Match Guaranty - Review

Match Guaranty is a relatively new Ukrainian matchmaker service formed by the partnership of a long-time agency in Kiev with Joe Rickards, a Canadian internet marketer. The new company is promoted heavily via Rickards' Youtube series of videos on marriage agencies, pay-per-letter scams, and Ukrainian women in general.

Most of these videos are on-camera interviews, sometimes with men who have come to Ukraine seeking love, sometimes with Ukrainian women, and sometimes with former scam agency participants who "tell all" about the inner workings of the scam operations.

Many of the videos are interesting, to be sure. If you have read any of my site you know that I couldn't agree more that the pay-per-letter business is almost always a complete, shameless fraud.

So Joe correctly condemns pay-per-letter fraud, but does he provide anything better?

Match Guaranty Prices

Clear, up front, published prices are just a normal part of any good, honest, above-board business. But at least at the time of this writing (mid-2017) Match Guaranty's prices are not published on their site.

Probably the reason for this is that their prices are INSANELY HIGH (IMHO) and would instantly chase away most visitors. They prefer to announce their prices on a live video "coaching call" where they can try to ease you into it.

At least as of mid-2017 their prices were $9,000 and $20,000 for their two membership levels. Surely this will change over time, and all kinds of special twists will come and go ("discount if you sign up by midnight Friday", "buy the lower package TODAY and automatically receive a free upgrade to the premium package", etc.). But anyone whose starting points are $9,000 and $20,000 simply isn't operating in the realm of reason.

Short of including first class airfare, 5-star lodging, a personal chef, masseuse, and limo, it's hard for me to imagine anything that could justify this kind of pricing. But as far as I know their prices do not include anything except their service (no accommodations or transportation).

After all the fast talk and sales gimmicks, what do we really have here? As far as I can tell it is a local agency in Kiev with less than 1000 female clients from whom you can choose to correspond and meet. There are at least 3-4 other local agencies/matchmakers in Kiev alone with comparable databases even containing some of the very same women.

Kiev Connections and Daisy Bride offer services AT LEAST as good as Match Guaranty for 1/20th the price. So what's the real difference? It looks to me like the difference is the fast talk and sales gimmicks.

Act now, high pressure sales gimmicks

If you get on Match Guaranty's email contact list you'll see what I mean by "fast talk" and "sales gimmicks".

Their marketing emails are filled with high-pressure, act-now, sales gimmicks with phrases like "this is your LAST CALL to grab our biggest DISCOUNT ever", "THOUSANDS OFF!", "act now", "this deal is limited to the next three action-takers ONLY" peppered throughout.

Here are a few actual marketing emails, completely unedited.

Class-Action Lawsuit

One of those deceptive sales gimmicks Joe uses to promote Match Guaranty is the reference to a class action lawsuit against big pay-per-letter sites. It's referenced in the footer of some of their marketing emails and Youtube videos (like Online dating scammer confesses in Anastasia Date review).

Surely if you have been scammed by pay-per-letter services (and if you've used them, you've probably been scammed by them), word of a class action lawsuit is music to your ears. You think, "FINALLY, some JUSTICE!"

I would be very surprised if you ever got details about a lawyer or an actual class-action case from Joe. I would guess that it's just the bait to get you into Match Guaranty's sales funnel that will lead to a sale.

Unfortunately pay-per-letter fraud could never be proven to the extent required in a court of law, especially when the "Terms of Service" on most pay-per-letter sites ALLOW what we consider "fraud". You AGREE to those terms of service by using the site.

For a careful look at such "terms of service" for one site see my review of A Foreign Affair/AFA.

Guaranteed Success?

Match Guaranty says their services are "guaranteed" and that "We put our money where our mouth is so you have the peace of mind knowing you will meet your match".

But their definition of "guarantee" probably isn't what you would expect, and it probably won't give you any "peace of mind".

In a good old fashioned REAL "guarantee" where a company "puts their money where their mouth is" there is NO RISK TO THE CUSTOMER. That's what the claim means. The company is so sure that the customer will be satisfied with their product or service that they will take ALL OF THE RISK by promising to give ALL the money back if the customer isn't satisfied. The customer has nothing to lose.

But that's not what Match Guaranty means. At least as of April 2017 they meant that if you don't meet your match during the "Match Guaranty Partnership" plan, they will continue renewing your membership without additional charges. Note that the renew without charging you again, but you will still need to continue shelling out $3000-$5000 per trip for airfare, lodging, food, and entertainment. It's not exactly a "money where their mouth is" or "peace of mind" kind of guarantee.

And since there isn't any meaningful guarantee, what do you have other than their RECORD? Well, let's have a look at that.

16 years, 800 marriages, 91% success rate?

Match Guaranty boasts of their 16 years in business during which they have had a 91% success rate and have facilitated 800 marriages. At the time of this writing those statistics are published on their home page.

Not that it's a big deal, but the domain name "MatchGuaranty.com" was only registered in 2016, so that 16 year track record they boast has to be that of the partner agency in Kiev whose name we don't know.

But let's think about this claim for a moment...

If they have facilitated 800 marriages over 16 years, that's 50 marriages/year, just short of one marriage per week. This means that THEY HAVE AVERAGED NEARLY ONE MARRIAGE PER WEEK FOR 16 YEARS!

That's an incredible claim when you consider that this is NOT Match.com, but a physical, local, on-the-ground operation with less than a thousand female clients.

But there's another thing to consider. I have been involved in the "Russian/Ukrainian Search" world since 2005. I have seen dozens of sites and agencies come and go. And prior to 2016 I had been to Kiev at least five times, and starting in December 2016 I started LIVING in Kiev on and off for months at a time. Yet with all this exposure I have never heard of this incredibly successful agency averaging one marriage per week.

In the footer of some of the promotional emails they list a "Ukraine Office" address that appears to be in the building right behind/above the McDonald's in Independence Square, the same building where Daisy Bride is located. I've been to that building many times and have never heard of or seen evidence of such a successful agency.

I'm not saying it can't be true, just that it's odd that an agency that boasts such incredible numbers could go unseen and unknown to people LOOKING for good agencies and who have even visited the very building where their office is located.

Conclusions on Match Guaranty

Joe is on the right side in his videos when he warns people off pay-per-letter services and heralds the benefits of finding a Ukrainian woman. If his Youtube videos stopped with these points, it would be a positive contribution. But he doesn't stop there.

I might point out that the big pay-per-letter sites also say many things about the benefits of finding a Ukrainian/Russian woman, about their beauty, intelligence, and femininity. Those sites also have strong anti-scam statements on their sites. In these cases this is all half-truth and misdirection intended to distract you from the other hand slipping into your back pocket.

Match Guaranty doesn't engage in any clear fraud like pay-per-letter, pay-per-chat, etc. But in the end it looks to me like you're paying $9,000-$20,000 for a $1000 service provided by a relatively unknown local agency in Kiev and backed by a meaningless guarantee. The markup is probably for the Youtube series entertainment :)


Full Disclosure

If Joe ever gets wind of this review - as I assume he will - I can anticipate one possible response. He might say "Yeah, Bob is just a disgruntled former employee with an axe to grind."

Well, just in case he ever does say that let me give a quick answer in advance. More will follow if ever needed.

I have never been an employee of Match Guaranty. I was going to be involved with them by doing some of their "Coaching Calls" via Skype, but that never got off the ground. Most of the things I say in my review above bothered me all along and created friction that ultimately lead to our parting.