The dating scene can be confusing and tiresome. These days people are so busy with running their lives and careers that it can leave very little time for finding romance. In order to help them out, there are many dating services available, both online and offline. One of the largest offline dating services is Great Expectations.
Great Expectations has over 30 years of experience in the dating industry. They have over 50 locations nationwide and even have a website to help you connect to people in your area. They advertise personal service that specializes in single professionals. But with all of the online dating sites, how is Great Expectations different from Internet dating? Do they provide the same service? Let’s take a look at some of the differences between Great Expectations and Internet dating.
When checking out online dating sites, you are going to come across free sites and paid membership sites. Generally, the paid sites are the ones that are going to have people who are a bit more serious about finding the right someone. They all charge a monthly membership in the ballpark of around $25 to $35 a month. New members might qualify for a discounted trial membership that expires after the first month. You have to pay the membership fees every month to keep your profile but once you find someone (or are not satisfied with the services), you can drop the membership.
Great Expectations’ membership fees are set up a little differently. The client has several packages to choose from, anywhere from a one year package and up. The price for these packages must be paid up front. A one year membership runs around $3,000 while a 3-year membership will cost you around $5,000. If you take the membership fees of an online dating site and multiplied it by 12 months, you are looking at around the same amount of money. The difference is, you have to pay Great Expectations membership fees all at once and there are no refunds if you decide to cancel your membership after a few months.
Great Expectations advertises a more personal touch. When you sign up as a member for Great Expectations, you will meet one of their counselors face to face. They will screen you to make sure that all of you information is accurate and valid. They don’t want anyone being dishonest about their availability. Once your membership fees are paid, the staff at Great Expectations will do a video interview of you to put on your online profile along with current photos. That is another thing Great Expectations does; they maintain current photos of all their members. Other online dating sites may have photos of someone from a few years beck when they were 30 pounds lighter.
Local Area Versus Nationwide
With Internet dating sites, you can usually browse through the other members from all over the country. You can always do a search for people in your area but you have access to the rest of the nation. You may even find your perfect match but they may be on the opposite coast.
Great Expectations will search within your designated area to try to find a match for you. They will try to make the connection as close as conveniently possible. The company advertises social events for their clients to get together and mingle. Thus far, it seems they try to keep from creating a long-distance relationship between clients.
There are a lot of Internet dating sites that let in anyone without doing a proper background check. You might find anyone from Bigfoot, Quasimodo, or The Missing Link posting a profile that could say just about anything. The paid sites are a little better about screening, though.
Great Expectations apparently do a rigorous screening on all their applicants. The screening is to do a criminal background check, credit check, and to verify the client’s personal information. Since they meet with their clients face to face, it is easy to tell if there is any misleading info about gender, looks, or anything else visually apparent.
It needs to be mentioned that Great Expectations has received more than their share of customer complaints. They have ranged from accusations of hidden fees to services not the same as those advertised.
The main complaint seems to be the amount of hidden fees imposed on their clients. In several cases, after customers paid for their upfront membership fees (which ranged in the thousands), the customers were then told they could not access the company’s website until they paid another fee of several hundred dollars. There is another fee for the video and photos used for the customer’s profile which they do not tell you until after you have paid the initial membership fees.
Also, there have been allegations of the company illegally charging customer’s credit cards, not offering refunds, and falsely advertising about other customers’ professions on their profiles. So in short, if you want to consider using a dating service, there might be some hesitation before you decide to become a member of Great Expectations.