9OYS Problem Solver

Tucson woman pays $2K for love, now just wants a refund

Matchmaking service won't say if there's a lack of men in the area, hindering her shot at finding soul mate

CREATED Dec. 19, 2012

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  • Kelly Moyes

Reporter: Kevin Keen
 
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A soul mate. True love. Someone to spend the rest of your life with. You can spend a lifetime looking for "the one,” but one Tucsonan was fed up trying on her own. She turned to a matchmaking service. Now, she says that service wasn't a good fit for her and wants to warn other women.
 
Kelly Moyes packs a powerful punch. The 30-something Tucsonan regularly goes to the gym, hitting the punching bag and practicing a combat sport from overseas.
 
“It's a fantastic workout,” she said, with punching gloves on. “But also it's just a challenge.”
 
Moyes is active, athletic and not afraid to admit: life isn't what she wants it to be outside of the ring.
 
“It's hard to meet people,” she said. “You think it wouldn't be so hard in Tucson. It's mainly, I think, a college town or if not that, more for snow birds. So, for people in my age group -- which is early to mid 30s -- it's tough to find somebody.”
 
But it's not just anybody this young professional wants. She's looking for a soul mate.
 
“I have that New York sarcasm/attitude,” the native New Yorker said. “I need someone who's going to not be insulted by it, number one, but also probably be able to give it back to me in spades.”
 
Boy, has she searched for Mr. Right -- using Match.com, the Plenty of Fish website, local meet-up groups and being set up.
 
“I did do speed dating, too,” Moyes laughed. “That was actually a lot of fun. It didn't really pan out.”
 
Then, Moyes' father suggested a dating and matchmaking service called "It's Just Lunch," offered in cities across the country and the world.
 
“Nothing is online,” she explained. "It's very old-school matchmaking, but it's also for professionals -- people like me, who have a career and don't want to be hitting the bars.”
 
Instead, singles meet for lunch or drinks then decide if they want to see each other again.
 
With very high hopes, she signed a contract and paid $2,200 for a "platinum premier membership,” including -- among other things -- at least 14 dates or 14 months of service, whichever comes later.
 
Moyes says she went on three blind dates in Tucson in about a year and said the matchmaker then stopped calling.
 
Moyes heard from one of her dates that the company just doesn't have enough men participating in Tucson. The company would neither confirm or deny that claim to 9 On Your Side.
 
“I went, 'O-M-G! That is just not right!'” she said. “That could be why they haven't been able to find anyone for me.”
 
Moyes hired an attorney and demanded a refund. Her attorney sent a letter to It’s Just Lunch, stating at the pace the first three dates have come, it would take five years to go on fourteen. He called that "unreasonable" and pointed out the contract would expire by then.
 
At first, in a letter obtained by 9 On Your Side, "It’s Just Lunch" declined to refund Moyes' money, in part blaming Moyes for being unavailable and too selective. It offered to schedule more dates.
 
That's when Moyes contacted 9 On Your Side, which called It’s Just Lunch.
 
Citing client confidentiality, vice president of customer service Julie Lopez declined to be part of an interview to talk about Moyes' case or about the local dating service in general.
 
Is there a shortage of men taking part in Tucson? The company wouldn't say.
 
9 On Your Side wanted to know: Is Moyes' experience typical?
 
The Better Business Bureau gave the Tucson office an A+ rating for just one complaint in the past three years. Other competing dating services 9 On Your Side spot checked also scored well by BBB standards.
 
It's Just Lunch's international headquarters, however, earned a C rating from BBB with 141 complaints, dozens of which are unresolved.
 
Days after 9 On Your Side called, It’s Just Lunch had a change of heart and offered a partial refund – $1,371 – about half of what Moyes had paid. She accepted.
 
“If you come across another woman who wants to sign the dotted line, what would you tell them?” reporter Kevin Keen asked Moyes.
 
“Don't do it,” she answered.
 
To get her settlement, Moyes signed an agreement not to bad mouth It’s Just Lunch from then on. 9 On Your Side interviewed Moyes before that agreement existed.
 
And her love life? Keen asked, “You've added another dating service to your list of what you tried, how do you feel now?”
 
“I'm a little discouraged, but I haven't completely given up,” Moyes replied.
 
If you're single, what should you do? Among the tips from BBB: Ask any potential dating service how many singles in your area use their service. If they refuse to answer -- as It’s Just Lunch did -- proceed with caution.