C[***] P[***] says a sales manager at Equally Yoked Christian Singles in Phoenix blocked her exit, made unauthorized charges on a cutup credit card and told her she would never find a man before the holidays without their help.Other commenters at the blog report similar, though less extreme, experiences:
P[***], who filed a police report over the incident, says the dating service virtually emptied her bank account to secure a $1,700 membership fee, refused to cancel her contract and demanded that she sign a non-disclosure agreement in order to get a refund.
I feel for this lady, I know from experience what Equally Yoked is like. They used to call me every month or so and literally harass me into coming in for the preliminary meeting. Luckily, I usually so busy I never had time to go in, I am glad I read this article and I will avoid this place like the plague.and
A friend joined Equally Yoked a couple of years ago and asked me to join with her so we could attend some of their events. I called them and made an appointment. My favorite cousin's wife died, however, the night of the appointment. I called and got Voice Mail to tell them I was too distraught to make the meeting. They called me back at least five times that night leaving increasingly nasty messages about how unprofessional I was cancelling my appointment. It's 18 months later and they finally stopped calling in October. I would never use Equally Yoked.The Republic notes that Equally Yoked has had eight BBB complaints in the last 36 months, four of which are contract issues, one a billing issue, one a service issue, and one a product issue, at least six of which were not resolved in a way acceptable to the consumer ("The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to the BBB" or "BBB determined the company made a reasonable offer to resolve the issues, but the consumer did not accept the offer."). For the BBB, that's good enough for a "satisfactory" record for a company that's an accredited member. That kind of complaint record would certainly make me avoid such a company, however.
Other complaints about Equally Yoked in other locales can be found online at ripoffreport.com.
The service sounds like a Christian version of another dating company that offered services through local offices in major cities at an equally ridiculous price, Great Expectations. That video-based dating service, once shilled for by Harlan Ellison, has received similar complaints about high pressure sales tactics, deceptiveness, and failure to deliver on promises. Equally Yoked has simply taken this concept and applied it to an even more gullible segment of the population than those who think video dating is a good way to meet people--those who think that an organization catering to Christians (and which suggests, but never actually says that it's run by Christians) couldn't possibly rip them off.
The online dating services that charge minimal fees are clearly a much better deal--they have more people participating, they can often be used without cost or at a minimal monthly cost, and they don't have sleazy salespeople pushing you to sign ridiculous contracts. The one potential advantage of the expensive services is that they may perform criminal history checks, credit checks, and checks to make sure their clients are unmarried, but these are also all checks you can obtain on your own online at a much lower cost. And if you're really looking for someone on the basis of membership in a particular religion, wouldn't a church, mosque, or temple of your favored sect be the best place to search?