SEOUL, Korea, April 17, 2014 (Korea Bizwire) – A woman in her 40s has become a member at a matchmaking services company under the terms in which she is entitled to have four blind dates in one year at the expense of 2.7 million won.
Much to her disappointment, the matchmaker has matched her with bachelors who did not meet certain agreed requirements such as age, level of education and even nationality. The woman asked for a refund, but the company firmly refused.
The Seoul city government and the Korea Consumer Agency have issued an “Infringement of Public Welfare Alert” regarding matchmaking services on April 16. The alert was announced on the website, blog, SNS, newsletters and on the like.
This is the third warning issued by the government of Seoul metropolitan city regarding possible infringement of public and consumer rights in succession to the one on the “Yu-naya” smishing fraud posing as a cheering campaign for Korea’s most celebrated figure skater, Kim Yu-na and the low-interest loan scam alert.
According to the Korea Consumer Agency, there have been 58 cases of consumer losses involving matchmaking services reported this year, an increase of 38 percent over the same period in the previous year (42 cases).
The causes for damages include matters involving termination of contract (70.7%), breach of contract in which the matchmaker does not provide the dating service at designated time (25.9%) and excessive penalties due to unfair terms and conditions (3.4%).
In the most common cases of complaint, the matchmaker arranged dating sessions with dates did not possess the pre-agreed qualities, provided false information regarding prospect dates and either refuse or procrastinate to process the termination of contract upon the client’s request.
Bachelors and bachelorettes in their 30s under the greatest pressure of marriage seem to be the most common victim (23). Next came the singles in their 40s (9), 50s (9) and 20s (6). Among the total victims, 36 were women while 22 were men.
The city government came up with three consumer precautions when using matchmaking services: to check the contract thoroughly including the number of matchmaking sessions and the terms of termination and refund, not to be fooled by catchphrases like “No. 1 Consumer Satisfaction” and “Award Winning” by referring to the certification authorities and to make sure if the company complies with Fair Trade Commission rules.
Consumers who have incurred loss from matchmaking services can contact consumer helpline (1372) or the Korea Consumer Agency for damage relief.
Currently, there are 244 domestic matchmaking service providers located in Seoul.
Written by Robin Koo (email@example.com)