Terry Goddard (R)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (Legal Newsline)-Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the match-making service Great Expectations for allegedly using deceptive business practices.

The lawsuit - filed in Maricopa County Superior Court against Sun West Video, Inc., which does business as Great Expectations for Singles - seeks refunds for consumers and penalties against the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based company.

In court papers, Goddard accused the company of misrepresenting to consumers the overall number of participating members and members in certain age groups. Goddard said the company also misrepresented that it had conducted criminal background checks on all of its members.

The lawsuit also describes a company that used high-pressure sales tactics that included sales representatives urging consumers to contact their credit card companies to get an increased credit limit to pay for a membership.

Great Expectations, which claims to be "the nation's premiere destination for meeting and dating quality singles," offered three membership types: a one year subscription for $6,995; three years for $7,195; and six years for $7,495, the attorney general's office said.

Goddard is asking that the company be penalized up to $10,000 for each violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act, and that it return any ill-gotten gains.

In addition to the firm itself, also named in the lawsuit are Sun West Video President John Meriggi, Great Expectations Director Michael Buhler and sales representative Geri Schencker.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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