Matchmaker Court Ordered to Refund

My friend, Ms E, who has been closely following my interactions with Blue Label Life (BLL) messaged me earlier in the week to tell me that she had just heard a news item on the radio about a dating agency in Melbourne being court ordered to refund their matchmaking fee for providing unsatisfactory service.

Sound familiar??

I googled the story and found that it was actually the same company that I went through, but their Melbourne office.

Read the story here.

I particularly like the part in the article that mentions that BLL believe Sofia’s ‘behaviour and what we felt at the time were unreasonable demands made it impossible for a resolution to be found’.

Sound familiar??

The article included the journalist’s details, so I emailed him and told him that I too had a similar experience with BLL and asked him to pass on my details and the link to this blog as I would love to talk to Sofia who was featured in the article. He said that had had received a number of similar emails that day.

Later that day Sofia contacted me to tell me that she was being interviewed on the Project on Channel 10. I rushed home to watch and it was a funny little story towards the end of the show. Sofia was asked by the panel if she would get her money back and despite the court order (which BLL are appealing according to the article), she said she has little chance of actually getting the refund, but she is just happy that she has got the word out there so others know how her experience panned out.

I hear ya sister! I feel the same way. Views of my blog went a little nuts that day and I have noticed a new negative post has been posted on True Local since.

My Response to Blue Label Life – The End

This is the end of my dealings with Blue Label Life. Of course, I always knew there was a risk that this idea would end up being just a waste of money. Let’s face it, you have to expect that from any dating agency based on all the negative reviews online. But I assume many people are ashamed that they got ‘done’ by these agencies and keep it to themselves. I am not that type of person!

I’m a big believer in word of mouth marketing and I recommend things to my friends all the time. So much so, that I think I should be getting commission from some companies! But it also works the other way and I now have nothing positive to say out of this whole Executive Matchmaker experience. I replied to the agency with the below….

Hi Candace,

Defamatory implies false accusation. I have been truthful in my assessment of the service that your company has provided in my True Local posts. Much of which can be verified through our communications. Even in this email you are confirming that at least 2 of your male members never replied to the match, a third that you couldn’t reach for a while, which is part of my complaint on True Local.

Your argument that you gave me 19 matches is ludicrous if you consider that to be membership activity of value.

I can only assume that you do have success with some members to have been in business for a number of years, but based on my experience you have failed to deliver the quality of service expected on this occasion. Even top restaurants serve bad meals occasionally, but they retain their strong reputation by the way they handle the odd poor performance.

Thank you for your offer to ‘entertain’ me in extending my membership, but as already stated I do not wish to continue my relationship with you as it has been full of frustration, time wasting and I do not see the quality in your service.

It is disappointing that you have taken this approach in attempting to resolve this situation and that we have now parted ways with me being an entirely dissatisfied customer.  I am currently quite active in Sydney’s dating scene and I do get asked about your company frequently. There is no need for me to make false accusations, I can only speak openly and honestly about my experience and as we have discussed at length, it is not a positive story.

Regards,

SeriouslySingleInSyd

The Never Ending Story

I haven’t updated about my dealings with Blue Label Life and how they are attending to my complaint and request for a refund for a few weeks. Mostly because not much has happened. They have continued to string me along.

Last week we finally got to a point where over the weekend my matchmaker (MM) had said that they wanted to discuss an ‘amicable solution’ on Monday. I then had a lengthy conversation with her on Monday (during business hours) and the outcome was that nothing had changed. They were still persisting in saying they wanted to keep working with me and ‘find me love’. I reiterated that I did not wish to continue working with them as there is nothing in my experience so far over the 9 months that indicates they can deliver on what they advertise themselves to offer.

Mid-week I was sent an update that my MM was still talking to the CEO of the dating agency about a resolution, but in a meantime they were ‘headhunting’ to find a man for me, even though this is a service usually only reserved for some kind of premium member that must pay an alarming amount of cash for their service. The email included a picture of a man they had supposedly found that was perfect for me.

I responded that I did not want them headhunting for me. The only outcome I want now is to end the relationship with them with a 50% refund. Considering the matches I had, realistically I think it would be reasonable to ask for a full refund. I feel that I’m making a concession asking for only 50%!

My MM says she will come back to me the next day. That day passes, no contact. I email to follow up. We plan to chat the following day.

Late Friday I get the call that I was sure by this point after all of the backwards and forwards would be about the long awaited refund. AGAIN the conversation is that they will not give me a refund and they will only consider doing this if I remove my negative review on True Local. Firstly, I don’t think you can remove posts. True Local actually asked me to substantiate my negative comment by providing a copy of my contract to verify that I have been a genuine customer of them. I am sure they don’t do this with positive reviews and I certainly question the positive reviews are legitimate the way that they are written. Secondly, it feels quite deceptive to be hiding that they have failed to deliver on my agreement with them. If they truly believe that this is an anomoly and that their service is top notch, surely the best outcome is to resolve this matter professionally and not let it impact future business. I have actually offered to post a follow up comment on True Local that we worked together for a satisfactory outcome – if they ever come to the party.

Anyway, after another 30 minute phone call late on Friday night, again nothing was resolved. I tell my MM I no longer want to argue the point with her and I wish to speak to the CEO directly. I instead get contacted by their Customer Relations person late on Monday. She tells me that she wants to work through this with me and will be in touch on Tuesday. I reply and say I have wasted an exceptional amount of time on this (it really is a never ending story) and that I will not rehash the matter with her. I am only interested in the refund request and I had expected the situation to be resolved today, so I really hope we can close this out tomorrow.

It’s now tomorrow. I have heard nothing for them. How f’ing ridiculous!!!!!!!!!

Feedback noted – then ignored

The Monday after my disastrous first dinner with A Table for Six, the organiser sends me an email asking for feedback on the restaurant and dining experience, plus asks if there is anyone that I wish to exchange contact details with.

Even if I wasn’t asked for feedback about the dinner, I was ready to give it! I think I paid $450 or $500 for a 12 month membership with these guys, then each dinner you go to you pay a $33 or $38 booking fee for the privilege of them organising the dinner and then you pay for what you eat at the restaurant.

I found it really difficult to get into a suitable dinner and feedback from the group suggested that the other women had the same problem, perhaps not so much the men. After such a bad first dinner, I was thinking I might give up on this idea, but I think I should give it another try to at least make the membership more worthwhile!

So I emailed the organiser and told her that I thought the restaurant was a complete dive and that my advice would be to not organise any other dinners there. She responded saying they had had many great dinners there, even she had dined there, but she will take it on board.

Then I told her about the arrogant guys vile behaviour. She told me that she would deal with it.

I said I would like to exchange contact details with one of the other women and the organiser took this as a great success. Sure, it’s great to meet new people and I could even become friends with this woman, but it’s not really the point for me signing up to this is it!

I also expressed that I was really disappointed with this as my first experience with the ‘agency’. She completely ignored this point.

Now I don’t always agree with the ‘customer is always right’ concept as sometimes people are just assholes. But, these dating agency people really take the opinion of ‘customer doesn’t matter’. I guess this is because they would get no repeat business. Once you have signed a contract, they just respond to any of your concerns with token answers similar to a disinterested husband saying ‘yes dear’ whilst watching the footy.

They just wait out the membership period until you are a problem that goes away. Or goes away and blogs about it…

Imagine if there was actually a company that offered a great service that I could write about positively!