FORT MILL, SOUTH CAROLINA -- As wonderful as the idea of meeting the love of your life is, Great Expectations does have some great points and it also has some not so great points. Please dont take this review as my bias opinion as to tell you what to do, but as any consumer should know; only you can make the best decision for yourself. I worked for Great Expectations in the Charlotte Center in Fort Mill, SC. I was not fired. I got so fed up with their un-ethical practices that I decided to get up and walk out. The best thing about GE is that they do run criminal background checks on everyone who joins. They will refuse a potential client if they have a felony.
What they dont tell you is, they're not running them when you walk into the door, but they run it after they already have your money. GE is located in SC because there is no 3 day refund clause. Once you sign the contract, you're liable for the money. The Charlotte center is a little over 1 year old. They do have approx 2,000 clients, however a little under 924 are active. They do keep expired members and members who fought to have their membership canceled still on the site but they list them as inactive, please check again soon.
Most of the members are average working men and women who live pay check to pay check, however they state these are all professional people. There are some who make a very nice living, but if Im paying money for a service and Im making six figures, I dont think Im going to want to date someone who dropped out of school and is barely making ends meat. Now not to say, he or she might not be a wonderful person or could be the love of my life, its just not fair. They typical price on the packages ranges in price from $4,000 to $5490. There is also a monthly dues of $28 a month.
With this you get to use the website, have a video done by the front office staff and professional photos. Right now the photographer is amazing and he is professional, but before he came, they just hired someone to take sub-standard pictures. If you want more than one picture, you will be charged hundreds to thousands of dollars. To upgrade to global (you can select and be seen by all the other members in the United States, approx 56 centers) is an additional cost. To have a V-Gram which is a little email with your picture on it is another few hundred dollars. By the time you leave youre paying close to $10,000.
Now if youre luck enough to meet your true love spending several thousand dollars isnt going to bother you. When you walk in, they give you a screener which asks for your personal information and some useless dating information. The only thing theyre after on that form is your social security number. They are not out to sell it, as a matter of fact all member files remain locked once you leave for the day, but they run your credit to see how much money they can get you for. If you though buying a car had some ruthless salespeople, try dealing with the Relationship Specialists. They feed on your emotional well being.
Not everyone is even charged the same amount. They say the fee does depend on the length of your membership. Thats a crock. You can have 6 people with a 12 month membership and they all can be paying anywhere from $595 to $2950, depending on their credit and how much of a fight they put into the 2 hour interview. Once you become a member, you are invited to join in the events they have. The events are not free. Even the staff that goes to the events has to pay (and they don't get reimbursed). The events are fun, so thats a plus.
Aside from the background checks and the events, GE is no different than match.com, plenty of fish, perfect match and all the other online dating sites out there, aside from the amount of money they get from you. You will stand a better chance using an online dating site. Some people say GE is a scam. Its not. It will work, but it's not worth the money!
I think you'll find this review pretty revealing into the Great Expectations dating service. BRIEF INTRODUCTION -
Great Expectations requires individuals to come in for an interview and later for a personal video. I called their company because I was interested and found their staff to be cordial but they would not reveal the cost of the service over the phone. Instead they asked me first to come in for an interview. During my interview their service seemed to be decent, but when they finally revealed the costs, I was surprised. Here goes:
BASE PLANS - $7000 - 15 month membership, $8000 - 3 year membership, $8500 - Unlimited membership until you find someone. DISCOUNTS -$2000 - If you opt out of national match making (only look at matches in your city), $1000 - ONLY if you sign the contract on your interview date, 50% off - For a 7 month trial membership only valid on that date. CHEAPEST PLANS YOU CAN GET (with discounts): $4000 - 15 month membership (only good on interview date); $2000 - 7 month membership (only good on interview date)
SUCCESS STATISTICS - Furthermore, based on my questions I learned that they get 50 to 100 new members per month. Also, 2 of their members per month gets married (one man, one woman). Based on statistics that is between a 2% and 4% success rate (this site was meant for serious dating). That means at best you have a 1 in 25 chance of finding someone throughout your membership. All that for a few thousand dollars?
CONCLUSION - If you are wealthy, this service may be good for you. But most people probably cannot afford this site. So how do they get their membership? Through pushy and misleading tactics (they leave out information unless you ask). They put a lot of pressure on you to join. They are very good sales people. But my father taught me never to make a quick decision on a large sum of money. This saved me a few thousand dollars. When a company offers you to save you a thousand or more by joining today, it makes the decision process very difficult. Just be careful. Know what you are getting yourselves into. If you have more questions, feel free to email me at **.
SCHAUMBURG -- You are offered the standard 3 business days to cancel your contract (you MUST include Saturday as this center is open Saturdays) yet, I was told I was not allowed to look at the database until AFTER your video and pics are done. I was denied an appointment within the three days hearing the photographer was "booked." Coincidence? Perhaps? Since then, I have found profiles on line w/o photos and w/o videos. How did they get there? Don't all members have the same rules?
I was told the large upfront fee ($1800 - $2500) was all inclusive only to learn, there is a $180 maintenance fee to the database host every 6 months, and a $200 fee to upgrade your photos to look like the quality you are shown in your sales pitch. I was told there were 100s (hundreds) of profiles in the age range I specified to select from. After a thorough review (26 pages) I found there were 317 posted profiles (in my age range) HOWEVER, 148 of them were set to INACTIVE. This database is bloated over 50% by profile you CANNOT select. I have checked weekly since that initial review to find little variance.
Worse, I was shown 8 profiles during my sales pitch, 2 beautiful, seemingly smart, business women (to show I wasn't alone in making this BIG spending decision) and 6 attractive gentlemen. In my search I could only find 1 of the women in the database. Of the men's profiles (whom I was told quite clearly WERE available to select from) only 5 of the profiles could be found and 4 of them were INACTIVE. I was told that I would get my salesperson cell number and she is diligent about returning calls within a day. Neither of these promises have come to pass.
In fact - Despite being told I would get a call to give me online access, I wasn't given that courtesy call for my password to get online (yes, photos and video were done.) I had to get it from the site administrator on my own. To date, my email requesting a follow up from the manager have not been returned. A letter sent asking for a copy of my contract AND a corporate address was returned with a ONLY a compy of my contract.
2/09/10 - Unfortunately, I cannot update my review with positive words. It has been more than 4 months since I joined and those men who I was told were "inactive" by electing to "freeze" their accounts are STILL inactive. I repeat: 60% of the database is on perpetual INACTIVE. There are even 2 postings (in my age group of 40-50 yr olds) who are EXPIRED. Please, do not give Great Expectations your trust or your money. Google "Great Expectations" and "Schaumburg" to open your eyes.
DFW, TEXAS -- This is to warn all you single girls out there about this dating service company. They are preying on the desperation of single girls and women in this metroplex. I signed up recently in one of their branches after I had been promised heaven and earth about how quickly I would find a match and they described by potential experience as going to be like a kid in the candy store. I paid over #3,000. and a month later have not found a single match. Half of the members are inactive, that is, they are taken or discontinued their memberships. Of the 8 pictures I was shown in there office, only 2 were actually active when I checked them out online.
One of the guys I was shown his picture did not even exist in their member profile. The lady who signed me on promised to be my "dating coach", I called to complain to her that I had not found anyone 2 weeks after I had signed up contrary to what she had promised. She became so mad at me for being impatient and told me not to call her again because Rome was not built in a day and I should quit calling her so she could have time to serve other clients. If you are an African American, your chances of getting a date if you are not open to interracial dating is less than 2%. If you are, your chances is about 3%.
They do not tell you about their non refundable policy until you have paid. So ladies beware. Another thing, the two selections I got are from guys 22-24 yrs older than I am, live thousands of miles away and of races I had said I was not interested in dating. You stand a better chance of getting a match on match.com and Christian singles. I signed up for the free trial periods on these two sites and on the average, in a day, I get 5 to 10 matches.
The guys I selected on Great Expectation are yet to respond after several weeks. If you are absolutely want to go to their office, leave your credit card or other forms of payment at home. They would also offer you financing to pay, but please do not fall for this.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- During the initial interview (12/22/07) process I was presented w/ membership prices starting @ $6000 min. differing by $500. While viewing what I thought was a very expensive complete pkg. for $6995 ** swiped my credit card for $7400. At that time I inquired about the refund policy should I change my mind by the time I got home. ** then told me that there was absolutely no refund policy. While I was bothered I felt trapped. Unable to view the membership database until after photos were taken the next week, I was disappointed to find: Copies of the photos were an additional fee; An outdated web interface with little search capabilities; 40% of the database included inactive members and; Very few African American clients.
My disappointment lead me to search the web for complaints. To my surprise there are at least 58 printable pages of complaints about Great Expectations. It was here that I also discovered that I had been charged more than twice what others have paid for the same membership. GE will not deny that I have paid more than others for the same membership and has not offered any reason as to why I was targeted for this amount. As I understand it, contract fees are determined based on the amount of available credit each individual has. I feel deceived and no longer want to participate in the Great Expectations Dating Service.
I have not gone on a single date with any member of GE and have no intention of doing so. Essentially, GE has provided nothing but unnecessary credit card debt. The GE contract allows them to charge consumers who never use the service without any means of cancellation. In addition to disputing the charge on my credit card, I have repeatedly asked for a refund via email only to be refused.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Frauds here. Criminals here. Craigslist Surfers - Run fake ads to get your number, they got mine over a year and a half ago and will not stop calling, even when told to ** off. ** being the General Manager... they take numbers off Craigslist and probe Craigslist with fake ads, that is how they get your number. Then the calls, no matter the cease and desist given to never call again, every now and then. This scumbag named ** will call just to screw with me. Her tonality and when told, as I do each time, to stop calling me, they call now and then just to have fun at my expense.
Even when you are telling the scum, **, to stop calling, she says, "LET ME SEE IF YOU QUALIFY", just more to dig at someone they know does not want the call and knows I will not take it lightly. Morbid scum to call a number they know has had enough of them. IMAGINE that, getting a call every now and then, just because these scum have no life, no boss overseeing them, or one that condones their criminal activity.
THIS OFFICE IS PURE SCUM OF THE EARTH, PURE SCUM RUNNING IT, PURE SCUM CALLING OUT messing with people's lives. I will be posting this everywhere to let people know they are scum of the earth. I happen to have the call recorded and am filing suit against them. They are about to get the hint that screwing with someone the way that scum just did, will get them sued.
EDINA, MINNESOTA -- I met with Wendu last May, 2013 and loved the 3 year Membership and talking with her. She was so kind and understanding about my divorce and not wanting the kids to meet all different men when they don't work out. A week later, I had my photo video appointment with Marty and I was so nervous... but he was really able to get me to relax and enjoy my time with the photos. Wendy re-wrote my profile and I just loved it. Obviously, so did Jack because we are engaged to be married at Christmas - 2014 In St. Thomas, Virgin Islands :) YEAH - do yourself a favor and contact Great Expectations today!!! What are you waiting for??
WISCONSIN -- Great Expectations, 1033 N.Mayfair RD. Suite 100, Oregon, WI 53216 414-777-578 (www.greatexpectations.com) is responsible for many Brazilian Highlands' street children to be missing (and from my contacts in Brazil)some are probably dead. Why? Because GE kept asking me to drive to Oregon to hear what their program could do for me. Sales counselor ** asked me many times how much money I in the bank. I told her that it didn't matter how much I left from the sale of my house because it was all needed because I was the only person saving street children in Brazil's Highlands.
I explained that it is well-known that in Brazil police & former police shoot street children. I have been traveling there caring for them since 2001. Other parts of Brazil have some sheltering, but in the Highlands its only me. Often kids only 4 & 5 yrs old. I have seen it. I told her I take out bank loans every year and then pay the loads back each year. ** told me GE is always looking for worthy causes to do fund raisers for. In fact GE had just completed a successful fund raiser for her son who was in a drastic motorcycle accident.... It paid large medical bills and gave him extra money besides.
** told me it was a win win situation because I would a whole lot more money from the fund raiser they would do for me than what it would cost me to join. She told me they have a history of big name local contributors such as Harley Davidson and the Milw Admirals to name just a couple. She said that one of their members is vice president of Sheridan Hotels who lets them use a Banquet room free... that raffle tickets are sold and the winners usually donate their take too. ** told me to write a description of what needs to be said and provide some street children photos I had to her. And let the fund raiser begin!
Well, I was ecstatic because over the years I have contacted lots of people to raise money for the street children unsuccessfully. I joined. She told me not to list my childhood handicap because it would signify low self-esteem to a future date or partner. When the fund raiser was not done, I phoned and visited GE many times. I was told they do not do fundraisers and that I would get out of their dating service how much effort I would put in. When no fund raiser was done I called ** and other GE staff many times. I was told I was told that ** is really from their Schaumburg office, not their office.
Whenever I phoned the Schaumburg GE office and asked for **, all I would get was her voicemail. She did not return my calls. I have not slept good knowing I let myself get taken. Some days it is even hard for me to function at work knowing that I ran out of money and those beautiful children are missing and many believed dead.I have asked for my money back so I can go back to Brazil and try to find them and give add to other street children there. They told they would not refund my money.