Contributed by: kellyseal Monday, June 09 2014 @ 06:53 am
San Diego-based dating service It’s Just Lunch has been ordered by a U.S. judge in New York to face a class-action lawsuit filed by some of its former clients.
The plaintiffs in the case are arguing that the company fraudulently misled them about their services, charging $1,000 per year for services that they did not deliver. This includes falsely promising clients (many affluent and highly educated women) that its staff would “hand select” appropriate matches for dates.
Judge Sidney Stein of the U.S. Court in New York wrote this of the lawsuit: "In short, virtually all evidence in the record indicates that during the period at issue, IJL staff relied on a uniform script to inform prospective customers during initial interviews that IJL already had at least two matches in mind for those customers' first dates regardless of whether or not that was true.”
While their argument got approved to go to trial in New York, the judge did refuse to certify a nationwide class-action lawsuit, citing that there were too many differences in the laws of individual states in regard to this particular case.
While the plaintiffs consider this a victory, It’s Just Lunch has yet to respond to the charges.
According to Courthouse News Service, It's Just Lunch sales staffers have an "info-call script" during their training at "First Date University" to guide them through calls with potential customers, the complaint alleges. They were not allowed to deviate from the script, according to President Melissa Brown’s admission to the court. At the heart of the issue for the judge is the part of the script says, “Ok, so far I have 3-4 ideas for your first date,” meaning matches that would be suitable for the client, even if the call center employee didn’t have any matches at the time.
IJL offers an initial client interview, the selection of a potential partner based on a client's desires, goals and motivations; and the arranging of lunch at a restaurant, or alternatively an after-work drink or a weekend brunch.
It’s Just Lunch proclaims itself to be “the world’s #1 personalized matchmaking service” on its website.
“You’ll find It’s Just Lunch is very different from online dating,” the website states. “Our professional matchmakers are genuinely interested in understanding you and finding out what kind of person you are looking for. Our process works and we have proved it over and over again. With over 20 years, 2 million dates and thousands of dating success stories to show for it, we can honestly say we have the experience required to improve your chances for dating success.”
If more ex clients join this class-action lawsuit, IJL might have to reconsider their marketing along with their business decisions.