CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR -- Apr 20 -- "We're getting hundreds of singles, I mean hundreds of singles, saying, 'I want to find a matchmaker,'" says Lisa Clampitt, matchmaker and director of the Matchmaking Institute in New York, a training program for wannabes and a resource for singles. Driving some of the interest is a desire to explore options beyond personal ads, speed dating, and the Internet. Despite the popularity of online dating sites, some find the process too time-consuming. Some people are also looking for options that offer more privacy and security. "Anybody can say what they want to say online," says Cindy Cleckner, a schoolteacher in her mid-40s. "How do I know the person's [really] divorced? How do I know they're not a stalker? How do you know they've not had a criminal background?" Typical matchmaking fees range from a few hundred dollars to $10,000 and up.
Mark Brooks: Let me paint a picture. True.com rams background checks down the online personals industry's throat. We all complain bitterly and stone the executive staff in the streets of the next internet dating convention. Then we realise that, hey, they had a point. We're charging $20 a month for online dating, when, if we added more services users would gladly pay $50-$100 a month. They are getting sick of going on dates with people who don't look like their pictures, are perhaps just a little bit married or in really, really, really unusual cases, are a felon. Word gets around. These same users are coughing up $1,000+ for offline services that make them feel more warm and fuzzy. OK, now it's the industries comeback time. $650 million by 2008, Jupiter hogwash. Let's up the ante, add checks, verified photographs, more personal services, let's save the users some time and hey presto, we'll beat Jupiter's predictions. Um, oh yeah, lick those wounds Herb/True. Not a bad idea after all...although, please don't set the government onto us like that again.