Signed Up with Dating Service

(WSVN) - Valentine’s Day is coming. Hopefully, if you want a date, you have one, but if you are looking for one, you might want to be very careful. It’s why one fellow called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Martin and Linda were married for 50 years. Fifty wonderful years.

Martin Weinstock, signed up for dating service: “Yeah, yeah. I had a lovely wife. I got two lovely daughters, two nice son-in-laws and three beautiful grandchildren.”

And then the 50-year fairy tale ended.

Martin Weinstock: “My wife passed away, unfortunately, from lung cancer.”

Martin was left alone in their home, filled with memories.

Martin Weinstock: “I never realized how much I miss my wife until she was gone, and you know what I miss? I miss not having somebody to say, ‘What do you think about this?'”

Martin says, a year or so after Linda’s death, he saw an ad for a dating service.

Martin Weinstock: “I was afraid to call, and then one day I was very lonely, and I called them.”

Martin says he didn’t sign any paperwork, just paid $1,995 over the phone with his credit card and emailed some pictures.

A date was then arranged for him.

Martin Weinstock: “I went on one date with one girl, and different and unusual, and we didn’t hit it off.”

Martin quickly realized a dating service was not the way to mend his broken heart, but he found out he could not break away from the dating service.

Martin Weinstock: “I was never told that it was for six months and six dates, because its $300 a date, and I wouldn’t have gone for that.”

Paying for six dates at $300 a date. Not like it was back in the old days.

Martin Weinstock: “I was too naive, ’cause I haven’t been on the dating scene in 50 years. I feel like a 16-year-old, 16 years old on steroids, and I don’t know what in God’s name I’m doing.”

When the business wouldn’t return his money, Martin came up with an idea for a buddy who was lonely.

Martin Weinstock: “If they didn’t get me a refund, get the six months and give it to a friend of mine and let him do the dating.”

Martin says the dating service said no to that, too.

Martin Weinstock: “I was very lonely, and I think they took advantage of an old man.”

Well, Howard, Martin says he doesn’t remember signing anything, just agreeing over the phone to a deal that came as a surprise to him. Is he out of luck?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “It depends. If you agree verbally over the phone, and they have a copy of the tape, you are bound by the contract. If they send an email to approve what the law calls a click wrap agreement, and you click it, that’s the same as signing it, and you bound by the contract. If you didn’t do either of those, you can get back any money they owe you.”

We contacted the dating service. They said Martin did click online, agreeing to the contract, but they offered a compromise and would do what Martin asked: let his friend use the remaining dates.

Howard Finkelstein: “You have to be really careful with expensive dating services, because it’s not like a contract to buy a car or furniture. You are agreeing to something, and you don’t even know what you are getting, so be really careful and ask to read the contract.”

Martin Weinstock: “I’ve learned to accept the loss.”

Martin is happy to help his friend get a few dates, and some great news: Martin doesn’t need a dating service anymore, because he found a lady friend the old-fashioned way.

Martin Weinstock: “Yeah, and it’s just somebody to spend time with and do things with, and we’re going out to dinner tonight.”

Three hundred dollars a date for a matchmaking service, and if the date has to pay $300 dollars to meet you … wow. Looking for love is expensive.

Met your match trying to solve a problem? Love to break up with it? Tie the knot with us. We’ll commit to helping with no fee. We’re free.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
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