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Image source: David Segal for the NY Times.

The New York Times Haggler has two stories about It’s Just Lunch. It’s not a pretty picture, to put it mildly. In Search of Romance, and Maybe a Refund sets the lunch table with tales of poor customer service. Skip the Romance; She’s Going to Court continues with tales of refunds tied to gag-orders and other face-palm moments.

As the first articles states, “It’s hard to imagine a business with a more high-maintenance clientele than lonely, upmarket singles.” Indeed. Most matchmakers do a decent job operating successful matchmaking operations, but a lot of them play a bit too close to the edge of the legal definition of fraud. Even if it’s legal, terrible customer service is pretty rampant in the marketplace. Like online dating sites, ignoring customers and making it difficult to get refunds is a big part of the business.

Don’t get me wrong, a great matchmaker with a solid database and good customer service skills can be a godsend to busy upmarket singles. Rare like a unicorn though.

As with online dating, success for the business does not always align with customer success. IJL is currently facing a class-action lawsuit.