ORLANDO, Fla. — A Winter Park woman paid thousands of dollars to a popular dating service but claims it never delivered promised matches.
Action 9 found dozens of customers who said they had the same experience.
“I really don’t believe they have their client’s best interests at heart,” Meg Wittman said.
Wittman claims Sun Coast Introductions failed to deliver after she signed a $3,200 contract. She had high hopes when she heard the sales pitch at an office in Winter Park.
“She mentioned several times that I was very matchable,” Wittman said.
As a young professional working long hours, she thought Sun Coast’s services could help her find a long-lasting relationship.
She claims the company promised several matches within months. Wittman told us there was only one date and it was a dud that didn’t meet the qualities she had listed.
Wittman said she complained and was surprised by the company’s reaction. “They seemed to get defensive and that just is really when my alarm bell started ringing.”
Later she discovered the contract included a clause that didn’t guarantee receiving matches within a specific time period.
According to Wittman, the company didn’t return her calls and denied her request to cancel since she missed the contract’s three-day limit.
“They’ve ignored me. They’ve talked down to me,” Wittman said.
She contacted Action 9 and consumer investigator Todd Ulrich tried to reach managers at Sun Coast’s Winter Park address.
“I’m here about a customer’s refund,” Ulrich said to the person managing the front desk.
“Right now they’re with a client, but they said that they’ll have their corporate office reach out to you guys,” he replied.
It turns out that is a virtual office Sun Coast shares with many other firms.
The company is based in Tampa, and it’s rated D at the Better Business Bureau, which found a pattern of complaints regarding how its service is sold.
“Consumers are alleging in their complaints that they are not meeting the people they were promised to be matched with,” said Bryan Oglesby of the BBB.
Florida’s Department of Consumer Services has 12 complaints against Sun Coast, and the state attorney general has seven.
Consumer experts say doing your research can save money and heartache.
“See what other consumers are saying, what their track record is,” Oglesby suggested.
Ulrich contacted Sun Coast Introductions’ corporate office. The company claimed Wittman was unwilling to continue after the first match and that her calls had been returned. A company representative also said the contract terms were fully disclosed and that only 1% of current members have complained about its services.
“I think they’ve disrespected me,” Wittman said.
Avoid long-term dating contracts. In Florida, a dating contract is considered a future service you can cancel within three days after you sign.
Sun Coast Introductions response:
At Sun Coast Introductions, LLC, we take the matchmaking process seriously. Our Matchmakers and Dating Coaches are all certified or in the process of being certified. Our Matchmakers also go through continuous training with a Master Certified Matchmaker. We always timely address every complaint and compliment that we receive. The total BBB complaints across Sun Coast Introductions LLC’s five locations since our ownership in 2018 equate to approximately 1% of our collective current membership.
Ms. Wittman joined our membership on September 6, 2022, for seven introductions and six months of inactive hold time. The very next day, on September 7, 2022, the Matchmaking Department left her a voicemail to welcome her to the service. In addition, Ms. Wittman was sent a “Welcome Email” and a “Success Tips” email which encouraged Ms. Wittman to contact the Matchmaking Department and provided the Matchmaking Department’s contact information.
On September 13, 2022, the Matchmaking Department spoke to Ms. Wittman about her potential first introduction which we will refer to as “A” for confidentiality purposes – Ms. Wittman approved of A. Ms. Wittman received her first introduction, A, on September 19, 2022. After each introduction, members receive a feedback survey to complete, Ms. Wittman completed her feedback survey on October 11, 2022.
On October 12, 2022, the Matchmaking Department called Ms. Wittman to discuss a second introduction, “B” and address her concerns. However, Ms. Wittman refused to move forward with B and the membership as a whole. Ms. Wittman alleged she was led to believe that the New Client Advisor, which complete the intake process, would be her “best friend.” The Matchmaking Manager redirected Ms. Wittman and explained to her that the Matchmaking Department would be her point of contact since they are the department that provide matchmaking services.
On October 17, 2022, Ms. Wittman’s membership was placed on hold due to her was unwillingness to move forward with her membership. On October 20, 2022, we mailed Ms. Wittman formal correspondence about her contract currently being non-cancelable and nonrefundable and reiterated our willingness and ability to provide her services. The Matchmaking Department then spoke to Ms. Wittman again on November 1, 2022, November 2, 2022, November 4, 2022, and November 10, 2022, in attempts to address her concerns.
Matchmakers also added three additional potential introductions for Ms. Wittman on September 9, 2022, September 12, 2022, and October 5, 2022. Although we cannot and do not guarantee introductions within a specific time frame, Ms. Wittman was right on track with our personal goal to provide introductions every four to six weeks. As seen above, our Matchmaking Department has continuously attempted to address Ms. Wittman’s concerns. In fact, per our phone records, each time Ms. Wittman called our customer service line, she was called back the exact same day. Although we were and still are ready and willing to provide Ms. Wittman with services, we simply cannot force a member to accept services.
We made every attempt to address Ms. Wittman’s concerns and encouraged her to move forward with her membership. Our Matchmaking Department put time, dedication, and hard work on Ms. Wittman’s membership. Ms. Wittman signed the contract and specifically initialed the cancellation clause accepting and acknowledging the terms. We understand that we deal with matters of the heart, and not every member will be satisfied. Nevertheless, we can confidently say that the Matchmaking Department has made every effort to encourage Ms. Wittman during the Matchmaking process.
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