Charlotte restaurants question speed dating company

A screenshot of Date and Dash's website.

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NBC CHARLOTTE

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 11 at 7:20 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It's not exactly everyone’s idea of a dream date.

A Chicago-based company called Date and Dash claims to specialize in speed dating.  Customers sign up on their website, pay about $20 and show up for a round of dates.

“The lady came in and she was looking for the event and there was nobody here that had any relationship to the event,” Amy Aussieker said.

Aussieker runs a Charlotte cafe and was surprised when an angry customer showed up looking for an event Aussieker had never heard of.

“They’re using my good name to promote their company, which is also not cool.  They have pictures of my establishment and they’ve never even contacted me about it,” she added.

NBC Charlotte did some checking and found a Date and Dash speed dating event scheduled for two days from Tuesday at an uptown restaurant.  When we called, they knew nothing about the event and said just a few weeks ago people had come in looking for another event that never materialized.

NBC Charlotte talked with Vilius Gavi on the phone.   He calls himself the event coordinator for Date and Dash.

“We book these events months in advance, sometimes the staff changes.  We always confirm on the day of the event,” Gavi said.

Gavi blamed the venues, saying management changes mean reservations often get lost in the shuffle.

So we called up and down the east coast and checked on scheduled Date and Dash speed dating events for this week.

NBC Charlotte talked with managers at restaurants in Boston, D.C. and Atlanta.  None had any idea what we were talking about.

The Better Business Bureau in Chicago where the company is based gives them an “F” rating and shows almost 100 complaints.  A quick search on the web turns up complaints from customers across the country.

One says, "Date and Dash was awful." Another says the person “wish I had checked with the BBB.”

NBC Charlotte asked to speak with the Charlotte event coordinator, but we were told that wasn't possible.

Gavi instead requested we call a restaurant in Chicago for feedback and the manager at that restaurant had only good things to say about Date and Dash.

The Better Business Bureau said the matchmaking industry is one they call high risk, meaning it's a good idea to check up on a company before doing business.

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