelling over 2 grand (or more) to find your soulmate. So consider yourself warned - buyer beware.

"WOW, really?" #3- "More than 63 percent of complaints were about accounts that were automatically renewed after a contract or trial period expired." Companies like are notorious for renewing people to long-term subscriptions without at least first giving them a heads-up that their original subscription is about to expire. And their excuse when you call and try to reverse the charge? That you failed to cancel before your original term expired - so now you are 'stuck with the renewal.' If you find yourself in this mess, ask to speak to a supervisor and don't take no for an answer. Be persistent, and they will eventually refund your money.

Or even better, stay on top of your own subscription period and make sure you abide by their terms and conditions. Although their business practices are somewhat shady in this realm (and I don't see the logic in giving their customers a hard time), it is not's responsibility to babysit their customers. Take responsibility.

Let me end this response with a quick comment. There are more than 12 million people currently using online dating. There have been countless success stories, and unfortunately some horror stories as well. Bottom line - be careful and use your common sense.

Happy dating!

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Alexander Stone & Stephen David
Copyright 2008 - All rights reserved
Online Dating Edge / Approach Dynamics

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