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Entre-nous to get its day in court

The small-claims case of a gay man who says he didn’t get what he paid for from same-sex matchmaking service Entre-Nous is returning to trial.

Terry Wong, 43, signed up with Entre-Nous in May 2006. According to court documents he paid $7,698 for introduction services but was introduced to just one potential match between the day that he joined and October 2006, when he tried to cancel his contract.

Wong requested a full refund, citing Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act. When Entre-Nous refused he took his case to the Consumer Protection Branch for mediation, eventually filing the ongoing small-claims lawsuit. He is seeking a full refund as well as $10,000 in damages.

In a letter to the Consumer Protection Branch during mediation of Wong’s case Carloyn Salib, Entre-Nous’ client services manager, cited Wong’s preference to be introduced to white men as the reason it was taking longer than usual to find him a date.

Both parties attended a hearing on Jan 10. At issue was a default judgment made at an Oct 24 hearing when no one attended on Entre-Nous’ behalf. At that time Deputy Judge JR Connolly awarded compensatory damages to Wong.

Entre-Nous subsequently filed a motion to have the judgment set aside on the grounds it hadn’t received notice of the hearing.

On Jan 10 Sabol gave Entre-Nous the benefit of the doubt, agreeing to set the judgment aside. A new trial date is expected to be set for spring.

The judge also ruled some $8,000 garnisheed from Entre-Nous’ accounts as a result of the October judgment will be held by the court pending the result of the upcoming trial.

In November 2007 Entre-Nous was added to the provincial government’s Consumer Protection Branch’s Beware List. Since then two additional written complaints have been filed with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services concerning the company, bringing the total to five written complaints and five inquiries. Of these 10 cases four are for misrepresentation, two for failure to provide a service, three for cancellation of contract and one for not honouring the contract.