It’s Just Lunch Rips Off Love-Lorn Professionals

Consumer Affairs has posted an expose of It’s Just Lunch, a match-making company that for a “modest” fee will listen to you gush forth your wildest dreams of dating a banker or a neurosurgeon and then hook you up with a salivating, dead-eyed landscaper at the local mental asylum. Here’s the link. Now here’s our take.

What a shock – people willing to spend nearly $2,000 to be hooked up with anonymous strangers officially sanctioned by the love making equivalent of a headhunter end up finding a lot of desperate losers swimming around the shallow end of their dating pool. We find ourselves a bit conflicted in our reaction to this story. On one hand, 2 grand (even to find true love) isn’t exactly chump change, and if these consumers aren’t getting what they paid for, IJL is precisely the kind of company we started up this blog to mercilessly flagellate. On the other – it’s very hard to get outraged when shallow, petty people who view love as a filled-in check list of pecuniary acquirements get burned.

Look, guys, it’s Valentine’s Day, so let the pimp junta over at The Consumerist tell you how to find love on the cheap. Every time you meet someone you find attractive, spark up a conversation and tell them so, bluntly if need be. Then ask them if they’d like to get to know you. If someone tells you no, well, who wants to be with someone who doesn’t find them attractive in return? You move on, confident that you’ve done some pruning. If they do, congratulations – you’ve found love. It’s not hard, as long as your loins can ooze over less than an x+1 figure salary and the prospect of vrooming about in a shiny new phallic symbol.

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  1. Paul D says:

    Anybody else have to look up the word pecuniary?

  2. x23 says:

    thats a pretty good article. there are some real gems in there…

    “Jennifer, however, quickly discovered he didn’t own a landscaping service. He mowed lawns at a local college.”

    hahaha.

  3. weiner says:


    I used to work for It’s Just Lunch, so I know what it’s all about. I agree with your story, it is not all that cut and dry – many points to consider before you label it as a bad service.

    First, this company is only as good as the people that work for it. It’s Just Lunch in one city could be horrible in terms of customer service, whereas It’s Just Lunch in another city could have you working with some great staff members. How do you know if yours is the “cream of the crop?” It’s tough, but usually you should trust your instincts. If you feel pressure to join, contradictory statements from staff, or have overall a “bad” feeling, then JUST DON’T DO IT. Come on, you’re not 10; you can make up your own mind.

    Second, but perhaps most important, this company is only as good as it’s clients. That means YOU. Sometimes the staff really does want you there because they truly and honestly feel like they have people you would want to meet. To that effect, I think I need to clarify something: who you THINK you want to meet in terms of finance and looks, etc, and who you SHOULD meet are two different things. In case anyone needs a reminder, Tom Cruise is super short, Demi More is way older than Ashton, and Donald Trump, the billionaire that IJL ladies think they will all meet, is really not attractive at all. If you chose not the meet someone because their name sounds too Italian, then you may as well go home and cry yourself to sleep right now. (During my employment with IJL that has happened on more than one occasion…amongst many other silly scenarios). Give the staff some room to actually choose people for you, and DO NOT limit them to height restrictions, hair color, specific career, or American sounding names. You will only meet someone of quality (to you) if you are open and allow yourself to truly get to know someone. TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.

    To sum up (there is so much more I could write here!) This service will not work for everyone, but most often it is that persons fault. Sometimes I agree there are bad decisions made by staff, but MOST of the time, people just need to take pickles out of their behinds. If you don’t expect much but REALLY want to meet a wide array of people, you will have the most fun, and luck, with this service.

    Oh, and I DID encounter a number of marriages. FYI, they were all people who did not initially fit 100% according to each others “want list”.

    Cheers!

  4. tidbit says:

    Well, I joined IJL in NYC had a rather pleasant experience initially. I did meet someone in 2004 that I dated believing he was a certain age, that was shared by the staff with me (a lie) as well as his marital status- “divorced” (a lie). Well into the relationship I found out that both of these were untruths and realized only then that the “screening” of applicants is basically none. The information shared with a member was in my case, only what the staff can garner in their interview. There is no background check to check on the obvious. People are not always what they seem… If you are going to do any of these services, you do the legwork- If paying up to $2000 to meet a potential mate is being spent, then a brief few minutes on the internet today to check for age verification & marital status is key. Also, there is a shortage of men in the IJL service so the team continued thoughout the relationship to solicit him to go on dates as “you never know”. I am sure he of course did so while being involved with me for at least 1 1/2 years. In short, the service and he worked the women who signed up & who were looking to meet decent human beings. We have broken up & he is still out there ladies- IJL I am sure is happy to have him back in the pool- it’s 2007 & easy now to do your own legwork.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wanted to let everyone know about this dating service that I recently was a part of and why NOT to sign up for it.

    I signed up for the year membership which costs $1,800. Pretty extreme, but you can take it however you want. When I first began I decided this would be a good investment into my future to find a wonderful woman to spend the rest of my life with. The dating world is not easy here in Chicago and the typical “bar” women are far from the best. So this was another option other than the online dating scene.

    Anyway, throughout the year membership I went on over 25 dates with different women, so I feel I am experienced on how this works.

    IJL leads you to believe that they have the perfect matches for you, which they don’t! They call and tell you about the new match: What they like to do, their looks, their activities, their travels, etc… After hearing basically the same description for each woman, I eventually told them to not waste their time in telling me about the details. Every one sounded fantastic, until you went out on the date! Out of these 25+ dates, I would say that only 2 were good looking. Only a few (6) could hold a conversation, and many had completely different views/likes etc…and weren’t even close to a match. It is very frustrating to go through that many dates throughout the year and not find 1 woman that I would like to date.

    This service had no idea of what I was looking for, after several conversations stating what I was in search of. They only meet with you once and somehow they “know” you. You have to explain your likes/dislikes over the phone to someone you have never met. Supposedly, there are a group of people who sit in a room and go over all the different profiles to match you up. I think they just grab the closest match and that’s who you will be meeting. There was never a good match and then after complaining several times, IJL had the nerve to ask me to sign up for another year! Crazy! I haven’t even spoken to the woman who interviewed me initially (Since I signed up). You would think that she, being the one who “knows” you, would do her best to advise or help in any way possible. She explained that she knew exactly what I was looking for, and I believed her. Unreal. IJL doesn’t even show you a picture of the person you are about to go on a date with. If they did that, it would have saved the woman and I a bunch of time. There were very few good looking women, and the ones that were good looking, couldn’t hold a conversation or didn’t have the same likes/dislikes as I. And I’m sure that everything is vice versa as well….if I wasn’t the woman’s type, it would have saved her time/money.

    I wanted to let you know that I wasn’t the only one. Several dates (10) that I went on said they hated the service as well and they weren’t listening to what they wanted. Some tried to cancel the membership, but IJL wouldn’t let them. Throughout the 25+ dates, there wasn’t 1 compliment about IJL. Only complaints.

    Anyway, to make a long story short:
    IJL DOESN’T LISTEN TO YOUR NEEDS
    IJL DOESN’T ADVISE YOU ON DATING, OR HELP WITH MATCHING
    IJL DOESN’T MATCH YOU WITH PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN RELATE TO
    IJL DOESN’T MATCH YOU WITH GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE
    IJL ISN’T ANY BETTER THAN ONLINE DATING, WHICH IS MUCH CHEAPER
    IJL DOESN’T FULFILL…SIMPLE.

    So, in conclusion, if you are considering this service, take my advice and don’t waste your money.

    IJL has been more of an annoyance than anything else. No one seems to know what they are talking about and they are just reading profiles….you could do that online for much less than $1800 + all the food and drinks that you have to spend when you go on these dates.

    Back to the real dating world….in fact, already have 2 dates lined up WITHOUT the service!

    Good luck.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I wanted to let everyone know about this dating service that I recently was a part of and why NOT to sign up for it.

    I signed up for the year membership which costs $1, 800. Pretty extreme, but you can take it however you want. When I first began I decided this would be a good investment into my future to find a wonderful woman to spend the rest of my life with. The dating world is not easy here in Chicago and the typical “bar” women are far from the best. So this was another option other than the online dating scene.

    Anyway, throughout the year membership I went on over 25 dates with different women, so I feel I am experienced on how this works. IJL leads you to believe that they have the perfect matches for you, which they don’t! They call and tell you about the new match: What they like to do, their looks, their activities, their travels, etc… After hearing basically the same description for each woman, I eventually told them to not waste their time in telling me about the details. Every one sounded fantastic, until you went out on the date! Out of these 25+ dates, I would say that only 2 were good looking. Only a few (6) could hold a conversation, and many had completely different views/likes etc…and weren’t even close to a match. It is very frustrating to go through that many dates throughout the year and not find 1 woman that I would like to date. This service had no idea of what I was looking for, after several conversations stating what I was in search of. They only meet with you once and somehow they “know” you. You have to explain your likes/dislikes over the phone to someone you have never met. Supposedly, there are a group of people who sit in a room and go over all the different profiles to match you up. I think they just grab the closest match and that’s who you will be meeting. There was never a good match and then after complaining several times, IJL had the nerve to ask me to sign up for another year! Crazy! I haven’t even spoken to the woman who interviewed me initially (Since I signed up). You would think that she, being the one who “knows” you, would do her best to advise or help in any way possible. She explained that she knew exactly what I was looking for, and I believed her. Unreal. IJL doesn’t even show you a picture of the person you are about to go on a date with. If they did that, it would have saved the woman and I a bunch of time. There were very few good looking women, and the ones that were good looking, couldn’t hold a conversation or didn’t have the same likes/dislikes as I. And I’m sure that everything is vice versa as well…if I wasn’t the woman’s type, it would have saved her time/money. I wanted to let you know that I wasn’t the only one. Several dates (10) that I went on said they hated the service as well and they weren’t listening to what they wanted. Some tried to cancel the membership, but IJL wouldn’t let them. Throughout the 25+ dates, there wasn’t 1 compliment about IJL. Only complaints.

    Anyway, to make a long story short:
    IJL DOESN’T LISTEN TO YOUR NEEDS
    IJL DOESN’T ADVISE YOU ON DATING, OR HELP WITH MATCHING
    IJL DOESN’T MATCH YOU WITH PEOPLE THAT YOU CAN RELATE TO
    IJL DOESN’T MATCH YOU WITH GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE
    IJL ISN’T ANY BETTER THAN ONLINE DATING, WHICH IS MUCH CHEAPER
    IJL DOESN’T FULFILL…SIMPLE.

    So, in conclusion, if you are considering this service, take my advice and don’t waste your money. IJL has been more of an annoyance than anything else. No one seems to know what they are talking about and they are just reading profiles…you could do that online for much less than $1800 + all the food and drinks that you have to spend when you go on these dates. Back to the real dating world…in fact, already have 2 dates lined up WITHOUT the service! Good luck.