As wonderful as the idea of meeting the love of your life is, Great Expectations does have some great points and it also has some not so great points. Please don’t take this review as my bias opinion as to tell you what to do, but as any consumer should know; only you can make the best decision for yourself.
I worked for Great Expectations in the Charlotte Center in Fort Mill, SC for over 1 year. I was not fired. I got so fed up with their un-ethical practices that I decided to get up and walk out.
The best thing about GE is the fact that they do run criminal background checks on everyone who joins. They will refuse a potential client if they have a felony. What they don’t tell you is, they’re not running them when you walk into the door, but they run it after they already have your money. GE is located in SC due to the fact there is no 3 day refund clause. Once you sign the contract, you’re liable for the money.
The Charlotte center is a little over 1 year old. They do have approx 2, 000 clients, however a little under 924 are active. They do keep expired members and members who fought to have their membership canceled still on the site but they list them as “inactive, please check again soon.”
Most of the members are average working men and women who live pay check to pay check, however they state these are all professional people. There are some who make a very nice living, but if I’m paying money for a service and I’m making six figures, I don’t think I’m going to want to date someone who dropped out of school and is barely making ends meat. Now not to say, he or she might not be a wonderful person or could be the love of my life, it’s just not fair. Everyday, someone calls to complain on the lack of quality singles and it's the member services team to lie and say, "well were always getting new members daily and some are on freeze and some are still waiting to have their pictures taken." We know perfectly well at the time you sign up, you're not going to find anyone that you want. We do have several really overly attractive male and female members and we make a point to only print out their pictures (some of these members have been expired) to show you the quality of the singles. What a load!
They typical price on the packages ranges in price from $4, 000 to $5490. There is also a monthly dues of $28 a month. With this you get to use the website, have a video done by the front office staff and professional photos. Right now the photographer is amazing and he is professional, but before he came, they just hired someone to take sub-standard pictures. If you want more than one picture, you will be charged hundreds to thousands of dollars. To upgrade to global (you can select and be seen by all the other members in the United States, approx 56 centers) is an additional cost. To have a V-Gram which is a little email with your picture on it is another few hundred dollars. By the time you leave you’re paying close to $10, 000. Now if you’re luck enough to meet your true love spending several thousand dollars isn’t going to bother you.
When you walk in, they give you a screener which asks for your personal information and some useless dating information. The only thing they’re after on that form is your social security number. They are not out to sell it, as a matter of fact all member files remain locked once you leave for the day, but they run your credit to see how much money they can get you for. If you though buying a car had some ruthless salespeople, try dealing with the Relationship Specialists. They feed on your emotional well being. Not everyone is even charged the same amount. They say the fee does depend on the length of your membership. That’s a crock. You can have 6 people with a 12 month membership and they all can be paying anywhere from $595 to $2950, depending on their credit and how much of a fight they put into the 2 hour interview. They asked this one man to cash in his CD to pay for his membership. Since he was going to have a penalty for early withdrawal, they told him they would give him 50% off of his membership. What a crock, regardless, they would have taken in hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Once you become a member, you are invited to join in the events they have. The events are not free. Even the staff that goes to the events has to pay (and they don’t get reimbursed). The events are fun, so that’s a plus. Aside from the background checks and the events, GE is no different than match.com, plenty of fish, perfect match and all the other online dating sites out there, aside from the amount of money they get from you.
You will stand a better chance using an online dating site.
On an end note. When the telemarketers call and hound you (and they will) tell them you turned gay or got married. If you tell them you’re in a relationship they will just call you back in a few months. We were all trained to tell you that you may have read bad reviews about Great Expectations and we’re told to say, “there have also been bad reports about Walmart, yet you probably still go there.” Go with your gut. Save yourself a lot of money and aggravation.