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Report: #1508632

Complaint Review: Gai Gai Dating Agency - Singapore Central Singapore Community Development Council

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  • Reported By: Anon — Singapore Singapore
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  • Gai Gai Dating Agency Singapore, Central Singapore Community Development Council Singapore

Gai Gai Dating Agency Claimed to match me with singles but after I signed on, told me their pool is mostly divorcees with children. Gross overcharging of 8k for 6 dates. After I terminated upon finding I was deceived, threatened with debt collection. Have reported them to Police, their SDNTrust Mark accreditation should be removed. Singapore Central Singapore Community Development Council

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I am writing to report the GaiGai Dating Agency for failing to conduct business according to SDNTrust Mark standards and fair practices.

Initially, I was not going to report the bad experience I had in Feb 2020. I just terminated the invalid contract signed on the basis of deceptive claims and wanted to walk away. I did not utilize the package at all and considered the loss of my $700 instalment as their windfall. 

However, they continued to harass me and recently (June 2021 – more than one year later) claimed that I owe them a $7.3k debt and bill collectors will be sent to my home address.

I have already filed a police report at the Cantonment Police Station stating that I will hold GaiGai Dating Agency responsible should there be any damage to my property or disturbance to my elderly mother who is alone at home.

For background, I am a single lady, then 41 years old. Never been married, never used any dating agencies, apps or attended dating events. As such, I was fearful of online dating and thought I would be safer going to a dating agency with SDN accreditation, so on 1st Feb 2020, I registered for the first and only time at a dating agency and immediately fell victim to GaiGai’s unfair practices. My vulnerability was exploited as I realized was grossly overcharged and sold with hard sell tactics. 

Firstly, GaiGai Dating Agency was dishonest. They concealed the fact that they did not have a ready pool of single men matching my criteria, yet portrayed otherwise to get me to sign the package.  

Two weeks after I signed, I received a text saying that my first "match" was almost fifty years old, a divorcee with four children. 

I was very frightened as I do not want such a relationship. The many children also represented a financial burden that I was not prepared for. Not to be harsh, had I come across such a profile on a free website, I would have rejected it immediately. When I asked why I was not set up with a single man, one of the sales representatives disclosed that their pool of men in my age group were mostly divorcees.

To my horror, I was told if wanted to meet only single men, then I would have to top up more money.

Why was I not told this before I signed on? This information was concealed from me. In all our profiling, I described my criteria as a single, and I expected divorcees to be the exception. If I had known this fact, I would never have signed on. The profiling was also done unprofessionally and manipulatively.

I told the sales lady that I wanted to meet single men. Being in a second marriage and adopting children is not what I wanted to consider, not especially if I had to pay for a matchmaker. However, instead of acting in my best interest, the sales lady started to persuade me to lower my criteria to accept divorced or widowed men with children. After some time after singing praises of divorcees she met etc, and I did not want to seem judgmental, so I said that might accept then, on an exceptional basis. The understanding was it would only be a handful among those I met.

I felt ill at ease as I was still not told what number of dates they were selling and what cost I would be charged.

Knowing now what I know, I realised I was taken advantage of by the GaiGai sales lady. Instead of being matched to someone of my preference, GaiGai urged me to downgrade my preferences so I could be made to go on dates with their members who were older and divorced with children who had paid a premium for their membership. Secondly, there was a lack of transparency with pricing.

Even before I visited GaiGai’s office, I contacted them via the website and by whatsapp to ask the entry level price, as I might not wish to use their service if it was too expensive.

However, I was always given an evasive answer that I was based on "dynamic pricing" which could only be revealed at the end of a 3 hour profiling session. Nevertheless, it is an unethical business practice that a ball-park figure cannot be given to someone in a cool, logical state of mind, but only after entering into an unbalanced bargaining position – by forming an emotional rapport with the salesperson whom they divulged personal relationship matters and is whom they are trusting and relying upon for guidance.

This is a manipulative, hard sell tactic which should not be endorsed by SDNTrust Mark. The profiling session was also done very unprofessionally, with the use of a hard sell tactic known as “dynamic pricing”.

It was a 3 hour session that took place late at night. At first it was innocent, in which I was encouraged to freely describe my desired life partner through the use of game cards. I thought this would mean that GaiGai would note my preferences and help me. Unfortunately, this was not so.

Next, it turned very manipulative. Instead of respecting my preferences, I was asked to go through a checklist with buttons for criteria such as race, religion, income, height, weight, smoker, drinker, hobbies, etc. But now, the more buttons I checked, it meant the more expensive the “dynamic pricing” would get. So, I was entrapped into a game of increasing the prices. The more I paid, meant that the more likely I would be matched with someone suitable. I was emotionally drawn into the process and believed I should pay more to be more successful. Yet I had to reduce my criteria to a minimum of core traits to save money.

When I was shown the final figure of $8k for 6 dates at the end of the session, I was shocked that it was so expensive. But I was told that if I wanted a lower price, I would have to remove my criteria.

Throughout the time, I did not see any quotation or breakdown. I had no idea how this cost is calculated nor how I can control my costs at all.

Later, I discovered that in recent years, customers only paid $2k for 10 dates from GaiGai, and they could go on dates with single men, not divorcees with children. When I demanded to know how they could justify the difference between my package of $8k for 6 dates, they said it was a whatsapp group chat. The chat group did not add any value, as it consisted of about 10 anonymous business numbers but only 2 people introduced themselves to me. 

My friends who had experience with dating agencies told me I had been scammed. I would much appreciate if I could speak to an SDN or MSF officer to share my story. I believe my nightmarish experience can be a cautionary tale to other ladies.

I feel that dating agencies are just as unsafe as online platforms, if they are not regulated to prevent them from deceiving customers and causing financial damage. Besides sharing my bad experience of Gai Gai Dating Agency. I have some feedback on what singles are expecting from SDNTrust Mark companies, and some regulations to control unethical practices: 

 

  1. SDNTrust mark companies should be transparent and show their ball-park pricing  figure – with age group - clearly. Either displayed on the website or upon customer enquiries. Without a need to go through extensive profiling. Customised or premium prices can only be added on top of that.
  2. "Dynamic pricing" can only be used together with a quotation or breakdown to show how the cost is derived so that the customer can control their costs and not be helplessly overcharged.
  3. To hold Dating Agencies responsible for proving that they have the ability to deliver their stocks. For example, by generating a realistic list of matching profiles for the customer to see before they purchase. Thus the customer can know the age, marital status and number of children immediately. While the profiles could be switched, the typical sampling should not be.
  4. This point is to protect single ladies in their 40s, who have never been married and have expectations of having a 1st marriage, not enter into a 2nd marriage with divorcees with children. They may not be aware that Dating Agencies which practice matching women with older men have a pool of mostly divorcees with children only. Then it’s a crucial fact that should be made known to the customer.
  5. To hold Dating Agencies responsible for any damage or mental harm caused by their use of debt collectors. This will not be tolerated.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/02/2021 08:58 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/report/gai-dating-agency/singapore-central-community-i-1508632. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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