Money can't buy me love

Wednesday 4th July 2018

A company providing matchmaking services for wealthy single people, Seventy Thirty Limited (or “70/30”), is being sued for deceit and misrepresentation by one of their former “Gold” member clients, Ms Burki, who is claiming the return of her membership fee plus damages for distress, upset, disappointment and frustration.

In 2014, Ms Burki paid £12,600 to 70/30 in return for introductions to successful, wealthy and eligible men. Prior to signing up, Ms Burki says she was shown a number of suitable and available men who met her criteria.

However, after paying her £12,600 membership fee, Ms Burki says she found that the men she was shown before signing up were not available and the men she was introduced to were inappropriate. She alleges that many of the men were not paying members and not interested in commitment, with some not having the level of income or wealth expected from members of an elite dating agency.

In response, 70/30 counter-claimed with allegations of defamation and malicious falsehood after Ms Burki made her feelings known online by reviewing 70/30’s services on Google and Yelp.

70/30 unsuccessfully tried to have Ms Burki’s claim struck out on the basis that the alleged representations had not been made. However, the judge found that some of the representations probably had been made, particularly in light of the substantial sums of money paid and the nature of the services offered by 70/30. Ms Burki’s claim will now proceed to a full hearing.

Although the outcome won’t be known for some time, this case demonstrates there can be serious consequences, including widespread adverse publicity, when someone claims that they didn’t get what they thought they’d be getting from a contractual relationship. You should be careful to ensure that you can in fact provide what is being promised as you never know when it could come back to haunt you.

If you have any questions about claims in relation to contracts and misrepresentation, please contact Joanne Beevor or Stephen McVey.