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Dating Services have varying governmental rules and regulations depending on the state they are located. There is considerable variation in the quality and ethical practices of the various services available. In 1982 Video Introductions first published Things to Look for in a Singles Dating Service in an effort to bring about much needed changes in the dating service industry. If you're intentionally subjected to any unfair or questionable practices, please consider reporting your dissatisfaction to a consumer agency or taking other remedial action, if the firm you're dealing with is not responsive to your reasonable concerns. The following guidelines should be considered when assessing which service may best represent your interests.
  1. Does the dating service choose prospective dates for you, or are you allowed to make you own choices?
  2. How do you know that the organization has the number and the kind of members that they say they have? Grossly exaggerated membership claims are common practice with some firms.
  3. If the firm has profile albums or photo-profile sheets of members, are you allowed to look at all of their members - and given adequate time to do so - before deciding to join? Or are you expected to make decision based primarily on a slick, prepared presentation, perhaps featuring some of their more desirable members?
  4. If the firm features video dating, are you permitted to view some videotapes of your choice, which you have personally selected from their entire membership roster, before deciding to join? Or are you denied this right and given questionable excuses as to why you are prevented from determining in advance, what they have to offer?
  5. Are their members "active" members or are their membership figures knowingly based on former members they have lost contact with or inactive members who are not currently interested in dating? Are their members really available or are their membership rolls padded with attractive shills or imaginary members? Do you receive names of prospective dates only to find disinterested persons or disconnected phone numbers when you call.
  6. Do they divulge prices willingly? Are prices listed in promotional literature? Are they reluctant to quote prices over the phone? If so, beware!
  7. Is the membership fee negotiated or tailored to fit the salesperson's estimate of your sales gullibility?
  8. Are there any extra or hidden charges in addition to your basic membership or service fee?
  9. Do they use deceptive, unfair or high-pressure sales tactics? Are all of your questions answered fairly and fully? Are they open and friendly? Are you treated politely and respectfully?
  10. Are their prices out of line with comparable services? If so, why?
  11. Are you made to feel that you must make a decision on the spot following a shrewd and carefully orchestrated presentation designed to pressure you and prevent comparison shopping?
  12. Do they provide appropriate and courteous service after they have your money?
  13. Do they attempt to sell you their service only through the mail or in a visit to your home where you have less information available to determine what type of organization they are, what services they truly offer or what their members are really like - until after you have committed yourself?
  14. Do they feed on your ego - and your pocketbook - by boasting that they accept only attractive, successful people?
  15. If they really do exclude certain types of persons from their organization, is their justification fair and reasonable?
  16. Have you checked their business record with the Better Business Bureau, the State Dept. of Consumer Affairs or some other source? Ask other persons about their reputation. Don't be shy about inquiring or complaining if you've been burned. Remember, numerous persons are victimized for each person who has the courage and perseverance to make a formal complaint. Don't just verbalize your dissatisfaction! It's necessary to register your complaint in writing on a consumer agency form, so that it will become part of the firm's record, and other singles may be forewarned about the problems you experienced.
  17. Are your rights and responsibilities spelled out and protected by a fair written agreement and supporting agency literature?
  18. Does the service knowingly allow married person or persons otherwise unsuitable for relationship possibilities to become members? Do they allow person to misrepresent themselves? Does the service provide only sketchy information about prospective dates? Are you matched with types of persons you clearly specified that you were not interested in meeting?
  19. It would probably be wise to avoid any dating service which gives your name and phone number to any person(s) you have not specifically agreed to meet.
  20. Are you guaranteed dates? If so, the firm you're dealing with is either lying to you or they're in the escort service business. A legitimate dating service must depend upon the mutual consent of two persons for a date to occur.

    by Norman Mickey, Founder/Director of Video Introductions

    Copyright © 1982-2017 Norman Mickey

    Note: This guide was prepared before the advent of web based dating and 900# phone lines but many of the basic concepts still hold true.
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