The fiercely competitive dating market has seen competition on all fronts with dating sites offering a range of services for every possible person and requirement.
Florida Attorney General Pam Biondi has sue Singles Plus, a South Carolina company, with making false claims about its success rates, matches and overall screening process.
The Biondi press release about the suit is below:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Division of Consumer Protection is suing Singles Plus, a South Carolina company with offices in Florida, for unfair and deceptive trade practices, including allegedly claiming matches were made by psychologists and other licensed professionals.
According to the complaint, Singles Plus;
· Sold memberships to consumers for as much as $10,000 but did not provide members with referrals to other members who matched the users’ stated preferences and requirements;· Falsely claimed that all prospective members were screened to eliminate people who were married or who had criminal records;· Falsely claimed that matches between members were made by trained psychologists and other licensed professionals;· Falsely claimed success rates in excess of 90%;· Falsely claimed that initial interviews with company representatives were free and without any obligation; and· Engaged in high-pressure sales tactics and failed to disclose to consumers that their initial interviews with company sales representatives were being secretly recorded and transmitted to other company personnel and offices.
The complaint also names Kenneth Pogue, president and founder of the company, and Heather Olson, the manager of the company’s Jacksonville office, as defendants. The complaint alleges that Singles Plus violated a 1999 Assurance of Voluntary Compliance between the Attorney General and Singles Plus Relationship Company, Inc., a defunct company previously operated by Pogue. Other defendants named in the complaint include two companies operated by Pogue and Olson, The Relationship Company and Jacksonville Singles Search, Inc.
The Attorney General’s Office is seeking refunds for defrauded consumers, civil penalties, a permanent injunction, and attorneys’ fees. Tuesday the court granted a motion for temporary injunction and an asset freeze, and appointed a receiver who has now taken possession of the defendants’ companies.