Woman sought refund from dating agency after matches offered were outside Dublin

‘One of the offers was a match with a man living in Westmeath,’ she told court

 The judge  said  there was no basis for the woman’s claim against    Intro Matchmaking. Photograph: Intro Matchmaking website

The judge said there was no basis for the woman’s claim against Intro Matchmaking. Photograph: Intro Matchmaking website

 

A woman sought a full refund of her joining fee from a dating agency in the small claims court after she claimed the agency failed to provide her with the service she had paid for.

Jacinta McNevin claimed, that despite signing a contract that she must be willing to travel up to 90 minutes to meet a match at a halfway point, she had verbally told a representative from Intro Matchmaking that she requested to meet men in the Dublin area only.

After joining the agency in October 2018 and paying a fee of €795, Ms McNevin claimed the offers she got of matches for dates were outside the Dublin area and she was not willing to travel to meet them.

“One of the offers was a match with a man living in Westmeath,” she said.

Ms McNevin, of Castlecurragh Heath, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15 took a claim in the Small Claims Court sitting at Swords District Court against Intro Matchmaking, run by Rena Maycock and Feargal Harrington, for the refund of her joining fee.

The basis of her claim was that before signing a contract, she met a representative from the dating agency and said she wished to meet men within the Dublin area. She claimed the agency failed to provide her with the service she had paid for.

“I told the girl I didn’t wish to travel before I signed the contract. I just wanted to meet people in town [Dublin area],” Ms McNevin told Judge Dermot Dempsey.

Ms McNevin said she paid two amounts - one of €200 and another of €595 to join the agency. She also said she informed the agency she didn’t want to go online to meet a man and “took them at their word that I would meet a man in town.”

“I asked them for a refund of €795 and they refused to give it to me,” she said.

Required to travel

However, Rena Maycock, Director of Intro Matchmaking, based in Grafton Street, Dublin, told the court Ms McNevin signed the terms and conditions of a contract which stated the dating agency is a nationwide service and clients are not guaranteed matches within their home counties.

“Every member is required to travel up to 1.5 hours to meet a match at the halfway point,” Ms Maycock told the court.

“Before registering to become a member clients are required to read the terms and conditions. If she didn’t agree to them she should not have registered as a member. She signed a legally binding document.”

Ms Maycock said the terms and conditions are repeated in the welcome email clients receive and the agency, which has been established for the past nine years, gives members on average one date every ten weeks “to give every member the very best chance of success.”

She added that the agency matched Ms McNevin with a man living in Westmeath but she had refused the match, even thought she would only have to travel 30 minutes to the halfway point.

Dismissing Ms McNevin’s claim, Judge Dempsey said she had signed a legally binding document and must abide by the terms of that contract.

“There is no basis for your claim,” he said. “You shouldn’t have signed it if you didn’t agree to it.”