Matchmaker, matchmaker … give me my money back?
For many singles, going on bad dates is the price of looking for romance. But for 61-year-old Audrey Ruden, who hired matchmaker Richard Easton of Richard Easton Matchmakers to find her dates that could lead to marriage, the price tag was a hefty $100,000. And she wants her money back, according to the New York Daily News.
Ruden, a Manhattan real estate broker, paid Easton $100,000 in May with the expectation that she would be introduced to 15 quality, marriage-minded men within 13 months. Her lawsuit, filed Thursday in the Manhattan Supreme Court, stated that neither of her first two dates showed interest in marriage, and her second date said outright that he wasn’t interested in marriage and asked her why she was. The suit claims that when she complained to Easton, he became hostile and rude, and stopped returning emails and voicemails. Court papers also allege that Easton’s staff have little training experience or background in matchmaking.
Easton told the New York Daily News that Ruden lied about her age by about 10 years, and declared, “There’s no lawsuit here. Ms. Ruden simply wants the process to move quicker than the challenges of matching a 60-year-old woman warrant.”
Under New York state law, a dating service that charges more than $25 is required to provide a minimum number of referrals per month, and if it doesn’t deliver for two successive months, the client can cancel the contract and get a full refund minus a cancellation fee.
Although it might seem far-fetched to successfully sue a matchmaker, there are precedents. One notable success was Anne Majerik, who sued high-priced Beverly Hills matchmaker Orly Hadida, to whom she paid $125,000. According to the suit, Hadida had promised her "a cultured gentleman" with an "estate of up to $20 million," and instead made matches with inappropriate men. In 2006, according to a Los Angeles Times story, a jury awarded Majerik $2.1 million.