KD Investigation: Local Dating Service Under Fire

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For many singles out there, true love seems to be getting harder to find. But are dating services the answer?

One service in Green Tree boasts a high success rate, but they’ve also collected dozens of complaints about high-pressure tactics, expensive contracts and bad matches.

They’re newlyweds closing on a new house; but three years ago, Dina and Larry Russo were simply clients of the Green Tree dating service named, the “Two of Us,” which made Dina a startling claim.

“We promise you’ll be engaged by date number six; and sure; enough Larry was date number six,” said Dina.

“Two of Us” claims a client base of 1,800 available singles, and a tried and true method of matching them up.

“We’re an introduction service,” says Susie Taylor, of “Two of Us” dating service. “We’re supplying them with introductions – with meeting people with similar interests, with similar goals in a relationship.”

But for many, love remains elusive. At District Judge Gary Zyra’s office, one woman who we’ll call Maryann, is filing a complaint demanding a refund of some $1,200.

Maryann says she was pressured into signing an unbreakable contract and given matches that bore no relation to her specification as a dyed in the wool Conservative and a fierce anti-smoker.

“I had all duds sent to me,” she said. “I had smokers, I had Liberals.”

Before “Two of Us” opened three years ago, another dating service called “The Right One” operated at the same location.

“Two of Us” says “The Right One” is now a competitor, but the Better Business Bureau in Pittsburgh says it was operated by the same California-based ownership.

“The Better Business Bureau would be concerned that the ‘Two of Us’ and ‘The Right One’ are the same company,” said Warren King of the Better Business Bureau. “In addition to a dozen court complaints against the two companies here at Better Business, there are 25 complaints on file against ‘Two of Us’ going back three years – 43 against ‘The Right One.’ Between the two companies, there’s almost 70 complaints.”

While “Two of Us” calls that a small percentage of its clients, the Better Business Bureau’s Kings says it’s the highest number of complaints against of any local dating service.

KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan spoke with several former clients too embarrassed to appear on camera, but the complaints were the same – bad matches and high pressure sales leading to expensive, unbreakable contracts – some as high as $2, $4 even $8,000.

But in Pennsylvania, the dating industry is virtually unregulated unlike states like New York where such contracts are illegal.

“Don’t be high pressured,” says King. “We’re aware of some dating companies [that] charge up to $25,000 without a cancellation policy.”

Taylor concedes that “Two of Us” presses to close the deal with its clients during the initial interview, but she says it’s the clients who benefit in the end – even if it takes a little time.

“We’re finding soul mates; we’re finding companionship – that’s not something you can put a time frame on,” she says. “But if they keep communication with us, ultimately we’re going to be successful.”

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  • critter

    Go to the Linden Grove. Its free

  • e marie

    I remember this place very well and didn’t fall for it!!! Let’s see if this rings a bell with others: a very good looking woman greets you and introduces you to a very good looking boss, she puts you in an enclosed room so you can read over the fat binder of letters from “happy” clients, you fill out a bunch of useless paperwork wanting all your details and even a social security number, but don’t sign it yet. Then they give you a price of $3,600 and your eyeballs drop out of your head. They claim men pay more money than you would. No background check is done on you, so do others get a background check? I asked…. So, you butter them up and scratch your head about the price, but you run out the door once they walk out of the room to try and negotiate a better price with their boss. I felt like I was escaping a mental hospital!!

  • Hotel6

    Now for some good news. Police are investigating after a man was shot in the chest in Homestead.

  • happymember

    Complainers will ALWAYS complain. This alternative way of meeting people works for those that stay positive and open minded. An adult can walk out without purchasing a membership if that’s what they decide. I met the love of my life through this service.

  • Roberta Roberts

    I have been ripped off to the tune of $4,127.00. Have only met a very few men that were ok. One man was bipolar, 2 were from Washington and couldn’t go
    all the way to Pgh. Also 2 men had pictures of the women. I emailed the BBB, Attorney General, Depart of the Aging. I called the day after to cancell, not knowing that I didn’t have any time to cancel. Called Bank of Amer and was told that it wasn’t posted yet. When it was posted it was too late., it was already paid. That company is a real rip offl There should be some way to stop them.They are very hard sell and the sellers are well trained and listen
    very well. They need to be stopped.

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