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I-Team: Dating Service Accused Of Misleading Customers In Boston

By Joe Shortsleeve, WBZ-TV I-Team
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BOSTON (CBS) – With busy schedules, finding romance can be a challenge for singles of all ages.

It’s not uncommon to spend a little money on a service to help move things along.

Date and Dash is one of those companies that promise to help find an appropriate mate. The I-Team found many people, however, wish they never engaged with this outfit.

A romantic can pay $35 with the promise of meeting a potential partner at a Boston landmark like Mike’s Pastry in the North End.

There’s just one problem according to James Caterino, the bakery’s night manager. “We were never contacted or told about it at all,” James told WBZ. “This is the first we’ve heard about it, so it’s quite a shock.”

We sent producer Andrea Courtois into a Date and Dash speed dating event at Fire and Ice in the Back Bay. The fee went thru on the credit card, but there was no party to be found.

Andrea said, “I went over and asked the bartender myself what was up with the company or what was going on, and the first thing he said was that they’ve been really inconsistent. And he apologized that there wasn’t an event, and he said that this has happened before, where people have showed up.”

The Fire and Ice manager later told the I-Team he was going to tell Date and Dash to stop using the restaurant’s name on their website.

We also went to an event at Starbucks on Boylston Street in Boston. We asked the patrons as well as the manager if they were aware of a Date and Dash event. The answer was a consistent no.

When people do get to attend actual events, there are many complaints about them.

Alexandra Katzman tried Date and Dash when she was a law student and thought it was very misleading.

She signed up for an event advertised for 22-32 year olds, but ended up getting a big surprise. One of her potential dates was 46 years old. “My jaw dropped. That’s horrifying, that’s a 22 year age difference. He is old enough to be my father.”

Date and Dash defends their practices, saying unless it is a speed dating event, “venues are not notified.” They added that “all of our events are legit.”

But numerous web reviews still call the service a scam, and complain of poor customer service and no show events.

“Consumers are reporting to us that they go in, and what is set as an expectation, what they are paying for is not at all what they are getting when they walk into one of these events,” said Paula Flemming of the Better Business Bureau.

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