Introducing The Dating Service Consumer Bill Of Rights

We may not yet have a Passengers Bill of Rights, but at least New Yorkers are protected by a Dating Service Consumer Bill of Rights. New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recently sued national dating service “It’s Just Lunch” for failing to follow the Bill of Rights’ provisions:

• Dating services can’t ask for more than $1,000, or sign customers to a contract longer than two years.
• Dating services can’t require the purchase of any ancillary services.
• If a contract costs more than $25 per month, the dating service must provide a minimum number of referrals each month. Customers can cancel with a full refund if the minimum is missed for two consecutive months, though a reasonable cancellation fee is allowed.

• Customers can tell the dating service how far they are willing to travel to meet someone; the dating service can’t refer anyone farther away.
• The contract must include provisions that address moving outside of the dating service’s area of coverage.
• Customers have the right to sue the dating service if any of the contract’s provisions are violated.

New York State law also allows consumers to cancel any contract after three business days, or unilaterally put the contract on hold for up to one year.

Cuomo had accused It’s Just Lunch of signing lonely customers to consecutive six-month contracts, each costing $1,500. For their transgressions, It’s Just Lunch will pay a $47,000 fine and promise to end their cheating ways.

Online Dating Service Attracts Cuomo’s Attention [NYT]
“It’s Just Lunch” Dating Service Overcharged Customers; Settles With Attorney General Cuomo [NYS Attorney General]
Dating Service Consumer Bill of Rights (PDF)
(Photo: shane o mac)

Comments

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  1. Sudonum says:

    $1,500 for six months? For a dating service? No wonder these people can’t get a date.

  2. Hawk07 says:

    Those must be some pretty expensive lunches for $1,500.

  3. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I don’t see why the government should be involved in regulating fees for dating services. There are so many different types of dating services, it’s not like one is forced to choose “It’s Just for Lunch”. If $1500 gets you 5-6 quality dates, that’s money well spent in New York City. There are some dating services that charge you up to $2000 per date. And they guarantee a happy ending.

  4. lestat730 says:

    Are we sure “It’s Just Lunch” isn’t actually an escort service? With prices like $1,500 how could it not be? The name probably comes from what their clients tell their wives to get away for an afternoon of….

  5. mschlock says:

    Fifteen hundred dollars! I’m annoyed enough at paying $50 every three months to freakin’ match.com in order to get hit on nearly exclusively by men who live 1500 miles away or can’t spell.

    I’ve looked at It’s Just Lunch before but the conspicuous lack of a price point on their website made me suspect it was some obscene amount of money, which seems to be true. Yeesh.

  6. Thrust says:

    It’s a sad enough world when someone has to pay for sex, but a global f**king travesty when someone must pay for a small chance at sex.

  7. MrBartokomous says:

    Bah, they’re all a crapshoot, built to prey on men’s desperation. Admittedly I’ve never done the paid introduction service route, but I’ve done the online dating scene(both paid and unpaid sites), and honestly, the best results I got came from plain ol’ Craigslist.

    That being said, it seems reasonable to have minimum expectations if you’re forking out over a grand to meet someone.

  8. hoo_foot says:

    $1500 dating service? Isn’t it cheaper to pay for a hooker?

  9. not_seth_brundle says:

    @stanfrombrooklyn: I agree, I don’t see why the government is getting involved. Especially since from what I know about IJL, its clientele are educated professionals who are capable of looking out for themselves.

  10. nardo218 says:

    Huh, It’s Just Lunch is evil? They support my public radio station.

    Their website is pretty skeevy, though; you can’t look at any company details before you give them your name and phone number, and you can’t search any database. They expect you to be too sophisticated to care about getting what you pay for.

  11. mschlock says:

    @TheBrianIsAstonishing: Unfortunately if you’re a woman on CL, you get all the poor spellers and inappropriate age/distance people you get on the other sites…plus cock pictures. Hooray…

  12. protest says:

    before college i worked at a Together Dating Service. at first they hired me as an appointment maker, then moved me to sales. i sold 3 poor shmucks the $3000 contract. yes, $3000 which gives you unlimited matches (we also had a $2000 and $1000 plan which gives certain amount of matches per month). if you are full time you make your money off commission for selling these things. i wonder if they still offer plans like these if this regulation is in effect.
    and why the hell is there a regulation for private business like this? it’s your constitutional right to be stupid enough to lay down more than $1000 for a dating service!