Dating agency business model
The company, Elect Club, claimed to have the ‘largest private database of single professionals in London’, including business leaders and entrepreneurs. On its website, it boasted of being ‘the number one dating agency in the UK’ with branches in several major cities.
‘Elect Club is an exclusive social network for attractive, dynamic, eligible professionals looking for a serious relationship, ’ it said. ‘We have set the standard in discreet, selective and personalised introductions.’
The firm, or ‘niche introduction agency for attractive professionals’ as it described itself, even offered a special service for the over-40s and the company boasted it had been featured in glossy magazines including Grazia and Cosmopolitan.
Elect's website where the company boasted of being 'the number one dating agency in the UK' with branches in several major cities
It also claimed that all its consultants, as staff were called, were trained in neuro-linguistic programming, or NLP – a psychotherapy technique based on the connection between neurological processes and language – and this technique was used when potential members were interviewed.
Impressed by this apparently rigorous approach, Ms Fontaine, 44, rang up to enquire about joining and a consultant invited her to an interview, not at the company’s registered offices in the City of London but at the Charing Cross Hotel on The Strand.
‘I thought it was a bit strange but was quite happy because it was on my way home, ’ says Ms Fontaine. They met at 5pm in the upstairs bar and spent an hour and a half talking about what she wanted in a partner.