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Pursuant to Dating Services Law section 394(c)(9)(b) the Court awarded each plaintiff their “actual damages,” which the Court interpreted as “the difference between each contract price and the fee which is the maximum fee permitted under the Dating Services Law for their contracts.” Finally, the Court awarded each plaintiff a return of the defendant was permitted to charge, on the grounds “that each claimant would not have signed a contract containing terms violating applicable law had she known of her rights.” Such an award thus achieves “substantial justice” in accordance with N. Darcy Musack just wanted to meet a man with whom she could connect.Wendy Christine, director of the national dating service's franchise in Edina, said Musack is "being dishonest." Christine said no more than 50 percent of the firm's 1,800-plus members are inactive at any time, and she said a salesperson made that clear to Musack before she signed up for the service. In Washington, the state attorney general took action after reviewing nearly 60 complaints about the service.She said Musack spent time online and got the phone numbers of five different men between July 13 and 31. The company has "been bending over backward for this lady," Christine said. Among the company's alleged misrepresentations: significantly overstating the number of eligible members and failing to conduct promised criminal background checks on all members.So when an Internet ad caught her eye -- "Meet singles in your area over 50" -- she was inspired to find out more about Great Expectations' dating service in Minnesota.The 53-year-old Burnsville woman wound up paying ,705 for a three-year membership with the company, which promises to screen potential partners and provide other services to help members find the right person.Finally, the Court held that Great Expectations was subject to New York’s Dating Services Law because GE Management Group of N. apparently does business in New York under the name “Great Expectations.” GE Management operates a dating service which allows pre-screened members to obtain information about other members from an Internet website.
Christine said it's not fair to compare the local operation to other franchises because each office is owned and managed by different people.This law applies to companies offering “social referral services,” defined in §394(c)(1)(a) to “include any service for a fee providing matching of members of the opposite sex, by use of computer or any other means, for the purpose of dating and general social contact.” The Court, relying in part on a prior court decision involving Great Expectations, determined that defendant fell within the ambit of the Dating Services Law. or supplied the means for matching the members.”) Further, the fact “that the basic social introduction process was to be conducted on the Internet in this case does not place the dating service outside the scope of the law.” Because this “is a New York business and a transaction located in New York …” defendant was subject to New York’s Dating Services Law.The Dating Service Law, held the Court, was applicable to companies that provide members with the means of locating appropriate matches via the Internet, even if they do not actually match individual members. Defendants violated the Dating Services Law because they charged each client in excess of without promising a specified number of social referrals a month.Y., Inc., violated New York’s Dating Services Law, General Business Law Section 394(c), by charging two clients 00 and 90, respectively, pursuant to contracts which failed to promise to provide either client with a specified number of social referrals per month.In such situations, held the Court, New York’s Dating Services Law only permits the clients to be charged for ‘social referral services’.