Woman demands refund from dating service - WFSB 3 Connecticut

On Your Side

Woman demands refund from dating service after several canceled dates


A woman in Vernon said she spent thousands of dollars for a dating service company, however she became worried when she kept getting a string of canceled dates. Now, she wants a refund and answers, which is why she came to Eyewitness News.

Alison Champagne keeps a tight schedule with balancing both work and graduate school, but she still wants to find a special someone.

She heard about a matchmaking service for working professionals called It's Just Lunch.

"Everyone said it was worth a shot," Champagne said.

The company takes care of everything from finding a potential suitor to arranging a lunch date to making the reservation. The customer and their date get an email detailing where and when to meet.

However, the service isn't cheap, and Champagne said she paid $2,600 for a year-long service or 10 dates, whichever comes first.

"With such a busy schedule, it was pretty easy and relatively not involved process," Champagne said.

Champagne said she signed the contract and was set up with a guy on Labor Day. However, when she went to meet her date, he never showed up. 

Champagne said she called It's Just Lunch, and they told her the man left a message over the weekend. But, no one was working to receive that message. The company also said that Champagne's date called the restaurant, but the hostess must not have told her.

"Right after that I started looking up scams, and things like that," Champagne said. "And I saw a lot of shady things... a lot of people who had been stood up on their first date."

Champagne said she was worried that she might have been duped. However, she decided to try another date with the same guy. 

"I wanted to go on this date, because I wanted to find out his side of the story," Champagne said. "I wanted to find out if there ever really was a date."

So the company setup Champagne with another date. The day before the date, she hadn't heard from It's just Lunch to confirm, so she called them.

"Oh, I guess, it was a misunderstanding," Champagne said. "We didn't know that you were still wanting to continue."

They said the man she was planning on meeting wasn't free, so they matched her up with a new guy. The next day, she got a call from the service saying he canceled, just a couple hours before the date.

Champagne said she was growing more skeptical.

"I don't know if there was a second guy to begin with," Champagne said.

After a third date setup failed, she asked the company for her money back.

"I'm done being let on," Champagne said. "I'm done being, you know, played with."

Champagne said the stories from the company just weren't adding up.

"He told me that the second guy canceled because um he had put his membership on hold," Champagne said.

Champagne said she went back and forth with the company. When she kept running into roadblocks getting her money back, Champagne reached out to Eyewitness News.

Eyewitness News called the company's headquarters in Florida to get some answers. They agreed that "Miss Champagne had a series of unfortunate events...at the onset of her membership."

But company officials said they met their end of the bargain "our obligation is to present you with the introduction." They said they can't guarantee these things won't happen.

As far as Champagne's fear that there never were actual suitors in the first place, they said it's simply not true.

"We have offered her an amicable solutions," officials with It's Just Lunch said.

Company officials wouldn't tell Eyewitness News what that solution was, so the station asked Champagne. She said the only solution is to set her up on another date, not return the money.

Champagne said she's not stopping her fight to get her money back. She said she is considering taking the company to small claims court, and plans to be in touch with the state Department of Consumer Protection.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.