Inside the world of dating agencies and matchmakers, there’s an expensive alternative to online apps


Sick of swiping right with the hopes of finding your romantic match?

There’s another way, but it’ll cost you. In best-case scenarios, thousands of dollars. In worst-case scenarios, your trust, self-esteem and even, as one Sydney woman discovered, your business.

Dating or introductions agencies sell themselves as high-end services, with dedicated matchmakers who’ll send you hand-picked, bespoke matches, based on extensive questionnaires and a database of “high-calibre” suitors who “won’t be seen on dating apps”.

Some unhappy customers report paying thousands of dollars for inappropriate matches. Others have claimed traditional introductions agencies are a far superior way of dating than using online apps. Some have even met their long-term partner.

Vinko Anthony co-founded Sydney dating agency Beau Brummell Introductions with his husband because “the way we are treated online is often degrading and demoralising”.

“You can’t always get it right for everyone, however we never give up … Perhaps, at times, our perception of someone’s life is different to their own,” he says.

There are dozens of matchmaking agencies across Australia in what is a largely unregulated industry. Clients can pay anywhere from a few thousand dollars to upwards of $15,000 for membership.

So for those who shell out for it, how does the bespoke experience measure up?

Carlee Potter used a dating agency but was unhappy with the results.(Supplied: Carlee Potter)

‘They’re all coming to me’

For some clients, the investment has been a waste of money, time and energy

When Carlee Potter, 43, joined dating agency Elite Introductions in 2019, her high expectations felt justified: She’d paid $5,000 for a year’s membership.

Owner and “millionaire matchmaker” Trudy Gilbert promised Potter, an IT consultant from Sydney, exclusive access to an “elite society of singles”.

She zoned in on Potter’s exasperation with online dating, telling her: “Everyone’s fed up with apps like Tinder. They’re all coming to me.”

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here