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Thu, Feb 19, 2009
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Want a bride, but cannot pay by credit

Mark Lin, the owner of Vietnam Brides International Matchmaker has been approaching financial institutions for a credit instalment service since 2004.

Back then, he talked to two banks, and one of them rejected him on the grounds that the value of his services could not be assessed. The other bank never replied. But Mr Lin was aware that many view his business as controversial, and he half-expected to be rejected.

So he was pleasantly surprised when a credit card company approached him recently, and he put it down to the fact that consumers are tightening their purse strings in the current economic climate.

Mark Lin revealed that Diners Club spoke to him in early February and they signed a contract allowing Mark's clients to pay for his bride agency's services in instalments. They installed a credit payment terminal in his agency on Feb 6 this year.

According to Mr Lim, Diners Club agreed to undertake the risks of the transactions, and was responsible for ensuring that clients paid their instalments. They charged him 4 per cent of the transaction value as processing fee.

Mr Lim insisted that he is not engaging in hard sell, nor is he encouraging those without the financial means to marry a Vietnamese bride.

"Times are bad, I just don't want to those who sincerely wish to get married be put off by the high cost. Credit instalments will allow them to fulfill their dream of finding a mate at about $300 a month," Mr Lim told my paper.

He had hoped that the new service would allow him to matchmake at least seven couples a month - a three-fold increase from the current two to three couples a month.

However, two days ago, Diners Club came down to his agency to recover the credit payment terminal. Mr Lim is now worried that his hopes of expanding his business have been dashed again.

"After spending so much time and effort on this, it seems that it has been another wild goose chase. I don't know why my attempt to be innovative has met with so many difficulties."

my paper understands that a small number of maid agencies and social escort agencies do provide credit instalment facilities, but there are no foreign bride agencies with such a service.

Mr Mr. Yap Hock Soon, a 52-year-old businessman who is interested in marriage agency services told my paper that he would welcome such an arrangement as it would substantially reduce the financial burden.

Another dating agency owner, Myichel Lam of "You Got A Date" allows her customers to pay her by instalments, even though her agency does not offer credit card facilities. Ms Lam trusts her clients who know that they are paying for her professional services, and so far has not had any client defaulting on payment. Her fees range from $100 to $600.

It's not against the law
Lawyers whom my paper consulted say that such an arrangement does not infringe any laws, and there is no question of human trafficking.

Robson Lee, a lawyer from Shook Lin & Bok, said that from a legal standpoint the role of the matchmaking agency is similar to that of an estate agent and their fees similar to agent fees for introducing the parties to each other. 

Diners Club: Still evaluating the agreement
A spokesperson from Diners Club clarified that they would be happy to work with any company registered under the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and make no value judgements about the nature of the business.

They view a marriage agency as no different from a maid agency, and they will observe normal procedures when they evaluate Mr Lin's account internally.

readers' comments
I have a friend that has a shop near to a vietnamese brides agency in a no so popular shopping centre.This agency business is very bad and they start to operate some sleazy business.In the day operate as a matchmaking agency and in the night when all the shop closed where all the action start.The agency provide vietnamese girls to all the clients to the Japanese pubs in that shopping centre.They do their 'actions' in the toilet and stairways,cleaners use to pick up condoms in the toilet. Most of the shop owners in that shopping centre know what is happening and this agency has been operating this sleazy business for few years already. They are no better than PRC massage girl.
Posted by electric127 on Fri, 20 Feb 2009 at 12:41 PM
If you are genuinely in love with someone, you will pay on time. Have you not once in a lifetime helped someone without asking anything return? What more is your wife? God Bless.
Posted by Dr.JunYap on Thu, 19 Feb 2009 at 21:42 PM
Pay by credit for a bought bride. Like buying a good or a person or a wife. Shocking
Posted by elizabethtan on Thu, 19 Feb 2009 at 17:42 PM
Are these vietnamese brides agency geniunely doing matchmaking or ?????????
Posted by electric127 on Thu, 19 Feb 2009 at 17:26 PM
when u did not pay ur credit card on time, the bank charge ur late payment and interest, if u dont pay for few months, the bank will file a court order to get your home, acess, etc to auction off to pay the debt.

as for the credit payment for bride service the service that in question right, not the bride....
so if u cant pay, they dont take ur bride and auction ''she'' off to pay the debt.
Posted by New Wave on Thu, 19 Feb 2009 at 16:28 PM

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