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Be careful with dating agencies and Google reviews

In the recent case of Burki v Seven Thirty Limited , the High Court awarded damages to Ms Burki after she paid £12,700 to join the Defendant dating agency.

She was told that there were a substantial number of wealthy male members who fitted her criteria. However, it transpired that the agencys male candidates comprised only 100 fee paying members together with some men whose membership had expired and men who had been approached and had been asked to join but not required to pay a fee.

The Court concluded that 100 fee paying members could not be described as substantial and she recovered her membership together with damages for disappointment and stress.

Unfortunately for Ms Burki , it was not all good news. She was so dissatisfied that she posted a review on Google describing the agency as a "scam" with "no data base" and a review on Yelp in which she described joining on the basis of "a portfolio of eligible bachelors who once you paid, are no longer available."

Whilst the Court accepted her review on Yelp was her honest opinion , it found the review on Google was defamatory and ordered her to pay £5000.

The lessons to be learnt are do not mislead when trying to sell your business and be aware that the law of defamation applies to posts on social media.