A matchmaking company has been fined $14,000 by the Quebec Consumer Protection Office after it was found to have breached the province’s consumer protection laws.
Lifemates, owned and operated by Elite Singles Canada Corporation, was found guilty of drafting contracts in a language other than French without the consent of the consumer.
The firm was also found guilty of receiving a single payment from a consumer and failing to reimburse the consumer within ten days after she had annulled the contract.
In 2016, Elite Singles Canada Corp lost four cases before Quebec small claims court for failing to meet the terms of the contract. A Montreal woman who signed a contract on January 2014 with Lifemates is a case in point. She paid $174.36 a month for 18 months, for a total of $2,132 to Lifemates and in exchange they were supposed to provide her with potential matches, based on her preferences and criteria she spelled out. The Mississauga-based matchmaking service provided her with a potential mate, but it was not someone who met her criteria. She never met with him because she did not “want to waste his time,” according to the ruling.
She then tried several times to call the company but they never replied. She then cancelled her credit card because she did not know how to rescind the contract. The contract drafted by Lifemates did not include an annex that she could fill out to annul the contract, as per article 190 of the Quebec Consumer Protection Act, pointed out Court of Quebec Judge Sylvie Lachapelle.
Judge Lachapelle held that Lifemates breached article 40 of the provincial consumer legislation by failing to provide a service that did not conform to the description in the contract. It was ordered to pay the entire amount paid by the Montrealer and $500 in damages.
Correction: May 29, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated that Elite Singles Canada Corporation was owned by Affinitas GmbH. In fact, Affinitas GmbH is the owner of www.EliteSingles.ca, which is different from Elite Singles Canada Corporation. Affinitas GmbH and www.EliteSingles.ca were not the objects of the proceedings described in the article.