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The use of the Internet creates no exception from the application of consumer protection laws, where there is a New York business and a transaction located in New York (People by Vacco v.

S.2d 246 (1st Dept.2004), the Appellate Division applied the Dating Services Law to an Internet social referral service with far less expensive services and viewed any distinction regarding the use of the Internet as too insignificant to merit discussion. Second, in both cases, the defendant's form contract violated every mandate of the Dating Service Law, with the single exception that each contract did contain notice of a three day “cooling off” right to cancel (G.

Co.1994, Greenfield, J.], member profile, photos and video maintained at company's center for perusal by other members, such services were covered by statute because “It does not matter whether defendant actually matches its members.

The statute specifically includes services which utilize computers (G.

Prior to the issuance of a judgment, the name of the defendant in each case is amended to reflect that the defendant Great Expectations is also known as GE Management Group of NY, Inc., as indicated in the written contracts. 2 [a] ), and that the defendant “will provide zero number of social referrals” and “is not promising to furnish the Member with any social referrals and the Member does not desire or expect the Company to furnish social referrals” (para. The text of the personal shopper membership paragraph does not identify what additional services would be provided nor set forth any assurances regarding introductions (para. Claimant Doe signed a

The use of the Internet creates no exception from the application of consumer protection laws, where there is a New York business and a transaction located in New York (People by Vacco v. S.2d 246 (1st Dept.2004), the Appellate Division applied the Dating Services Law to an Internet social referral service with far less expensive services and viewed any distinction regarding the use of the Internet as too insignificant to merit discussion. Second, in both cases, the defendant's form contract violated every mandate of the Dating Service Law, with the single exception that each contract did contain notice of a three day “cooling off” right to cancel (G. Co.1994, Greenfield, J.], member profile, photos and video maintained at company's center for perusal by other members, such services were covered by statute because “It does not matter whether defendant actually matches its members. The statute specifically includes services which utilize computers (G. Prior to the issuance of a judgment, the name of the defendant in each case is amended to reflect that the defendant Great Expectations is also known as GE Management Group of NY, Inc., as indicated in the written contracts. 2 [a] ), and that the defendant “will provide zero number of social referrals” and “is not promising to furnish the Member with any social referrals and the Member does not desire or expect the Company to furnish social referrals” (para. The text of the personal shopper membership paragraph does not identify what additional services would be provided nor set forth any assurances regarding introductions (para. Claimant Doe signed a $1,000 contract for a term of six months. Had the contract set forth a minimum number of referrals, the matter might require consideration of G. Every such contract shall set forth in the contract and in the bill of rights the manner in which such services provider determines its cancellation fee pursuant to this subdivision.”Upon any set of facts, “ancillary services” provided (G. Defendant had the obligation to assure that each client of the dating service was made aware of statutory rights by providing each with the “Dating Service Consumer Bill of Rights” (G. As to the manner of the report, it shall be accomplished by forwarding a copy of this decision to the appropriate public officials. The boilerplate printed form contracts has standard terms, reciting that plaintiff would receive a “photo shoot, video, workbook on dating, counseling, background checks, [and] dating etiquette” (para. The clients' failure to cancel their contracts is irrelevant where the contract itself does not recite a specific number of social referrals per month. § 394-c(4), which provides:“Every contract for social referral service which requires payment by the purchaser of such service of a total amount in excess of twenty-five dollars shall provide that in the event that the seller of such service does not furnish to the purchaser the specified certain number of social referrals for two or more successive months the purchaser shall have the option to cancel the contract and to receive a refund of all monies paid pursuant to the cancelled contract with the exception that the seller shall be entitled to retain as a cancellation fee fifteen per cent of the cash price or a pro rata amount for the number of referrals furnished to the purchaser, whichever is greater. § 394-c[1] [b], “ ‘ancillary services' ․ [include] grooming, cosmetology, dating etiquette, dating counseling, or other services”) arguably should have no separate economic value (G. The mere fact that the basic social introduction process was to be conducted on the Internet in this case does not place the dating service outside the scope of the law. § 394-c[1][a], “ ‘social referral service’ shall include any service for a fee providing matching of members ․ by use of computer ․ for the purpose of dating and general social contact”). Co.1991, Diamond, J.], member video and biography kept in a library for access by other members, “the distinction between a service that actually matches people for dating and one that provides the means for the match has no meaning in the context of the clear legislative intent to regulate this kind of activity no matter how it is accomplished or implemented”).

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The use of the Internet creates no exception from the application of consumer protection laws, where there is a New York business and a transaction located in New York (People by Vacco v.

S.2d 246 (1st Dept.2004), the Appellate Division applied the Dating Services Law to an Internet social referral service with far less expensive services and viewed any distinction regarding the use of the Internet as too insignificant to merit discussion. Second, in both cases, the defendant's form contract violated every mandate of the Dating Service Law, with the single exception that each contract did contain notice of a three day “cooling off” right to cancel (G.

Co.1994, Greenfield, J.], member profile, photos and video maintained at company's center for perusal by other members, such services were covered by statute because “It does not matter whether defendant actually matches its members.

The statute specifically includes services which utilize computers (G.

Prior to the issuance of a judgment, the name of the defendant in each case is amended to reflect that the defendant Great Expectations is also known as GE Management Group of NY, Inc., as indicated in the written contracts. 2 [a] ), and that the defendant “will provide zero number of social referrals” and “is not promising to furnish the Member with any social referrals and the Member does not desire or expect the Company to furnish social referrals” (para. The text of the personal shopper membership paragraph does not identify what additional services would be provided nor set forth any assurances regarding introductions (para. Claimant Doe signed a $1,000 contract for a term of six months. Had the contract set forth a minimum number of referrals, the matter might require consideration of G. Every such contract shall set forth in the contract and in the bill of rights the manner in which such services provider determines its cancellation fee pursuant to this subdivision.”Upon any set of facts, “ancillary services” provided (G.

,000 contract for a term of six months. Had the contract set forth a minimum number of referrals, the matter might require consideration of G. Every such contract shall set forth in the contract and in the bill of rights the manner in which such services provider determines its cancellation fee pursuant to this subdivision.”Upon any set of facts, “ancillary services” provided (G.

Where, as here, the dating service does not assure it will furnish a client with a specified number of social referrals per month, the service may charge no more than twenty-five dollars (G. The subject dating service contracts assured that there would be no referrals and, even as the oral assurances given to claimant Roe of twelve introductions to be provided over the course of 36 months, failed to commit to any number of introductions in any given month. The required provisions omitted from the contracts establish a failure to comply with G. (granting client “unilateral right to place his or her membership on hold for a period of up to one year”), subdivision 6 (commitment of return to client of “all information and material of a personal or private nature acquired from a purchaser directly or indirectly including but not limited to answers to tests and questionnaires, photographs or background information ․ by certified mail” after conclusion of contract), subdivision 8 (specification of the maximum distance for any face-to-face meeting), and subdivision 8-a (requirement to set forth a policy to be applied if the client “moves to permanently reside at a location outside the service area”). § 394-c[7][e], “In every social referral service sale or renewal, the seller shall provide each purchaser with a clear and conspicuous, separate written notice, to be known as the ‘Dating Service Consumer Bill of Rights', which shall contain ․ [specified] information”, including notice that if the fee exceeded twenty-five dollars, a minimum number of social referrals must be set out as required by G. Because the Dating Service Law is found applicable, the court will review the contract and the service's operation for compliance with the statute. First, there was a massive overcharge by the dating service. § 394-c [3], “Every contract for social referral service which requires payment by the purchaser of such service of a total amount in excess of twenty-five dollars shall provide that the seller of such service must furnish to the purchaser a specified certain number of social referrals per month”). § 394-c subdivision 3 (contracts above twenty-five dollars to state “specified certain number of social referrals per month”), subdivision 4 (contracts above twenty-five dollars to set forth client has “option to cancel the contract and to receive a refund” if minimum referrals not made), subdivision 5 (undertaking service provider will not reveal “any information and material of a personal or private nature” without client's written consent), subdivision 5-a. Co.1997, Lebedeff, J.], for New York “consumer fraud claims, the Internet medium is essentially irrelevant, for the focus is primarily upon the location” of the relevant actor and whether statute violated). Turning to the issue of damages, the Dating Service Law states that “[a]ny person who has been injured by reason of a violation of this section may bring ․ an action to recover his or her actual damages or fifty dollars whichever is greater” (G. This court had its opportunity to “view the witnesses, hear the testimony and observe demeanor” (People v. E.2d 672 [1987]; see also, Northern Westchester Professional Park Assocs. Issues of credibility, as well as the weight to be given to the evidence presented, are primarily questions to be determined by the court in a non-jury trial (People v. For the purposes of this decision, the court has substituted the last names of the claimants with Doe and Roe, respectively. A corporate defendant may appear through an authorized representative in Small Claims cases in New York City (N. Doe met no one through the service but, at some point, stopped checking with the service to see if any other clients had reached out to her. Although the printed text of both contracts were identical, Ms. Claimant Roe signed a ,790 contract for a term of 36 months, which was eventually extended to a total duration of 54 months. A failure to return personal materials could well lead to adverse consequences outside the scope of this litigation. § 394-c[9][c], “In cities having a population over one million, the provisions of this section may be enforced concurrently with the attorney general by the director of a local or municipal consumer affairs office”). Because claimant Doe's contract has expired and claimant Roe's contract is terminated by reason of this determination, defendant may wish to return personal material to each claimant, notwithstanding that such obligation does not appear in this contract (GBL § 394-c[6], quoted above).

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  2. Online Dating Service Subject To New York Dating Services Law. Court finds that the defendant Internet dating service Great Expectations, also known as GE Management Group of N. Y. Inc. violated New York's Dating Services Law, General Business Law Section 394c, by charging two clients $1000 and $3790.

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