With all the dating options available, sometimes it can be hard to pick a dating agency that suits your needs. Here are our tips on making the right choice.
Recommended by a friend
No better way to know that a company can be trusted than if you have a personal recommendation from a friend or family member. At least one in three of the people who contact Intro have been recommended by a past member that has found success or enjoyed their experience.
Protect yourself by being wary of individuals that are not accountable to any company standards. When you are considering joining a matchmaking agency, ask them for their CRO number to ensure you a dealing with a bona fide organisation. Intro Matchmaking is a fully registered fully Irish-owned company.
Terms and Conditions
Every service should offer you a contract of sale and proof of purchase. To confirm and accompany your membership you should receive a copy of your Terms and Conditions signed by the agency so that you can read what the service entails. This documentation will protect your rights and ensure you do not get ripped off. All service providers are bound by European consumer law so you are entitled to signed T’s&C’s from your matchmaking agency of choice. At Intro, we will give you 7 page terms and conditions at your interview.
Any reputable company will have meeting rooms at their place of work so that you can meet the staff and get a feel for the company. Protect yourself from fraudulent operators that operate from their kitchen table or the boot of their car by asking to visit them at their business premises. At Intro, although we travel regularly to meet clients around the Country, we have a suite of offices on Grafton Street in Dublin city where we are open 7 days a week for appointments.
Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in matters of the heart. The best Dating agencies should all offer you a certain number of introductions for your fee however be wary of matchmakers that offer guarantees of success. If they do offer such assurances, make sure to obtain this guarantee in writing and make sure they have come recommended by someone you know that has had that guarantee met. Ensure they are a registered company as they will be less likely to dupe you.
Enough members to choose from
It stands to reason that to have enough clients to choose from so you can be provided with suitable matches, there needs to be thousands of selections available. So, unless a matchmaker specialises in a very narrow age group or section of people e.g 50-55 years olds in Leinster, it would not be possible for one matchmaker individual to meet every single client and have enough members to choose from. Any agency that has a broad range of clients will need multiple staff to effectively find suitable matches and provide a quality service. When you are choosing the best dating agency for you, ask how many staff are working there to ensure the numbers make sense. The more staff, the larger the pool of daters. At Intro, we have 6 staff members working with thousands of members.
Any business should offer you a variety of payment methods, particularly the ability to pay by credit or debit card. Such payment methods afford excellent protection for consumers as they are insured by the card companies. If you pay by cash or cheque your money is gone and should the Matchmaker suddenly disappear you will have no recourse. Protect yourself against the potential of fraud by insisting on paying by card. At Intro, you can pay by any method you wish-cash, cheque, credit card, debit card, Paypal, Braintree or Transfer.
If privacy and confidentiality is important to you then choose an introductions service that does not divulge your image or any other information that could compromise your identity. Ensure they do not make your details publicly available by asking how they store your data and what they tell your potential matches about you. At Intro, we do not give out any surnames, photographs or phone numbers. We organise each introduction so that if you do not want to see the other person again, they do not have your contact details or any other identifying information.
If safe dating is a concern for you then choose your matchmaker carefully. Ensure they check ID’s and have enough information about each member to ensure they are who they say they are. Insist on using an agency that meets all their clients in person to ensure no fraud is involved (check ID against holder). Only use an agency that organises the dates so you are not without a third party knowing who you are meeting, what time, and where.
A lot of agencies will simply pass out contact numbers and leave it up to you to arrange the date. At Intro, we meet every client face to face and we check passport or driver’s license to make sure they are who they say they are. We go so far as to organise each introduction, we do not pass out phone numbers. Each member is given an emergency number and there is an Intro member of staff available up to an hour after each date every night, just in case.
Watch out for:
Rogue Matchmakers that do not have enough men/women to provide effective matches have been known to schedule dates for their clients with their personal friends that are not paid members nor in the market for a relationship just to get the client out on a date. These dates are usually simply meeting for a coffee or a quick drink, typically lasting 30 minutes or less. Genuine dates should be lunches or dinners to reduce the potential for fraud.
Matchmakers claiming to be ‘Regulated’
There is no regulator for Matchmaking/Dating/Introductions agencies in Ireland. In the UK there is a private company, not a government organisation, that calls itself a regulator but has no legal or punitive powers over agencies that operate outside their guidelines. This is simply a marketing tool to create the illusion of trustworthiness.