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The online dating site Plenty of Fish has long claimed to be the largest free site of its kind. Period. So imagine my surprise when I logged in to check something and noticed that I was being asked for one credit to unlock the ability to see whether a sent message had been read or not.
Huh? This was new!
And just how much is one credit? 8 cents.
8 cents?!? And this wasn’t 8 cents for each message… this was 8 cents to permanently unlock the “feature” to see whether my message had been read. 8 cents…
I was more than annoyed! I’m sure most people are thinking “It’s 8 cents, buddy… what’s the big deal?” Well, I’ll tell you what the big deal is…
Plenty of Fish is supposed to be a FREE online dating site! Even now, if you look at their site, they still claim to be free. Well, obviously they’re not! It’s not like they are adding features to their existing site, and then charging optional fees for their use! No, they are crippling their existing features by charging a measly token fee to unlock what used to be free. Who cares if it’s only 8 cents? That’s even more of a slap in the face! Apparently you can’t just buy 1 credit… no, that’s the sheer evil genius of their plan… you have to buy blocks of credits, effectively forcing you to spend far more than 8 cents, and then finding something else to waste your leftover credits on… like sending a virtual cake to an online love interest.
Someone suggested that maybe they should have looked at grandfathering in existing accounts, and implementing the fee on new members only. That’s certainly one solution. If you’re new to the site, then you’re not going to miss what you never had. I think it’s a major disservice to existing members to ask them to pay for something as fundamental as seeing the status of a sent message. I also wonder if this is simply the beginning of a series of planned changes for the online dating site. This month you pay to see whether your message has been read. Next month you pay for the ability to send a message. And why not? You’ve already bought a block of 100 points, and still have 99 left. You might as well use them for something!
What gets me the most is that they still proudly claim to be the largest free online dating site.
This is one lil fish leaving the big pond!
This is a re-posting of an article that I wrote for another blog last year.
Internet dating is not new. In fact, it’s been around for years, and is now a booming multi-million dollar business. But does it actually work? I guess that depends on your definition of success. If seeking a chat partner or quick hookup is your thing, then online dating sites might be perfect for you. If you’re interested in finding your illusive soul mate, chances are you’d better be prepared to put a little effort into the process.
There are many online dating sites available, such as eHarmony, LavaLife, and Plenty of Fish, Match.com, MatchMaker.com, PerfectMatch.com, Chemistry.com and others. I won’t get into the pros and cons of each of these today. I’ll leave that for another time.
But I did want to point out a couple of important things to remember if you’re serious about using these sites for something other than a quick pickup.
The first lesson you should learn is when you create your own online profile, resist the temptation to stretch the truth a little. It’s not an easy thing to do (resisting the urge, that is). But remember, if you’re interested in finding someone for more than a quick fling, starting your budding relationship off with a series of little white lies isn’t going to build the best foundation. So be honest about your likes and dislikes, what motivates you, and of course the almighty physical description. Best to leave those old pictures of you for the photo album.
The next thing to keep in mind is to actually READ the profiles of prospective soulmates. Too many times, people use a shotgun approach, whereby they write a standard initial message, and send it to as many people as they can, without actually taking time to read the other person’s profile. This approach is quick and pointless. It’s one thing to cast your net wide, but it’s quite another to be so incredibly lazy. You will find it much more rewarding to read through the prospective profiles, and select the ones you may find interesting. Then write a personalized greeting, based in part on what you read. Don’t be afraid to be unique! People who use these sites are generally used to getting solicited repeated in cookie-cutter fashion. If you don’t want your initial greeting to be ignored (or worse, unread) then break away from the pack and be creative. Positive comments on the person’s profile show that you’ve taken the time to read it, and go a long way to getting past the initial message block.
After that, anything can happen. But remember, always be true to yourself, play by the rules, and be safe.