Attractive Professionals / unethical, fraudulent activity
(These are notes I made in February with an intention to contact ABIA).
After a lengthy online search, I decided to contact and join this introduction agency. I did so on 6th October 2017, and paid a special price of £545 ‘We want lots of new members to register, so for the next 7 days we'll reduce that fee by nearly half…'I was informed of the £55 per month fee (paid on 16th) which was fine as I was expecting ‘experienced, confidential matchmaking where you'll be treated with respect by our members.'
After my application, I was sent some examples of ‘profiles of some of our lovely gentlemen'. I was quite impressed by how attractive they all were…
Margot was to be my personal matchmaker. Following a 30 minute phone interview, I was happy that I'd set out a refined path ready for a new dating experience.
The first suggestion was sent to me on October 18th. Although this man didn't tick all the boxes, I felt it appropriate to accept the chance of meeting him, so I emailed Margot to say yes, let's take it forward. When she contacted me a few days later, with the news that the gentleman didn't want to take it further, I wasn't too disappointed as it was very early in the process.
The 25th October brought me another profile. Once again, I didn't feel there was much connection, however I decided to keep an open mind and replied with another yes to Margot. Sadly this gentleman ‘didn't want to pursue this suggestion'.
On 1st November I emailed Margot ‘wondering if there are enough men to go round'. My thoughts were simply based on my experience so far. Margot responded with ‘Why does the fact that two men have declined have anything to do with the number of men available?'
Eight more profiles have followed. The same pattern emerged for another three, who I had said yes to; they all said no thank you to my profile. I had politely declined another three. There really was nothing about their profile or photo that attracted me. I noticed with most that the distance or height or whether they had children or not (something that I had specifically stated in my phone interview), had seemingly not been acknowledged by Margot as she set about her matchmaking (30 years' experience apparently).
By this stage, a certain amount of cynicism had set in, and I realised that the ‘sample' profiles I had initially been sent were probably fictitious.
The most recent communication between me and Margot was on the 19th December after my third decline of an unsuitable profile (he was under my height criteria, lived in Scotland while I am in Aylesbury, and he had no children).
So my grievance lies in the fact that I've paid a substantial fee upfront to a company in whom I have put my trust.in addition, the £55 per month seems ludicrous when I feel that this company have not delivered the bespoke, personal service that it so effusively advocates. I have been sent (on the whole) unsuitable profiles that in no way reflects or respects my requirements and expectations.
(This now a current update - April 12th 2018)
I made a decision to contact Margot on March 4th because I still had heard nothing from her. Her daughter Lorraine Marlow responded by informing me that Margot had had a stroke at New Year, so she was taking over her clients. I was doubtful.
By this time, I had cancelled my Standing Order before the February deadline. Lorraine did not acknowledge this in her email, even though I had mentioned it in my original message. She made reference to a new profile that she had sent out to me on Feb 23rd (after I had cancelled my SO). I genuinely missed this email and I assume it must have gone to 'junk'. However the match she had made was laughable... way below my height preference and way above my requested age limit.
I question, as a new client, why do they offer a 30 minute phone interview to ascertain and fine-tune preferences in order to provide tailor-made service.
The subsequent emails between me and Lorraine were civil and measured yet I feel she did not address my issues in a consistent or professional manner. I then decided to contact ABIA. After approximately five phone calls over two weeks, and no response to my voice mails, I'm left wondering whether this regulatory board actually exists.
I feel extremely let down and cruelly deceived and I would like a full refund for the money that I have paid in good faith for a non-existent service.
Many thanks in advance for your assistance.
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