Alan, West Palm Beach, USA – June 2015

June 12, 2015 at 11.32pm by in Testimonials

TITLE: “Ukraine Brides Agency Keeps Their Promises or a Tale of Two Dates”

I joined UBA in October 2014 and have be corresponding with several of the ladies over these past months, over time settling in on one whom I felt we were reaching a genuine and mutual relationship and surprisingly she was one of the ladies I had met from the beginning. I felt if this were to go any further I had to get out from behind my computer and have the courage to travel to Ukraine and meet this woman. On the UBA website they offer tips and advise on many topics one of which is if you go visit Ukraine you should book a meeting with more than one woman, a tip that from a practical point makes sense as if you meet the one and it does not go well you are not stuck there without a plan B, though for me I knew why and whom I was going there to meet.

Before leaving the US I booked two meetings, both in the same town of Odessa as the travel there was enough of a challenge and for a first visit did not wish to add traveling around Ukraine of my list of challenges, besides Odessa is a great place to visit and I suspect would be hard pressed to get bored there for quite awhile.

My first meeting was with a lady from Odessa whom over the past several month we had chatted, video chatted and written numerous letters for sometime and felt she was sweet and sincere, though did not feel the same connection with her as the other lady, I figured it might be good preparation for what I considered my real meeting, also who knows maybe I will feel different once meeting her. As shared on the UBA site UBA shares an affiliation with local agencies in Ukraine and are not necessarily the agency to whom the lady is registered with in a given city, though the understanding I have is UBA has vetted both the affiliated agency and the ladies that are represented on the UBA site.

I arrived in Odessa mid-day after a long flight from US and was exhausted, though prior to leaving US I had arranged an initial meeting that afternoon and running on only adrenalin mustered up the energy to have my first date with someone that up till then was only someone I meet online. The agency provided and interpreter, whom unless you can speak Russian you will need as no matter how long you have been corresponding, it is not the same unless the lady you will be meeting perhaps is already fluent in your native language in my case English, and too they are really meeting you as a stranger they have only met online and I am sure having the interpreter there too initially gives them some comfort. They took me out for a quick tour of the city (Odessa is beautiful) and then off to dinner. Still not really believing I was there and actually on a date with someone I had only dreamed I might ever actually meet and not really knowing what to expect the ladies went about ordering some food and drinks and helping me to figure out what to order. Though extremely tired it was a pleasant outing and during dinner we scheduled to go out again to the beach the following day. I paid the bill with my credit card was guided back to my hotel, paid the interpreter in cash, she requested US currency and though I had only had a small amount of US dollars was enough to pay her. I went to bed anxious for the next day’s outing and looking forward to getting some sleep in a bed and not a seat on a plane as by this point was of main interest, thinking I would figure things out the next day. After getting some sleep the next morning I finally began to try to get a handle on what all this was costing me as it did not really register for me that first day as I did not have a good handle as yet on the exchange rate. The evening out from the restaurant was almost $300 and the interpreter charged me another $40, which did not include the first hour prepaid to the agency as part of their meeting arrangement package. I figured at this rate would be out of money quickly and was puzzled by the cost as the exchange rate their right now due to their economy crashing is 22 hryvnya (grivna) to $1USD. So $300 at a nice restaurant in US this might be believable, but not so in Ukraine today. My worst fears were beginning to form as first I spent a lot of money with the agency in order to even begin to meet and communicate with these women and now here I am 6500 miles from home getting fleeced by these ladies and I hadn’t even met the woman I flew all this distance to meet.

I decided first I would try to see if I could make some sense of this so I arranged to have the interrupter meet me at the hotel in advance of my beach date. I explained to her that I was paying her to interpret and though it would be a kind and generous thing to do to feed her while on my date, in point of fact I was not dating the two of them and she was being paid and well for her services. She seemed to indicate she understood, as well I also told her she would need to accept grivna for her payment as I did not carry enough in US currency to pay her as I had anticipated using my credit card for most things when I arrived. So first lesson for those who wish to visit Ukraine “expect to use cash and use their currency not USD” as many places do not take CC.

After our conversation I went forward with the date, taking a taxi ride to and from the beach finding out later that I paid the cab driver about three times what it should have cost, at the beach I paid for a spot on the beach, most beaches there are private unlike most US beaches which are public, where we shared in a small meal, I enjoyed the black sea and the great weather the location and weather could not be more perfect, yet here I was feeling as just a money machine as the two women mostly spoke with each other and barely to me unless I asked question directly. I was getting angry about the setup with the agency and upset with myself for being this gullible. We left the beach and went out for dinner where by days end I had spent again around $300USD for everything, with the interpreter though specifically asked otherwise again ordered a meal for herself and I felt trapped as I did not speak Russian so she was for the moment in the drivers seat. By the way as for my dates interests in me, though more than talkative online had little interest in getting to know me which on the first day I took for most probably just a bit shy, though by day two feeling totally fleeced and taken advantage of. They took me back to the hotel where I went to my room to get more cash to pay the interpreter, dropping it in her lap in the taxi and walking away did not even say goodbye to her or my date. I determined as to this lady there would not be another date as no sense throwing good money after bad.

I had arranged to stay in Odessa for fourteen days and it was going to be a long stay now without having time with these ladies as this was only day two and was already thinking of packing it in and cutting my losses. Even so I tried to remain optimistic really wanting to meet the person who was the real reason I had come 6500 miles, yet now quite skeptical if this experience would repeat itself, sure by now that the whole thing was just a scam.

Two days later I meet a second interpreter and then the woman I had come all this distance to meet. The interpreter was quite, polite and very professional and made every effort to help make my experience a nice one and the lady I was finally meeting in person was full of questions and curious to know me. The whole meal cost around 600 grivna, less than $30.00 and I had a wonderful time.

Such a stark difference between these two experiences and I did not understand was this the same agency I had been working with all this time back in the states? I was very happy I had given a chance for this date to go forward against my better judgment, but now I was quite angry with the first interpreter who when I in the end asked why after telling her I was not there to pay the way for both of them, she quipped “this is how it works”. I had grown angry over this initial experience and wanted to get to the bottom of what was going on so I decide to reach out to UBA.

I decided to write a letter directly to Keith Gordon with UBA and share my experiences to date, my distain for the treatment I had with my first date, and why the contrast. In truth I expected him and the agency to skirt the issue or give an excuse or somehow place the blame solely somehow on my failings.

I received a response back from Keith about 18 hours later, which actually once you are in Ukraine and they are in New Zealand the days and nights are about exact opposites, hence the delay. To my surprise he was questioning the details of both my experiences, accepting responsibility, siting he would get to the bottom of the situation and committing to make things right. I was thankful for this letter, though in truth to this point these were only words. I was curious to see if he would back it up and how as at this point I had now had a second date which went quite well and did not really want my beginnings to over shadow the whole experience.

Keith and I exchanged a few more letters as he probed for more specific details and to reassure me of his commitment to correct things as best he could, though at this point I did not know what this would look like. They not only questioned the local agency, but the restaurants I had visited.

So now for the reason I am writing this testimonial today, after reviewing and acknowledging my complaint Keith returned with the following proposal which not only surprised me, restored my faith that UBA is committed to standing behind their promises and to the best they can make things right. They in essence repaid me for the monies I had spent for the first two dates, they looked back through all the monies I had spent corresponding with this lady from day one and refunded all of it, finally they reprimanded the local agency questioning them as to the efficacy and their organizations relationship with them, I only have Keith’s word on this which as this was a costly decision for UBA I have no reason to doubt and finally they removed this lady from the UBA site. I did not expect this all to happen, but it all happened in real time while I was still in Odessa and still dating the woman I had flown so far to see. We are still actively talking and I am already planning another visit to Odessa in early fall as I am told it too looks beautiful that time of the year and of course UBA can not determine how this chapter will end, even so I am very thankful for their commitment to excellence in an industry which is fraught with fraud. Thank you again UBA for standing on your word..

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