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Master MatchmakersDishonest Business Practices

Review updated:

Master Matchmakers (MM) operate a classic bait-and-switch operation. Upon signing up for the basic subscription, I was solicited by phone as an "exceptional candidate" and was persuaded to "upgrade" to the silver level of membership based on my profile and photo. They committed that this would expose me to a large amount of elegible men who do not post their profiles publically. Moreover, I would have contact with their team of matchmakers with prospective candidates/matches. I encountered the following challenges:

1. MM's owners communicate as if they were experts at the most agressive military interrogation techniques. Not even remote civility could describe their demeanor;
2. MM employees are unable to answer basic questions about their website functionalities and respond agressively to any questions to better understand their system;
3.See Top 10 Worst Companies in Philadelphia, PAUpon asking questions about their service, MM quickly pressed me to become a gold level member which would cost over $2, 000.;
4. I was told they thought of some matches for me, but did not pass them along because I was not a gold level member and my silver level did not justify this action;
5. I spent $450 to become a silver level member and to date, have not seen any evidence of service from their end;
6. Even after upgrading to silver, I continued to be billed monthly for their silver/basic service. At my request, they removed the charge, but if this went unaddressed I would have been billed monthly ad infinitum;
7. I was told that their entire client base consists of - and this is a direct quote - "...hundreds of clients." Yes, that is under 1, 000 clients NATIONALLY. Not exactly a robust client pipeline.
I would encourage anyone to google their business name and see all the similar complaints. Do not use this dating service unless you would like to your throw hard-earned money at a bunch of grifters.
- Dissatisfied in Philadelphia, PA

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Comments

  • Ly
      Aug 04, 2009

    I have the same concern. Heard lots of promises, paid $450 and I've seen nothing. It's been 5 months. I done 'being patient' while they 'work on their database' and am planning on contacting them asap. It's also kind of strange that every single guy in the LoveLab has gorgeous headshots and if you email them they never respond. I'm a very attractive woman so I think at least 1 would email me back. Super sketchy...don't waste your money.

    +4 Votes
  • Ho
      Aug 09, 2009

    Maybe the guys you're contacting just aren't that into you. I joined their service and got a very helpful consultation and the opportunity to meet a few guys that wanted to meet (even though that wasn't included in the $450 fee). I also met the guy I'm dating now in their Love Lab. I was gonna hire them for matches if I didn't find someone on my own. Maybe you should consider that.

    +1 Votes
  • Pa
      Aug 09, 2009

    I think you got very lucky or you might be an employee of this firm responding to bad press. This firm's online database does not contain what I would consider to be viable matches. That said, my complaints mainly stem from their horrible business practices. I saw no evidence of work product, willingness to work with me in a professional manner or any knowledge about their online services. What I was presented with was a bawdy owner who had no problem using agressive and mean-spirited sales techniques to push me into a higher level of service. My awful experience coupled with the multiple similar complaints lodged online, not to mention those on file at the Better Business Bureau, would argue that your experience is extremely RARE if not the only example of a match this business can attest to. Maybe you should consider this.

    +1 Votes
  • Sa
      Sep 02, 2009

    I completely agree with PA consumer1. I'm sure honestly09 is one of the owners or employee at best! this company is a complete joke, full of aggressive sales tactics to just get your money and no real database of singles. They are simply trying to "build" their database at this point but do not have any real clients. There deceitful and pushy antics are not the right way to build their business or their database. Don't they know word of mouth is everything?! Joanne and Steve, the mother/son owners are rude and liars. I called them to inquire about their matchmaking services but after hearing the crazy price of $2500 for 4 dates, I said No Thank You! I was continually harassed by Steve and some lady (don't think it was his mother) with a very hoarse, I smoke 10 packs of cigarettes a day person. They kept telling me how I was prime for their clients and they have people biting at their nails for someone like me. Steve even said he would lower the price if I would be willing to do him a favor and go out with someone I might not normally consider just to get this other person a date! After hearing this, it was the last straw for me. Why would I mislead another poor soul thinking they were on a real date let alone, not take into account that Steve might do the same thing to me with of of my 4 promised dates for $2500?! Just poor business practice. They are a joke and the show tough love was a joke. I think it's hysterical that Steve thought he was in a position to tell women what they were doing wrong on dates..where does he get off? He isn't educated in the field of psychology etc. From the little bit I saw of the show, looks like they found a bunch of trashy, insecure women with a bunch of problems..guess that's all they could find given they have no database of quality singles to create a real show. My advice, stay clear of this business. There aren't tons of bad business reports out there on them for nothing!!!

    +4 Votes
  • As
      Sep 09, 2009

    This service was a waste of money. I paid close to $3000 for 4 dates. I wish I had seen these reviews before I signed on. The owners are aggressive promotors and appeared to have more women clients than men. My discussions with my male dates revealed they paid much less money for the service-- roughly $500 each for at least 5 dates. I strongly recommend people stay away from this service.

    +4 Votes
  • Be
      Nov 03, 2009

    I just got off the phone with JoAnn and she proceeded to berate me over the phone. I joined the service in November 2008 and recieved a few numbers fromwomen and when I called them they asked me why Joann set them up with me because I was too far. When you question Joann, she tells you that it could take four years to match and then she brings in all the negative qualities you possess. Well, where were these negative qualities, when I gave them my money? I think this company is a complete fraud and possilby criminal. Has anyone else out there been berated by JoAnn? Steve's show is a complete joke right up there with Rock of Love. They take advantage of hard working people who are not desperate at all but just want to find someone of quality. I was just told on the phone that I do not look like George Clooney and that is why it is sooo hard to match me. I wasn't told that when I paid my money to Steve!!

    +4 Votes
  • Pa
      Nov 03, 2009

    Hi berated, JoAnn does this with everyone. Her "company" shook me down for $450, provided me with a yelling match and gave me ZERO service. Organized crime seems more legitimate. So many examples why this company needs to be stopped - JoAnn exhibits immediate anger and push back when presented with questions about her business. Under pressure, JoAnn herself admitted their database is filled with "Hundreds" of clients in total...NATIONALLY. Hardly a client platform for a nationally-marketed company. I received ZERO matches/leads. NONE. JoAnn also even pointed out that her team deliberately withheld matches from me because I wasn't at the highest level of membership. A direct quote from JoAnn, "It just isn't worth passing along those matches at your level of membership." Criminal, fraudulent, abrasive, illegal - all good words for this scam business. Check out the Better Business Bureau - there are several pending claims against them. Lets home the economy and our complaints help to usher them out of business.

    +3 Votes
  • Di
      Nov 25, 2009

    I spoke w/JoAnn and Steve once after signing up. Neither was very helpful, but both were polite. Having paid $450 for a so-called background check and an extra $40 or so per month for a few months of lovelab, they have sent possibly five inappropriate match suggestions in the past year, none of which have met my fairly basic criteria. And the lovelab pool seems kind of shallow. Of course, the one good match who would be "just perfect for you" which they promised as an inducement to have me sign up never responded. So they still owe me at least one match. I met two women through my own efforts on the lovelab, neither of which was particularly worthwhile. But such is the nature of online dating. $450+ pays for a lot of match.com though! Overall, I'd say this service borders on a scam, wrapped in a fraud and sprinkled with lies, BUT such seems to be nature of these businesses, capitalizing on people's hopes and dreams, with lots of empty promises. So buyer beware!

    +3 Votes
  • Ho
      Dec 30, 2009
    Best Best Advice

    I was duped as well. I paid $2500 for the service. When JoAnn signed me up, she showed me pictures of guys my age that she said she would fix me up with. The minute she had my money, she started sending me profiles of guys at least 10 years older than me. When I asked her what happened to the guys she had shown me, she told me that I was too old for them. They were looking for younger woman. We all know why she showed me pictures of these guys - to steal my money. It's a waste of money. These people are scammers. And the fact that Steve thinks he is an expert at love at the age of 27 or so is a joke.

    +5 Votes
  • Di
      Jan 17, 2010

    I paid over $3k for 3 dates, only received 2 after 15 months and that was after a lot of calls and tracking them down. I was told by JoAnn that I need plastic surgery because I look like a 60 year-old (my male friends are outraged because they tell me I look about 10-15 years younger than I am).

    MM gave me matches for retired men who only wanted to either sit and watch TV, go to antique swaps, or attend trade shows. I backpack and engage in high-energy activities.

    If we all are such horrible clients, why did they take us? I am a successful woman with advanced degrees who has gone out with men in the interim- all successful, interesting, intelligent. And they weren't from their service! Hmmm, I guess I don't look like a troll woman after all.

    They need to be stopped!

    +4 Votes
  • Di
      Jan 17, 2010

    Oh, I am sorry. I forgot one thing. Claims against the in BBB don't help much. Since the BBB is in the interest of businesses, not the consumer, all the BBB does is try to clear the complaint. They rate businesses based on unresolved claims, rather than the number of claims.
    At least this is what the BBB explained to me 3 years ago when I had problems with an interstate mover.

    +4 Votes
  • Di
      Jan 17, 2010

    Number of complaints processed by the BBB against Master Matchmakers
    in the last 36 months: 16
    in the last 12 months: 10

    Complaints Concerned:
    Selling Practices (5 complaints)
    4 Resolved
    1 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve

    Service Issues (8 complaints)
    5 Resolved
    3 Company made every reasonable effort to resolve

    Delivery Issues (2 complaints)
    2 Resolved

    Product Quality (1 complaints)
    1 Resolved

    +4 Votes
  • Mi
      Mar 04, 2010

    I just got off the phone with someone name Lisa in MM's Los Angeles office. First of all, this company took four months to respond to my online inquiry; strike one. My scheduled "preliminary" phone consult was fifteen minutes late and I was placed on hold while I waited for her to finish another call. It was almost as if Master Matchmakers has hundreds of potential victims lined up in a que; strike two.
    For a preliminry fifteen minute telephone consult, I was expecting to answer some basic questions about my age, occupation, interests etc... Instead I was given the third degree and asked to drill down into my past relationships and evaluate what might have caused their demise. When I was told the cost of the program was a minimum of $2, 000.00 at the basic level and that I would be expected to cough up $450.00 for an in person meeting, I apologized and tole her that there is no way I could afford to do that as I am trying to put myself through college and help out with my parent's health insurance. She got offended and said "Well what did you expect to pay for a service like this?" Her attitude was so pushy and rude that I decided to check out the company. Sure enough I find a long list of complaints here. I'm glad I saw this before I allowed myself to be talked into spending that kind of money. Thank you all for your comments.

    +2 Votes
  • Mj
      Apr 29, 2010

    I completely agree with those unsatisfied with Master Matchmakers. I wish I has seen this before I signed up. I have had only one date after signing up 2 years ago. They are unresponsive to emails. They blame the client for not being involved. DO NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS SERVICE!! There are other services that are more reliable out there. Try one of those!!

    +3 Votes
  • Th
      May 04, 2010

    well i signed up for the free member ship and am now going to purchase a phone recorder and eagerly await their calls this can be funny to mess with them and pull them around youtube videos will ensue :) ty all for making not make a huge mistake and wasting money :)

    +2 Votes
  • Ca
      Sep 08, 2010

    I have read everything that is posted on this site before even joining Master Matchmakers. I checked with the BBBas well...17 complaints in 3 years in nothing. Google any company that does business coast to coast on a large scale and there they are. I am a client and I have had no problem with them. I have been a client for about a year and a half and have met about 6 men. I think the people above who have posted this information truly believe that there is a factory attached to MasterMatch makers where they assemble the perfect person just for you. I actualy addressed what was written online to Kim, who I have worked with since I started with this service. She answered most everything written above, and had a resonable and beliveable explanation. Bait and switch..hardly. I think you people are jaded because your still single and put all your hopes of meeting someone into this business. I still meet people on my own and do not have unrealistic expectations, perhaps that is why the few of you are so angry. I hope that you all meet some one who can occupy your time so you don't have to tell everyone the fabrications you are. I find it hard to believe given my experience that what is being said is 100% accurate..

    -2 Votes
  • Di
      Sep 15, 2010

    calalilly, you are rude an insensitive to those who had truly bad experiences with MM. Perhaps you have some kind of connection with MM that makes you say these things? In any case, we report our reality with MM, and it is unfortunate that you don't like what we have to say, you will just have to get over it.

    +1 Votes
  • Sk
      Feb 11, 2011

    I am a small businessperson who placed an ad for steven and joann, and they did not pay the full amount they owed me. They were kind when they were asking me for my help, but then got ugly and, yes, Joann berated me when i called her for payment. they are vicious and vile scammasters!

    +3 Votes
  • Sc
      Jun 12, 2011

    I had a very upsetting experience with Master Matchmakers. At my first meeting with Steve, he showed me lots of pictures of men around my age and assured me that he would find a perfect match for me. He urged me to sign the contract immediately and asked for a deposit of $3500.00, 1/2 of the contract. I was tired of the dating scene and wanted to meet someone of integrity and quality. My first match was with a very nice man, but much older than myself and not physically able to do the athletic activities I was looking for in a partner. When I asked to be given another match, I was berated for not giving the guy more of a chance and told that I was being "picky". I was also told that I couldn't find a man closer to my age, because they all wanted someone younger. From there, it got worse. The next match was the worst date I have ever been on. He was extremely rude, had an expectation of getting together sexually that evening and brought in another couple to "join" in. I was so upset, and called the office immediately the next morning. After days of no response, I connected with another match. This time it was with a guy who had just lost his job and told me he was having trouble making ends meet. Wasn't having a steady job and income an essential criteria for application??? What about all the screening?? At this point, I was told, by Joann, that I was the one with the problem. She berated me again and told me I had my expectations too high. So it comes down to is this: they pretend to "screen" people for a good match, then when it doesn't work out they tell you it's your fault. After your 4 matches they tell you it's your problem. They should be put out of business!! Do not trust them and do not sign a contract with them! You will be sorry! Master Matchmakers is nothing but a big SCAM!

    +2 Votes
  • An
      Oct 10, 2011

    I just got off the phone with Joann Ward after trying to get her to see my POV about them not doing anything with my account for OVER A YEAR! She played the baby game of whenever I tried to say anything she would talk over me (I know she was doing it intentionally because she would become very quiet when I was quiet, then wait 2-3 seconds after I began talking then talk louder than I would). I finally asked her if she let anyone else talk- of course, she talked over me. After 5 minutes of this I yelled at her to please shut her pie hole!
    They never change...for the love of all that is good in this world, DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! Get as far away from these sheisters as possible!

    +2 Votes
  • Co
      Oct 19, 2011

    I looked online before I joined Master Matchmakers and I looked for reviews not complaints. Evey company has complaints. I asked for references and was provided both men and women to speak to. I have had a great experience so far and I am very suprised to read the above comments. While I have not worked with Steve or Joanne-I have worked with Stephanie, Kim & Monica who have all been incredibly supportive and helpfull in my search. All of the staff have made themselves available to me during and after business hours, which given my crazy work schedule-I appreciate greatly. I would encourge those who are considering joing this company to formulate your own conclusion and search for reviews I think there are 1ox's as many people who feel like I do than who feel like those above. Best of luck to all!

    0 Votes
  • St
      Oct 24, 2011

    I agree with Courtney- I have a had great experience with Master Match makers and I recently re-joined. I see a lot of people say this was a waste of their money and I couldn't help but feel sorry for them, they have not shared a similar experience to me. I did what the woman above did and looked for reviews from actual clients. I saw many happy reviews and write ups. I believe that I spent my money well and have enjoyed working with Joanne, who I think is funny. Not many people seem to like her on this site, but I have never met a more honest woman-which I find refreshing. I aksed her to comment on my photos and I liked that she didn't hold back-this is what I paid her for-to help me figure out why I am still single and help me find and keep the right man. In todays world everyone is so sensitive and P.C I find the open communication helpful, not hurtful. I am fortunate I suppose to have a great relationship with the staff. I have never had a problem and do not forsee any in the future. It's a shame that a company and more specifically Steve and Joanne can be tarnished and dragged through the mudd beacuse people have a bone to pick. I am glad that Courtney and I have had the guts to post on this site and share our thoughts.

    0 Votes
  • Mj
      Oct 24, 2011

    I did not have a good experience with MM's dating service and I wrote and earlier comment about that. However, when I complained to them, they did give me four free sessions with one of their dating coaches. And I really enjoyed those sessions. The dating coach was sympathetic, knowledgeable, non-judgmental, and informative. So although I standby my previous comment regarding their dating services, I need to add that their dating coaches seem very good.

    0 Votes
  • Hu
      Oct 27, 2011

    I had a positive experience with Master Matchmakers and I'm not an employee as was reference in an above comment. Not all complients are phony!. I am still in a relationship with my boyfriend who I met through this company., I do think credit needs to be given for success. I have had nothing but an enjoyable experience working with Steve and Joane maybe it takes a certain type of person to take constructive criticism. I know everyone above thinks theres nothing wrong with them, maybe there is and you don't want to accept it as most people wont tell you the truth. The lady above-"shut your pie hole" really? someone who talks like that and you are complaining how you were spoken to wow! It seems beacuse you are all still single you are blaming someone else. That's my opinion There are a lot of ppl who have great things to say but Negative people thrive on negativity so you all have found it.

    0 Votes
  • Te
      Feb 13, 2013

    Well I am glad I got on here and read this before I signed a contract, I just talked to someone from their sight and was considering shelling out the $450. Which I was under the impression that was the total fee, none of this silver, or gold member bull. I did not realize their would be more money involved. So thank you everyone for saving me from a horrible experience.

    0 Votes
  • Co
      Apr 12, 2013

    I used Master Match Makers in the past and I like others on this site was berated by Joanne when I did not like the matches her matchmakers sent over to me. I was very insulted by her tone and delivery and even the pure shock that she was calling me. I live in DC and the last thing I expected was the President of the organization to get on the phone and berate me because her company was not able to appropriately match me. I am not a child and I did not pay $5500 to be yelled at. I am very happy for the people that seem to be happy with their services but clearly the majority of the people on this site feel like they have been cheated and scammed out of a lot of money. The numbers don't lie and clearly more people are upset than happy with their services. I am happy that this forum is out there so I can feel validated that I was not the only one ripped off and I can help prevent someone else from being taken advantage of.

    0 Votes
  • Pe
      May 17, 2013

    I am actually speaking to someone from M.M. who almost has me convinced to sign on... when I resisted to sign on she politely offered to make the number of matches unlimited (I am a 35 yr old male from Puerto Rico) I am told that there is a possible match for me (female with a job, degree, gorgeous with no kids) Here's the thing, sounds too good to be true... And who's to say that the matches are legit? With the fees you have to pay (im being asked for $2500) they can pay a random girl off the street to meet me! It just seems like way too much risk.. Please readers.. Feel free to comment further and thanx to those who posted!!

    0 Votes
  • Sa
      May 21, 2014

    Yup. Everything these people are saying is true. KEEP YOUR MONEY. If you are too busy for dating or whatever it is that is getting you to sign up for this, find another way. Make the time. Give up on love. Whatever. But DO NOT give these people your money. I had no idea that this company existed even though I had seen several seasons of the show. I loved the show and I wanted to find out if maybe there were things about me that I could improve on that might help me with dating. I get hard selled into joining up by Joann who wanted some money, then went down on her price as a discount because I liked the show lol (I was prepared to pay the full price and didn't even ask for a discount). I get a 26 year old dating coach who hasn't the slightest idea what dating or love is. I ask for my money back and am presented with a contract that says you will not post any complaints to the internet or talk bad about the company. Ooops and you get very little of the money back. Does anyone want to take the time to bring them to court to get the money back ? I don't. If you really need to try this out, do it with a Discover card or a card that will allow you to back out of the transaction. You will be very very glad you did.

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      Jul 02, 2015

    Joann is an over aged woman with too much filler an botox she looks and acts like a man and has the most nasty disposition. Oh she was nice initially but just ask for what you paid for and then the nasty low class attitude comes out. They need to be shut down! Who do they think they are stealing money from innocent lonely people and then treating us like a second class citizens.

    0 Votes
  • Ra
      Oct 24, 2015

    Really glad I read these posts, along with a ton of others on other sites. I almost forked over $450. I thought the basic membership was free, but apparently not. After seeing all the unflattering posts, I emailed JoAnn and told her I have decided to go in another direction. Her response back to me was: "Thank you for wasting my time." Can you believe that sh**?? The 'wasted time' was a couple phone calls and emails and me asking for a reference (which I did not bother calling). What a way to treat a potential client! How are these people still in business??

    0 Votes
  • Sh
      Dec 01, 2015

    JoAnn is a complete psycho and I can't believe this "company" hasn't been shut down. I spoke with her a couple weeks ago to get information. After hearing how expensive it was (for only 3 possible dates), I told her that I needed to think about it. She called and left me a voicemail right before the Thanksgiving holiday, but I did not return her call. She called me again tonight and left me the nastiest, most unprofessional message I have ever received. She proceeded to call me a compulsive liar (for what reason, I have no clue) then told me that "karma's a bi*ch" and if I don't call her back soon then I'd be "dead to her." Who threatens potential customers like that?!?! DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY!

    0 Votes
  • Ji
      Sep 04, 2018
    Master Matchmakers - Marlboro Medium Pack
    Lebanon

    Dears

    I have been smoking Marlboro Medium for years and recently like few months ago it's a bit hard to open the pack and when i open the pack it gets torn and the pack doesn't look good anymore

    I think the Regie in Lebanon is making the packs now

    Thank you

    0 Votes

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