• Report: #410896

Complaint Review: Great Expectations

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  • Submitted: Sun, January 11, 2009
  • Updated: Fri, July 10, 2009

  • Reported By:Pineville North Carolina
Great Expectations
985 Market St Suite 201 Fort Mill, North Carolina U.S.A.

Great Expectations Fraudulent Charges from Great Expectations Dating Service with no contract! AMAZING! Fort Mill South Carolina

*Consumer Comment: Sounds like you got your money back

*Author of original report: Update on Dispute with Great Expectations for Fort Mill, SC

*Consumer Comment: Great Expectations Thank God For People like Ms. Thomas! Ft. Mill South Carolina

*Author of original report: More Lies from Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC - Charlotte Region

*Author of original report: More Lies from Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC - Charlotte Region

*Author of original report: More Lies from Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC - Charlotte Region

*Author of original report: More Lies from Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC - Charlotte Region

*Consumer Comment: More "Employee" lies exposed

*UPDATE Employee: An AMAZING Rebuttal... 100% True and Specifically Accurate

*Author of original report: More of the Truth, Response to Employee

*Consumer Comment: The Truth

*UPDATE Employee: Response From The Staff at Great Expectations, Charlotte Branch

*Consumer Comment: Finding true love on-line

*Consumer Comment: Want a Romantic Connection? Go out and find someone yourself?

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In September 2008, I attended an informational session at Great Expectations, a local dating service, to learn about their organization. After 3 hours of a sales lady speaking to me about how wonderful this program is and a very strong sales pitch, I told them there was no way I could afford their $7000 fee. The sales woman left to talk to her manager and came back to tell me she could lower my rate to $3500.

I told them that I still could not afford the $3500 since I was a graduate student with no income other than student loans. When I left I had not given them any authorization to charge my credit card and had not signed the contract. When I went on-line to check my credit card account to the card that I used for ID purposes only, I found that they had already charged me $3500.

When I called and told them I had decided that I was not joining, they said that there was no refund. When confronted about the unsigned contract, they told me that it didn't matter, there were no refunds. I don't know how I can be charged 3500$ to my credit card without signing a contract. I haven't used any of their services and have fought with my credit card company and am getting nowhere.

I am interested in trying to start a class action lawsuit against the Fort Mill and/or Charlotte locations. If you'd be interested in joining, please send your story to GEcomplaints at gmail dot com and include your story, what extents you've gone to get resolve your dispute and contact information. Thanks so much!

Not for display
Pineville, North Carolina
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/11/2009 10:49 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Great-Expectations/Fort-Mill-North-Carolina-29708/Great-Expectations-Fraudulent-Charges-from-Great-Expectations-Dating-Service-with-no-contr-410896. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Sounds like you got your money back

AUTHOR: Guy - (U.S.A.)

Good for you for getting a refund from these scumbags !! We all know who was wrong.
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#2 Author of original report

Update on Dispute with Great Expectations for Fort Mill, SC

AUTHOR: Not for display - (U.S.A.)

My dispute with Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC has been resolved and that GE and I have reached a mutually agreeable settlement that does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing on GE's part.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Great Expectations Thank God For People like Ms. Thomas! Ft. Mill South Carolina

AUTHOR: B. Clark - (U.S.A.)

If the world had more determined people like Ms. Thomas, organizations as corrupt as Great Expectations would cease to exist! Hurray for her not accepting their bribery for her silence!

I almost became a vistim of this company also. After going on-line and filling out a questionaire from one of the road signs around the Charlotte area, I began receiving calls within 2 hours! As hard as I would try to get some information about their costs - they just will not give it out. They have this story about not being able to quote their prices over the phone because if they were to quote a price to someone and later find out that the person had a criminal record, they would still have to sell them a membership. What a line! I checked out this 'law' - it doesn't exist! It is just their way of getting you into their office to get their hands on your credit card. When pressed to to come in for an interview, they even tell you that you must bring your license and a major credit card. I even asked if a Gap Card or a Belk card would do and they said No, it must be a MAJOR credit card! Now I know why!

I was very close to going down there and thankfully a good friend found all the complaints on multiple internet sites about Great Expectations in general, but also specifically about the location in Ft. Mill. I then started doing some research on my own and became sickened by everything I have read about them! It is an absolute crime that they are still open for business. Then I saw that WBTV did a story about them and what Ms. Thomas is going through, so I called and told them about my experience. Apparently, they are not lacking for people willing to tell their stories about this place. Hope to see a follow up story by them soon.

If you haven't seen it, go onto www.WBTV.com and enter Great Expectations in the search bar and you can watch the whole story! It is absolutely sickening that a place like this can stay open! And if you too have had the unfortunate experience of being associated with these people, you shouldcall into the WBTV PSI hot line - they are still taking stories. Anything to help expose this company!

The internet is a wonderful tool. It is amazing what you can learn about a company and its employees. For instance, did you know that this same organization was run out of the state of North Carolina by the State Attorney General in the early 90's? Only to move across the state line into South Carolina where they can continue to prey on Charlotte singles? Wonder if the NC State Attorney General knows they use road signs in NC to solicit business or that they advertise themselves as the 'Charlotte Office'? Just might have to let them know about this!

Then look at the Charlotte Better Business Bureau website and check out their 'D-' rating. Hopefully when all is said and done they end up with the
'F' rating that they truly deserve.

It must be awful to get up every morning and go to work at a place like this. Imagine knowing what you do for living and being able to read stuff like this on the internet about your employer. How proud they must all be when asked ' who do you work for?' I love the fact that the last posting by one of their 'genius' employees even admitted to the world that Ms. Thomas's contract wasn't signed! What an idiot! Time to write that refund check, you crooks!

Hats off to you, Ms. Thomas! I hope you get your money back and the satisfaction of seeing an 'Out of Business' sign appear on this company's door soon!
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#4 Author of original report

More Lies from Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC - Charlotte Region

AUTHOR: Not for display - (U.S.A.)

Amazing or completely ridiculous? If something were 100% true would you really need to advertise that?

I think it is interesting that this company continues to feel as though they are justified in their unethical business practices. I will repeat one last time. I went to Great Expectations (GE) for an informational meeting only. I was asked for my credit card and driver's license as I walked through the door. Again let me state, I gave my credit card and driver's license for IDENTIFICATION only. I did not authorize any credit card charge with Great Expectations at any point during any encounter with GE or any GE employee. My credit card was not only taken behind the receptionist's desk but I DID NOT HAVE MY CARD LATER THAT SAME EVENING!

About the cost of their memberships - I was shown the various levels of memberships the highest being $7000. If anyone doubts that, they should ask GE for their laminated price sheets that their relationship specialist keeps secret until after your 2.5 hour interview. Too bad at least 2 ex-employees of GE have come forward to speak to Great Expectations corrupt business practices. I guess the truth will come out very soon.


Now let's get all this information correct:

1) Ms. xxxxxx waited SIX MONTHS to report the unauthorized charge on her credit card to the authorities BECAUSE it took 6 months to get a copy of the signed credit card receipt. Since I never signed the receipt, I wouldn't have a copy of it, now would I? I waited 6 months just to get a copy of the receipt from Citibank.

2) The contract that I have in my possession isn't signed and now GE has even stated that the contract is NOT signed. Thanks for admitting that in a statement that cannot be removed from the internet. Enough lawyers and law officials have agreed that I will say no more about that! Again, let me state that a credit report was run on me while I was at the GE office to determine the available credit on my credit card.

MOST IMPORTANTLY. I did not go to WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte. WBTV CAME TO ME! The BBB of Charlotte posted a news release WARNING consumers about dating services. In this news release, Great Expectations in Fort Mill was highlighted as having a D- rating and there was a strong warning to be vigilant in researching any dating service company. Since I had filed a claim with the BBB, I was contacted by the Director of the BBB in Charlotte and asked if I would speak with the media. OF COURSE I said yes. I would love to warn EVERY SINGLE PERSON about this company! That press release can be found on the BBB of Charlotte's website under news release.


Local officials are investigating this company, their employees and management (such as Dawn Villano, Yvonne Rosbottom, Julia Annichino and Danny Marraro) and their business practices. The police just recently became aware of their business practices therefore, there have not been any arrests YET. I know the police will do everything possible to get to the bottom of GE and its business practices.


I would encourage everyone who has dealt with this company to contact WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte. Their Problem Solver Investigations section on their website can be found under the On Your Side tab or you can go to their website and search for Great Expectations. FYI: WBTV's lawyers have extensively reviewed all documents and communications between GE and me. I doubt WBTV would post anything or report anything if their lawyers had any question of its validity!


As for organizations taking MY side

#1) the BBB has not taken Great Expectations side on anything. If they had, why are they NOT a BBB Accredited company AND have a D- rating? If they had, why would they report them as an unethical company? Why would they send every complaint to both the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and the South Carolina Attorney General's Office? If the BBB had sided with Great Expectationsthey wouldn't have encouraged the media to get involved!


#2) The credit card company has not sided with Great Expectations but they did confirm that the time that is on my credit card receipt is correct. That information PROVES GE ran my credit card without authorization AND while I was not even in South Carolina.


#3) It should also be said that the Consumer Affairs department in South Carolina is now actively pursuing this company along with the York County Police Department. Would all of these organizations actively pursue this company if there weren't unethical business practices going on in the GE of Fort Mill office?


Since I have been offered a FULL refund IF AND ONLY IF I NEVER say anything about my experience again, I've decided to pursue other avenues to get my money back. I do not think it is fair that I should have a gag order placed on me when my money was taken from me without my permission. The settlement also involves removing postings from complaint websiteswhich if GE knew anything about this website, the company would know that I cannot remove any postings. I can only add to it! For me to agree to be quiet makes me complicate in GE's unethical business practices and further enables this company to continue preying on innocent Charlotte singles.

If there were that many happy members as Dawn Villano (or another employee from GE states), why does GE have a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau, 25 open BBB complaints, SO MANY PEOPLE THAT I CAN'T EVEN COUNT calling into WBTV to tell their story, and EX-EMPLOYEES confirming everything that I said while speaking to the media.

I can't believe the stories that I'm hearing from other unfortunate victims of GE. I'm glad that the media has gotten involved. If nothing else, the media has helped me warn others of this horrible company! I'm so frustrated that this company thinks that it's ok to take advantage of people of all ages.including elderly singles!

Why would anyone sign a gag order from Great Expectations? I feel it is my duty to at least warn people and residents in the Charlotte area about my experience with Great Expectations. We are quickly finding out that there are MANY unhappy customers from Great Expectations (dba The Perkins Group LTD).

Lastly, a good company wouldn't worry about responding to complaints like this. Looking back to a former posting. Dawn Villano states that We would never even DREAM of forcing someone to use our service against their will, nor would we risk our jobs or company's solid reputation by taking money from someone who does not wish to be a member. If that's true, then where is my money (without the strings attached)?

There is no chance EVER that I want to be a member at this or ANY Great Expectations! Again, where's my money? Where was it 9/10/08 when I demanded a refund after finding out that my credit card was charged without my permission early that same day? Where was it when I mailed a demand letter? It's no mystery that I do not want to be a member.so where is my money?
Respond to this report!
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#5 Author of original report

More Lies from Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC - Charlotte Region

AUTHOR: Not for display - (U.S.A.)

Amazing or completely ridiculous? If something were 100% true would you really need to advertise that?

I think it is interesting that this company continues to feel as though they are justified in their unethical business practices. I will repeat one last time. I went to Great Expectations (GE) for an informational meeting only. I was asked for my credit card and driver's license as I walked through the door. Again let me state, I gave my credit card and driver's license for IDENTIFICATION only. I did not authorize any credit card charge with Great Expectations at any point during any encounter with GE or any GE employee. My credit card was not only taken behind the receptionist's desk but I DID NOT HAVE MY CARD LATER THAT SAME EVENING!

About the cost of their memberships - I was shown the various levels of memberships the highest being $7000. If anyone doubts that, they should ask GE for their laminated price sheets that their relationship specialist keeps secret until after your 2.5 hour interview. Too bad at least 2 ex-employees of GE have come forward to speak to Great Expectations corrupt business practices. I guess the truth will come out very soon.


Now let's get all this information correct:

1) Ms. xxxxxx waited SIX MONTHS to report the unauthorized charge on her credit card to the authorities BECAUSE it took 6 months to get a copy of the signed credit card receipt. Since I never signed the receipt, I wouldn't have a copy of it, now would I? I waited 6 months just to get a copy of the receipt from Citibank.

2) The contract that I have in my possession isn't signed and now GE has even stated that the contract is NOT signed. Thanks for admitting that in a statement that cannot be removed from the internet. Enough lawyers and law officials have agreed that I will say no more about that! Again, let me state that a credit report was run on me while I was at the GE office to determine the available credit on my credit card.

MOST IMPORTANTLY. I did not go to WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte. WBTV CAME TO ME! The BBB of Charlotte posted a news release WARNING consumers about dating services. In this news release, Great Expectations in Fort Mill was highlighted as having a D- rating and there was a strong warning to be vigilant in researching any dating service company. Since I had filed a claim with the BBB, I was contacted by the Director of the BBB in Charlotte and asked if I would speak with the media. OF COURSE I said yes. I would love to warn EVERY SINGLE PERSON about this company! That press release can be found on the BBB of Charlotte's website under news release.


Local officials are investigating this company, their employees and management (such as Dawn Villano, Yvonne Rosbottom, Julia Annichino and Danny Marraro) and their business practices. The police just recently became aware of their business practices therefore, there have not been any arrests YET. I know the police will do everything possible to get to the bottom of GE and its business practices.


I would encourage everyone who has dealt with this company to contact WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte. Their Problem Solver Investigations section on their website can be found under the On Your Side tab or you can go to their website and search for Great Expectations. FYI: WBTV's lawyers have extensively reviewed all documents and communications between GE and me. I doubt WBTV would post anything or report anything if their lawyers had any question of its validity!


As for organizations taking MY side

#1) the BBB has not taken Great Expectations side on anything. If they had, why are they NOT a BBB Accredited company AND have a D- rating? If they had, why would they report them as an unethical company? Why would they send every complaint to both the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and the South Carolina Attorney General's Office? If the BBB had sided with Great Expectationsthey wouldn't have encouraged the media to get involved!


#2) The credit card company has not sided with Great Expectations but they did confirm that the time that is on my credit card receipt is correct. That information PROVES GE ran my credit card without authorization AND while I was not even in South Carolina.


#3) It should also be said that the Consumer Affairs department in South Carolina is now actively pursuing this company along with the York County Police Department. Would all of these organizations actively pursue this company if there weren't unethical business practices going on in the GE of Fort Mill office?


Since I have been offered a FULL refund IF AND ONLY IF I NEVER say anything about my experience again, I've decided to pursue other avenues to get my money back. I do not think it is fair that I should have a gag order placed on me when my money was taken from me without my permission. The settlement also involves removing postings from complaint websiteswhich if GE knew anything about this website, the company would know that I cannot remove any postings. I can only add to it! For me to agree to be quiet makes me complicate in GE's unethical business practices and further enables this company to continue preying on innocent Charlotte singles.

If there were that many happy members as Dawn Villano (or another employee from GE states), why does GE have a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau, 25 open BBB complaints, SO MANY PEOPLE THAT I CAN'T EVEN COUNT calling into WBTV to tell their story, and EX-EMPLOYEES confirming everything that I said while speaking to the media.

I can't believe the stories that I'm hearing from other unfortunate victims of GE. I'm glad that the media has gotten involved. If nothing else, the media has helped me warn others of this horrible company! I'm so frustrated that this company thinks that it's ok to take advantage of people of all ages.including elderly singles!

Why would anyone sign a gag order from Great Expectations? I feel it is my duty to at least warn people and residents in the Charlotte area about my experience with Great Expectations. We are quickly finding out that there are MANY unhappy customers from Great Expectations (dba The Perkins Group LTD).

Lastly, a good company wouldn't worry about responding to complaints like this. Looking back to a former posting. Dawn Villano states that We would never even DREAM of forcing someone to use our service against their will, nor would we risk our jobs or company's solid reputation by taking money from someone who does not wish to be a member. If that's true, then where is my money (without the strings attached)?

There is no chance EVER that I want to be a member at this or ANY Great Expectations! Again, where's my money? Where was it 9/10/08 when I demanded a refund after finding out that my credit card was charged without my permission early that same day? Where was it when I mailed a demand letter? It's no mystery that I do not want to be a member.so where is my money?
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#6 Author of original report

More Lies from Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC - Charlotte Region

AUTHOR: Not for display - (U.S.A.)

Amazing or completely ridiculous? If something were 100% true would you really need to advertise that?

I think it is interesting that this company continues to feel as though they are justified in their unethical business practices. I will repeat one last time. I went to Great Expectations (GE) for an informational meeting only. I was asked for my credit card and driver's license as I walked through the door. Again let me state, I gave my credit card and driver's license for IDENTIFICATION only. I did not authorize any credit card charge with Great Expectations at any point during any encounter with GE or any GE employee. My credit card was not only taken behind the receptionist's desk but I DID NOT HAVE MY CARD LATER THAT SAME EVENING!

About the cost of their memberships - I was shown the various levels of memberships the highest being $7000. If anyone doubts that, they should ask GE for their laminated price sheets that their relationship specialist keeps secret until after your 2.5 hour interview. Too bad at least 2 ex-employees of GE have come forward to speak to Great Expectations corrupt business practices. I guess the truth will come out very soon.


Now let's get all this information correct:

1) Ms. xxxxxx waited SIX MONTHS to report the unauthorized charge on her credit card to the authorities BECAUSE it took 6 months to get a copy of the signed credit card receipt. Since I never signed the receipt, I wouldn't have a copy of it, now would I? I waited 6 months just to get a copy of the receipt from Citibank.

2) The contract that I have in my possession isn't signed and now GE has even stated that the contract is NOT signed. Thanks for admitting that in a statement that cannot be removed from the internet. Enough lawyers and law officials have agreed that I will say no more about that! Again, let me state that a credit report was run on me while I was at the GE office to determine the available credit on my credit card.

MOST IMPORTANTLY. I did not go to WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte. WBTV CAME TO ME! The BBB of Charlotte posted a news release WARNING consumers about dating services. In this news release, Great Expectations in Fort Mill was highlighted as having a D- rating and there was a strong warning to be vigilant in researching any dating service company. Since I had filed a claim with the BBB, I was contacted by the Director of the BBB in Charlotte and asked if I would speak with the media. OF COURSE I said yes. I would love to warn EVERY SINGLE PERSON about this company! That press release can be found on the BBB of Charlotte's website under news release.


Local officials are investigating this company, their employees and management (such as Dawn Villano, Yvonne Rosbottom, Julia Annichino and Danny Marraro) and their business practices. The police just recently became aware of their business practices therefore, there have not been any arrests YET. I know the police will do everything possible to get to the bottom of GE and its business practices.


I would encourage everyone who has dealt with this company to contact WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte. Their Problem Solver Investigations section on their website can be found under the On Your Side tab or you can go to their website and search for Great Expectations. FYI: WBTV's lawyers have extensively reviewed all documents and communications between GE and me. I doubt WBTV would post anything or report anything if their lawyers had any question of its validity!


As for organizations taking MY side

#1) the BBB has not taken Great Expectations side on anything. If they had, why are they NOT a BBB Accredited company AND have a D- rating? If they had, why would they report them as an unethical company? Why would they send every complaint to both the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and the South Carolina Attorney General's Office? If the BBB had sided with Great Expectationsthey wouldn't have encouraged the media to get involved!


#2) The credit card company has not sided with Great Expectations but they did confirm that the time that is on my credit card receipt is correct. That information PROVES GE ran my credit card without authorization AND while I was not even in South Carolina.


#3) It should also be said that the Consumer Affairs department in South Carolina is now actively pursuing this company along with the York County Police Department. Would all of these organizations actively pursue this company if there weren't unethical business practices going on in the GE of Fort Mill office?


Since I have been offered a FULL refund IF AND ONLY IF I NEVER say anything about my experience again, I've decided to pursue other avenues to get my money back. I do not think it is fair that I should have a gag order placed on me when my money was taken from me without my permission. The settlement also involves removing postings from complaint websiteswhich if GE knew anything about this website, the company would know that I cannot remove any postings. I can only add to it! For me to agree to be quiet makes me complicate in GE's unethical business practices and further enables this company to continue preying on innocent Charlotte singles.

If there were that many happy members as Dawn Villano (or another employee from GE states), why does GE have a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau, 25 open BBB complaints, SO MANY PEOPLE THAT I CAN'T EVEN COUNT calling into WBTV to tell their story, and EX-EMPLOYEES confirming everything that I said while speaking to the media.

I can't believe the stories that I'm hearing from other unfortunate victims of GE. I'm glad that the media has gotten involved. If nothing else, the media has helped me warn others of this horrible company! I'm so frustrated that this company thinks that it's ok to take advantage of people of all ages.including elderly singles!

Why would anyone sign a gag order from Great Expectations? I feel it is my duty to at least warn people and residents in the Charlotte area about my experience with Great Expectations. We are quickly finding out that there are MANY unhappy customers from Great Expectations (dba The Perkins Group LTD).

Lastly, a good company wouldn't worry about responding to complaints like this. Looking back to a former posting. Dawn Villano states that We would never even DREAM of forcing someone to use our service against their will, nor would we risk our jobs or company's solid reputation by taking money from someone who does not wish to be a member. If that's true, then where is my money (without the strings attached)?

There is no chance EVER that I want to be a member at this or ANY Great Expectations! Again, where's my money? Where was it 9/10/08 when I demanded a refund after finding out that my credit card was charged without my permission early that same day? Where was it when I mailed a demand letter? It's no mystery that I do not want to be a member.so where is my money?
Respond to this report!
What's this?

#7 Author of original report

More Lies from Great Expectations of Fort Mill, SC - Charlotte Region

AUTHOR: Not for display - (U.S.A.)

Amazing or completely ridiculous? If something were 100% true would you really need to advertise that?

I think it is interesting that this company continues to feel as though they are justified in their unethical business practices. I will repeat one last time. I went to Great Expectations (GE) for an informational meeting only. I was asked for my credit card and driver's license as I walked through the door. Again let me state, I gave my credit card and driver's license for IDENTIFICATION only. I did not authorize any credit card charge with Great Expectations at any point during any encounter with GE or any GE employee. My credit card was not only taken behind the receptionist's desk but I DID NOT HAVE MY CARD LATER THAT SAME EVENING!

About the cost of their memberships - I was shown the various levels of memberships the highest being $7000. If anyone doubts that, they should ask GE for their laminated price sheets that their relationship specialist keeps secret until after your 2.5 hour interview. Too bad at least 2 ex-employees of GE have come forward to speak to Great Expectations corrupt business practices. I guess the truth will come out very soon.


Now let's get all this information correct:

1) Ms. xxxxxx waited SIX MONTHS to report the unauthorized charge on her credit card to the authorities BECAUSE it took 6 months to get a copy of the signed credit card receipt. Since I never signed the receipt, I wouldn't have a copy of it, now would I? I waited 6 months just to get a copy of the receipt from Citibank.

2) The contract that I have in my possession isn't signed and now GE has even stated that the contract is NOT signed. Thanks for admitting that in a statement that cannot be removed from the internet. Enough lawyers and law officials have agreed that I will say no more about that! Again, let me state that a credit report was run on me while I was at the GE office to determine the available credit on my credit card.

MOST IMPORTANTLY. I did not go to WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte. WBTV CAME TO ME! The BBB of Charlotte posted a news release WARNING consumers about dating services. In this news release, Great Expectations in Fort Mill was highlighted as having a D- rating and there was a strong warning to be vigilant in researching any dating service company. Since I had filed a claim with the BBB, I was contacted by the Director of the BBB in Charlotte and asked if I would speak with the media. OF COURSE I said yes. I would love to warn EVERY SINGLE PERSON about this company! That press release can be found on the BBB of Charlotte's website under news release.


Local officials are investigating this company, their employees and management (such as Dawn Villano, Yvonne Rosbottom, Julia Annichino and Danny Marraro) and their business practices. The police just recently became aware of their business practices therefore, there have not been any arrests YET. I know the police will do everything possible to get to the bottom of GE and its business practices.


I would encourage everyone who has dealt with this company to contact WBTV Channel 3 in Charlotte. Their Problem Solver Investigations section on their website can be found under the On Your Side tab or you can go to their website and search for Great Expectations. FYI: WBTV's lawyers have extensively reviewed all documents and communications between GE and me. I doubt WBTV would post anything or report anything if their lawyers had any question of its validity!


As for organizations taking MY side

#1) the BBB has not taken Great Expectations side on anything. If they had, why are they NOT a BBB Accredited company AND have a D- rating? If they had, why would they report them as an unethical company? Why would they send every complaint to both the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and the South Carolina Attorney General's Office? If the BBB had sided with Great Expectationsthey wouldn't have encouraged the media to get involved!


#2) The credit card company has not sided with Great Expectations but they did confirm that the time that is on my credit card receipt is correct. That information PROVES GE ran my credit card without authorization AND while I was not even in South Carolina.


#3) It should also be said that the Consumer Affairs department in South Carolina is now actively pursuing this company along with the York County Police Department. Would all of these organizations actively pursue this company if there weren't unethical business practices going on in the GE of Fort Mill office?


Since I have been offered a FULL refund IF AND ONLY IF I NEVER say anything about my experience again, I've decided to pursue other avenues to get my money back. I do not think it is fair that I should have a gag order placed on me when my money was taken from me without my permission. The settlement also involves removing postings from complaint websiteswhich if GE knew anything about this website, the company would know that I cannot remove any postings. I can only add to it! For me to agree to be quiet makes me complicate in GE's unethical business practices and further enables this company to continue preying on innocent Charlotte singles.

If there were that many happy members as Dawn Villano (or another employee from GE states), why does GE have a D- rating with the Better Business Bureau, 25 open BBB complaints, SO MANY PEOPLE THAT I CAN'T EVEN COUNT calling into WBTV to tell their story, and EX-EMPLOYEES confirming everything that I said while speaking to the media.

I can't believe the stories that I'm hearing from other unfortunate victims of GE. I'm glad that the media has gotten involved. If nothing else, the media has helped me warn others of this horrible company! I'm so frustrated that this company thinks that it's ok to take advantage of people of all ages.including elderly singles!

Why would anyone sign a gag order from Great Expectations? I feel it is my duty to at least warn people and residents in the Charlotte area about my experience with Great Expectations. We are quickly finding out that there are MANY unhappy customers from Great Expectations (dba The Perkins Group LTD).

Lastly, a good company wouldn't worry about responding to complaints like this. Looking back to a former posting. Dawn Villano states that We would never even DREAM of forcing someone to use our service against their will, nor would we risk our jobs or company's solid reputation by taking money from someone who does not wish to be a member. If that's true, then where is my money (without the strings attached)?

There is no chance EVER that I want to be a member at this or ANY Great Expectations! Again, where's my money? Where was it 9/10/08 when I demanded a refund after finding out that my credit card was charged without my permission early that same day? Where was it when I mailed a demand letter? It's no mystery that I do not want to be a member.so where is my money?
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#8 Consumer Comment

More "Employee" lies exposed

AUTHOR: Guy - (U.S.A.)

WOW, that last rebuttal is full of lies, even more than the first. As a former member of Great Expectations and as someone who has also taken them to court and has done a bit of research on this company allow me to tell you the real truth. First, $7,000 is not an unusual membership asking price, you only need to read a few of the other complaints on this and other websites to realize that. Second, They are not the "largest" dating service, not even close, infact they have been closing stores at the rate of about 3 a year for a few years now and are currently down to around 36 stores, also no where near the number of members as online dating sites ( and don't be fooled into thinking this is because they have "higher quality" members, again, read some of the other complaints, that will clearly expose that lie. ) Third, Why is a credit card needed as a form of ID? Most of them don't have pictures on them and they also contain no real information about you on them, this is because the company runs your card to determine how much they are going to charge you. Also, they ARE taken "out of site" and are not returned in "30 seconds". Forthly, Great expectations does not run credit checks on members so I have no idea how they can determine your "finacial stability", I also have no idea how they determine someones "Psycological issues" I was certinally not given any test for that either. I fully belive Ms. Tomas' story as it also somewhat matches another story I read about a different Great Expectations office that is now closed. Hopefully the office in North/South/Whatever Carolina will also be closed soon. WHAT A SCAM !!
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#9 UPDATE Employee

An AMAZING Rebuttal... 100% True and Specifically Accurate

AUTHOR: Employee - (U.S.A.)

As an employee at Great Expectations in Fort Mill, So. Carolina, I have very specific knowledge about the woman who filed the report entitled "Great Expectations Fraudulent Charges from Great Expectations Dating Service with no contract! AMAZING!".

Ms. Thomas came into our center on September, 10th, 2008. As is our usual procedure, she was asked to fill out a simple questionnaire and to show a driver's license and credit card so as to verify that she had 2 pieces of identification with her name on them. This is part-one of the screening processes that we do which every member is subjected to prior to being allowed to join.

We in Member Services are VERY careful to NEVER take the credit card or driver's license out-of-site from the potential member prior to the qualification interview. In fact, we only handle the credit card and driver's license long enough to verify that their name, address and birth date correspond with the information that they put on their form. This process takes less than 30 seconds and then the credit card and ID are promptly returned.

Once it was determined that Ms. Thomas DID qualify as a potential member, she was presented with her membership options. We do refuse those whom we feel would not be of benefit to our other members based upon criminal history, psychological issues, or financial stability. This process is greatly appreciated by our members as they know that we check out each and every person who joins our service.

Ms. Thomas selected our premium membership and paid for it in-full at the time of the interview. She signed the credit card receipt and initialed the appropriate points in the contract which clearly states that there are no refunds. And as for the $7000 price quote? We have no idea whatsoever where she got that figure but she certainly didn't get it from us. Not even our highest level of service is that much.

A few other things to think about in regards to this situation:

*Why would Ms. Thomas wait almost SIX MONTHS to report the alleged unauthorized charge on her credit card to the authorities? I know that if it had had been ME that is the FIRST thing I would have done

* IF (as was alleged in the WB3 News segment that Ms. Thomas initiated) we had actually run her credit card without her knowledge and signed the receipt ourselves, then why didn't we go ahead and sign the contract for her also? (We didn't because we realize the importance of doing everything properly so as to avoid issues such as this).

* We are also aware that if we were to run' people's credit cards without their authorization, we would risk having the credit card companies take away our ability to take credit cards, not to mention the even more personal risk of being arrested. No one has been arrested as a result of Ms. Thomas' allegations and additionally, the credit card company, Department of Consumer Affairs, and the Better Business Bureau have ALL sided with us after review of the situation.

*Unfortunately, the many happy members that we have are far less vocal about how satisfied they are than the few who are not. Great Expectations is the world's oldest and largest dating service for a reason.

Ms. Thomas was repeatedly offered a refund however she refused, opting instead to go on TV. Who knows why people do the things they do? Some people just like the attention, I suppose

We are very sorry that things turned out the way they did with Ms. Thomas as we have a lot of people who potentially would have been a great match for her had she only given our service a chance.
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#10 Author of original report

More of the Truth, Response to Employee

AUTHOR: Not For Display - (U.S.A.)

As far as I know, this is very common. On February 5, 2009 the local Better Business Bureau posted a news release warning consumers of local matchmaking services. As for Great Expectations in the Charlotte area, the company has a BBB rating of D- rating with 27 currently OPEN complaints. The company is not accredited by the BBB. These complaints include: Disputes over the caliber and demographics of singles promised, poor or rude customer service, high pressure sales tactics, and dissatisfaction with the number of arranged dates, inability to immediately cancel after signing up and general dissatisfaction with this company and its process just to name a few.

The fact that there are numerous website with hundreds of complaints speaks very clearly to the fact that the consumers must not be lying. There is no way that people all over the country would be lying about the unethical and unprofessional business practices that they've experienced with Great Expectations.

I'm sure that there are "company policies" however, I believe that these are not always put into practice. I know for a fact that both my license and credit card were taken behind the receptionist's desk. I also did not return home with my credit card. It was reported lost/stolen the same night!

Credit card companies have a very hard time reversing charges when there is a signed credit card receipt faxed to them by Great Expectations. However, the signature on the credit card receipt was forged as a forensic scientist will testify to. With that evidence and phone records that show that when the credit card was SWIPED, I was in Charlotte on the phone. Hard to be in two places at one time.... After finally receiving this information from my credit card company and receiving the evidence that I have, the case has been reopened and is being investigated.


The best part of that is that Dawn Villano, the office manager, wrote in a letter the the Attorney General that I must have spoken with Great Expectations early that day from my cell phone, driven to their office, called my mom from the office while inside Great Expectations, then handed my phone to someone else....and this person drove to Concord and spoke with my mother for 44 minutes and dropped off my phone at my house...all WHILE I WAS IN FORT MILL signing a credit card receipt....

COME ON...Really?

Finally, this office is known for advertising over 2000 ACTIVE members, even an ex-employee of their office states that there were UNDER 1000 members with even fewer being ACTIVE. Big difference! If this franchise would never even DREAM of forcing someone to use our service against their will, nor would we risk our jobs or company's solid reputation by taking money from someone who does not wish to be a member, then where is my $3490.00?

Oh, and why would Great Expectations offer to refund $1990 if they didn't know they were in the wrong? I declined this offer because Dawn Villano stated that Great Expectations would keep $1500 for an enrollment fee in an email to me. She then stated that it was a portal fee for creating my online profile. Since I did not enroll and I do not have a portal (a certified letter cancelling my photography appointment was sent), I do not feel I should loose $1500 to this horrible company.

Now that multiple forms of media are involving in investigating this company, I'm sure that their TRUE reputation will become evident to the Charlotte area. Forgery is a felonyand since they advertise in North Carolina while being located in South Carolina.that makes it a federal offense. Hope someone there is ready to go to jail over this! Glad $3490 is worth that to their office manager, Dawn Villano, and principal owner, Julie Annichino. Oh, and if they were such a great company, why did the office need to move across state lines to South Carolina where there is no 3-day recession law? Is that really a more sincere collection of people who are personally invested in the romantic futures of each and every one of our members? I'm afraid not.
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#11 Consumer Comment

The Truth

AUTHOR: Guy - (U.S.A.)

After reading this last responce from "employee" I thought it important to point out that there is currently a class action lawsuit going in California againced 4 Great Expectations offices, ( this "employee" claims they are in California ) and as far as a "solid reputation" goes you only need to do a quick Google search on this company to see how false that statement is. Members are also not all "professionals" but are infact no different then those you will find on any other dating service. I don't know who this person is trying to fool, the people who are complaining about Great Expectations on this website and others are people who have used Great Expectations not just random people who are making things up. Avoid Great Expectations unless you want to end up like everyone else posting here -- RIPPED OFF
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#12 UPDATE Employee

Response From The Staff at Great Expectations, Charlotte Branch

AUTHOR: Employee - (U.S.A.)

Having been an employee of Great Expectations for a number of years, I am not only a true believer in the wonderful service that we have offered for more than 30 years, but I am also very familiar with the company's prices, procedures and guidelines.

It distresses me greatly to read see some of the unfounded complaints and (frankly) distortions of truth that I have read about Great Expectations on this website.

In regards to the claim that an unauthorized charge was put on a potential member's credit card: We DO request to see both identification and one credit card as a means of verifying the identity of a potential member. It is company policy that this visual verification is to happen right in front of the person and that the ID and credit card be immediately returned.

That being said, the ONLY way for a card to have been "run" without physically having the credit card in hand is to memorize the 16 digits on a standard credit card in 15 seconds or less. To MY knowledge, no one at GE has a memory that remarkable. Additionally, if we really DID run unauthorized expenses as was suggested, the credit card companies would have taken away our ability to run credit cards long ago.)

NOW let me say...

Most people who join Great Expectations have a serious desire to find "The One". These people make an investment in our service because they hold themselves in high enough regard than to settle for the typical dating scenarios.

Our clientele are generally professionals who know that "fishing off the company pier" is a bad policy, they choose not to frequent bars or other "meat market" establishments, or they have become frustrated with the games that people play with online dating (out-of-date/ inaccurate pictures, mis-representation/ lies, etc.) GE offers an alternative to those who value their time and have a clearly defined perspective on the kind of relationship and also the kind of partner they are seeking. Personalized attention is our policy and we do our very best to go above and beyond our clients' expectations.

As an employee of Great Expectations in Baxter Village, So. Carolina, I know that I speak for all of the ladies who work here with me when I say that you will never meet a more sincere collection of people who are personally invested in the romantic futures of each and every one of our members. We would never even DREAM of forcing someone to use our service against their will, nor would we risk our jobs or company's solid reputation by taking money from someone who does not wish to be a member.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Finding true love on-line

AUTHOR: Inspector - (U.S.A.)

I travel a lot and have no time to go out and look for someone. It seems that all my spare time is between work periods. I found my wife on-line when I was in Iraq and have been married for four years, we are very happy.
Finding someone is always a gamble. A you should follow your heart.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Want a Romantic Connection? Go out and find someone yourself?

AUTHOR: Joe - (U.S.A.)

The most successful rip-off schemes deal with the most basic human needs and the Seven deadly sins!

Think about it.

And while you are thinking about it, WHY are you relying on some COMPUTER SERVICE to know better than you what you want in a romantic companion???

It's like eBay, dont' you want to see what you are REALLY Getting????

Don't rely too much on the external appearance because some of the most beautiful people I have ever seen have turned out to be HIDEOUS inside.

Put out the word and see if your acquaintances --they are your FRIENDS aren't they so maybe if you enjoy hanging out with them you would enjoy the person to whom they might introduce to you.

Go to the places where you like to go because chances are the person you are looking for will be hanging out there too. Dont' look in places where incompatible people might go. If you feel more at home in the neighborhood pub. don't hang out in a five star bar where one drink might be half of your weekly paycheck!

Don't pretend to be someone that you're not!

Just be yourself and keep your eyes open.

It happens when you least expect it!

And best of all you don't have to pay some one with a computer and possibly a list of fake names to try to hook you up with some stranger many times who was totally unaware that he or she was elgible for the dating scene because it is usually a TOTAL SCAM! Guess what, serial killers, sadists and all sorts of "nice" people are out there and wanting to meet you online!
JUST WHO ARE YOU WRITING TO ANYWAY? EVER THINK OF THAT?
CAN YOU PROVE WHO THEY ARE?
CAN YOU CHECK THEIR CRIMINAL HISTORY ONLINE? BECAUSE I CAN ALMOST GUARANTEE YOU THAT MOST OF THESE ONLINE DATING SERVICES AREN'T BECAUSE IT IS EXPENSIVE AND THEY ARE IN BUSINESS TO MAKE MONEY NOT SPEND IT!

AND HOW DO YOU KNOW IF THAT PERSON ONLINE IS REALLY WHO THEY CLAIM THEY ARE ANYWAY?

When it comes to the rest of your life ( and seeing how 1 out of 1 marriage ends in divorce anyway, THIS is negligible!) YOU BETTER BE CAREFUL!
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