A woman who sued a dating agency after it was unable to find her a rich boyfriend was awarded $16,500 in damages in Chelsea, United Kingdom on Wednesday.
Tereza Burki, a divorcee and mother of three, took legal action against dating agency Seventy Thirty for deceit and misrepresentation. She claimed the agency had swindled her by advertising it had “high-net-worth individuals” who were actively looking for partners through the service.
While delivering the verdict, Judge Richard Parkes QC told the court, “Gertrude Stein quipped that whoever said money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop.”
“This case is about a woman looking for romantic happiness who says she was tricked into shopping in the wrong place, paying a large sum to a dating agency which, she says, made promises but failed to produce the goods,” he added.
According to the judge, the dating agency had only 100 active men.
“My conclusion from the evidence is that there are at the very most perhaps 200 active members of Seventy Thirty, and probably fewer. That points to a maximum of around 100 active male members. A membership of 100 active men cannot by any stretch of the imagination be described as a substantial number,” the judge said, adding, “Had Ms. Burki known what the true size of the active membership was, she would not have joined Seventy Thirty.”
The 47-year-old joined the service in 2014 looking for “possibly the man of my dreams, the father of my child.” Her specifications while joining the service included a “sophisticated gentlemen” with “wealthy lifestyle” “open to travelling internationally.”
However, her most important requirement was willingness to have more children as she always dreamt of having four. The agency felt she had unrealistic expectations when signing up.
“Ms. Burki entered into membership with the wrong assumption about the number of potential gentlemen we would introduce her to. She assumed it would be like internet dating, but we are a niche, exclusive agency, not a mainstream, mass-market online dating service. We are not going to have thousands of members because there simply aren’t thousands of single, wealthy, high-calibre prospects out there,” the agency said, Metro reported.
“Ms. Burki was found to have libelled Seventy Thirty, as the Judge said that we had sourced excellent matches for her. Therefore, her remarks about us being a non-reputable and fraudulent company were deemed untrue and entirely without foundation,” the company said adding “We would like to reassure and remind our clients – both prospective and current – that Seventy Thirty has been in business since 2001 and its team of psychologists and matchmakers have developed a dating model with a great deal of success.”
Seventy Thirty was started in 2001 and, according to its founder Susie Ambrose, 6,000 “lonely hearts” have been successfully matched and 63 babies have been born from those matches.
“We are incredibly proud of the service we provide and our very many happy clients,” Seventy Thirty said.
A woman who sued a dating agency after it was unable to find her a rich boyfriend was awarded $16,500 in damages in Chelsea, United Kingdom. In this image, a selection of online dating app logos are seen on a mobile phone screen in London, Nov. 24, 2016.Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images