Though I have many complaints about the unethical and deceptive business practices by the Great Expectations St. Louis office, located in Maryland Heights, my primary complaint is that they misled me about their membership numbers. Before I joined their service I asked Rhonda, their director, how many female members they had in my age range of interest (which I specified was about 24-34) in the St. Louis area. I was told I could expect around 125 such members with 3-4 being added each week. After they charged me $5, 295 for my membership I discovered how grossly they had misled me: they currently have 22 active women in the entire 18-35 age range for St. Louis and its surrounding areas, and they sign up less than one new female member in this age range each month! Needless to say I have reported them to both the Better Business Bureau and the Missouri State Attorney General's office. Interestingly, I have also spoken with about ten current and recent members through their office. Every single person I have spoken with is dissatisfied with Great Expectations, and interestingly their complaints are all similar to mine, especially about being misled about how many members Great Expectations actually has. Here are some facts about the Great Expectations St. Louis office and my experience with them:
-They currently have only 22 active females in the entire 18-35 age range.
-In recent months they have signed up less than one female per month in this age range.
-They list members as "new in the last 60 days" when they are clearly not new within that time period (they are listed this way for well over 60 days)
-When I called their office to ask about the discrepancy in their membership numbers, their director took nearly two weeks (after multiple calls from me to their office) to return my phone call.
-They currently have a D+ rating and non-accredited status with the BBB as well as multiple unresolved complaints.
-They have numerous complaints on file with the Attorney General's office.
-They took nearly two months to respond to the BBB and the Attorney General's office after being contacted regarding my complaint.
-A former employee has publicly described several very deceptive and unethical practices of the Great Expectations office:
-There are many complaints about Great Expectations on online consumer web sites.
-They falsely accused me of scheduling and not showing up for a video/photo appointment when I have phone records proving I never spoke with their office during this period.
-They told me (and their contract also states) that all of their members must have a video and photo taken before being allowed access to their database, but several of their current female members' profiles do not have both of these.
-Their office charged me $160 to put onto a CD-ROM the photos they took of me when I activated my membership. They then never sent me the CD, forcing me to dispute the charge with my credit card company to receive a refund.
-They violated their own contract, which states that disputes will be resolved via mandatory arbitration with the Better Business Bureau, when they chose not to respond to the arbitration agreement that the BBB sent them regarding my complaint.
-Lawsuits have been filed recently against Great Expectations by the attorney general's offices of Kansas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and New York City, all alleging misrepresentation of services offered.