Candy Porbansky, a 52-year-old Oxnard widow, paid $35,000 to join Two of Us, a Glendale-based dating service, in part because her matchmaker said a very eligible, $80,000-membership buyer was on the phone just dying to meet her as soon as she signed up.
But when she met him she said she knew it was a scam. "He just wore too much polyester."
Now Porbansky has joined up with several others in filing complaints against the service, claiming they were taken for thousands of dollars with no qualified match in sight, according tot he Daily News.
Problem is, the exorbitant fees and alleged bait-and-switch is perfectly legal.
According to the DN:
Law enforcement officials also say that by providing dates and prospective matches, dating services such as Two of Us appear to skirt criminal fraud, leaving civil action as the victims' only recourse.
Most of the victims confirm that they have been 'matched' on at least one date by the company, but almost all complain that Two of Us matchmakers seemed to ignore the requirements of a potential mate that they set out in their written dating requests.
Many of the customers have asked for refunds, although civil court might be their only recourse.
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The company defends its tactics, saying it does match customers up (in one case, an L.A.-area woman's match was from San Diego) and has offered some refunds.
The Better Business Bureau lists an high number of complaints against Two of Us, owned by 44-year-old Toros Yetenekian, described by the Daily News as "a former Glendale College basketball star and a civic leader in the local Armenian community."
Two of Us responds that the BBB, which has recently seen pay-to-play allegations, offered to give it a top rating if it would simply pay membership fees to that organization.
In any case, the Daily News counts $100,000 worth of unsatisfied customers of Two of Us.