It seems you can put a price on love. Or at least, the amount it costs to pay someone to find love for you.
A single woman is suing an elite dating service for the hefty £12,600 fee (around NZ$24,300) it cost her to join the service, plus additional damages for failing to find her a partner.
Tereza Burki, 46, joined Seventy Thirty, an 'Exclusive International Matchmaking & Introduction Agency', in 2014 and paid for their 'gold' membership. She had hoped to find "possibly the man of my dreams, the father of my child", The Times reports. Burki had hoped this man would be a high-earning international jet-setter, ideally.
However she claims that of the six men she was presented as matches, none of them fit her criteria. And so she wants her money back.
Burki told the High Court that she was let down by the Knightsbridge-based agency and is suing for the return of her membership cost and damages for "distress, upset, disappointment and frustration".
The case evolves further, though, as Seventy Thirty, who advertise themselves as the "ultimate network of influential and exceptional single people" are counter-suing Burki for £75,000 (around NZ$145,000). They're claiming libel and defamation after Burki allegedly posted a series of bad reviews online, which they say has deterred potential clients from signing up to their service.
Seventy Thirty representative Lisa Lacob said that at the time of Burki's membership, there were 9000 people in the database and 1000 of them will have been actively seeking matches.
"Based on the preferences expressed by Miss Burki, the company identified 70 men as possible matches for her. All were Gold members who had paid for their membership," she said.
According to reports, Burki told the courts that she signed up wth Seventy Thirty after being shown profiles of men she was interested in and hearing about the number of eligible men on offer. However, after paying for the service she claims she was not put in touch with any of the men she'd expressed an interest in before handing over the membership fee, and that the profiles that she was shown didn't fit what she asked for.
Burki's financial investment in professional match-making didn't pay off, it seems.
"You shouldn't promise people who are in a fragile state of mind, in their mid-forties, the man of their dreams. You are entrusting a service you believe is professional, who will take care of your interests and have your best interests at heart."
A former female member of the dating agency supported Burki's claim and expressed that her issue was with the availability of some of the profiles.
"These people weren't engaged in wanting to meet somebody," she told the judge.
As it stands, Burki denies defamation and the judge has reserved judgement for a later date. Maybe love really is an expensive game.