Woman sues 'exclusive' dating agency after failing to find love
A woman has decided to sue an exclusive online dating agency for damages after she failed to find a rich husband to have children with.
Tereza Burki, 36, told the High Court that she signed up to Seventy Thirty Ltd in order to hunt for "the man of my dreams, the father of my child."
However, the divorce mom-of-three claims to have been let down by the company, who she argues enticed her with extravagant claims surrounding the amount of "wealthy, eligible, available men" that they had on their books for her.
As a result of her failed mission, the management consultant has decided to sue the company for return of her £12,600 membership fee which she paid when signing up. She has also sued for additional damages for "distress, upset, disappointment and frustration."
The Knightsbridge-based dating agency - which claims to be the "ultimate network of influential and exceptional single people" - has decided to counter-sue Burki for £75,000, claiming libel over the negative reviews that she posted online.
According to the agency, of the 9,000 clients that they have on their books, 70 of them fit Miss Burki's criteria.
The company claim that all of the candidates had a "high net worth" and she was offered six matches, all of whom were within her age bracket and were open to having children.
Miss Burki claims that she joined the agency after being shown profiles of men she liked back in 2014 and was specifically looking for a high-earning international businessman. However, despite what the company may have said, she swears that she was not put in touch with a single one of those whose profiles she had seen before she paid the membership fee.
Jonathan Edwards, the barrister for Miss Burki, told Judge Richard Parkes QC: "You shouldn’t promise people who are in a fragile state of mind, in their mid-40s, the man of their dreams.
"You are entrusting a service you believe is professional, who will take care of your interests and have your best interests at heart."
Miss Burki, who lives in an area of London where houses sell for over £3 million, said she had paid thousands to the company and didn't want to be matched with men who hadn't spent a thing. According to her, men who hadn't paid were less likely to be committed to finding love and aren't as well-off as they claim.
She claimed that she had expected an "in-depth analysis of characters, a whole scientific approach" to finding her a soulmate.
Another former female member of the agency, who cannot be named, backed up Burki's claims, saying: "My issue with some of the profiles was they weren’t available. These people weren’t engaged in wanting to meet somebody."
According to Mr Edwards, Miss Burki was interested in one particular man before she paid her membership fee.
"Miss Burki believes that she was sent those details to persuade her to pay up the rest of the money," he said.
But Miss Ambrose, the founder of the agency, responded: "That is ridiculous. We are not so desperate for money, absolutely it’s not true."
The company claim that Miss Burki's reviews on Google and Yelp, where she calls Seventy Thirty a "scam" and "fraudulent," were a "malicious" attempt to ruin the business. They say that the reviews caused three people to not join up - costing the company £43,000 in membership fees.
Burki denies defamation and malicious falsehood, saying that he was simply reflecting her honestly held views of the service.
Judge Parkes has reserved judgement on the case until a later date.