I like to consider myself pretty savvy with my purchases, and I’m pretty savvy with the internet too- I’m a blogger and I do social media management for a living, but everything about my experience with eHarmony, the company, has been a total bust.
Now, the fellas I met through eHarmony were just fine. That’s not my problem- the frustration I’m feeling is with the really clunky iPhone app (which really makes for a cumbersome user experience), the poor customer service, and the doozy of a billing plan that locks you in until you beg for mercy.
I’ve tried online dating before, both paid and free sites, and really liked it. OkCupid worked just fine, and I met some great guys on there, a few of whom ended up being good friends. I have also tried Match.com years ago and had a fine experience. When I became single last fall, I decided to try eHarmony, thinking it would have more of the dating pool I was looking for at this stage in life- guys that have their stuff together and are looking for marriage-worthy partners. In that respect, eHarmony did just fine. Everything else about the site and the service made me want to smash things.
First, the emails are annoying. For some matches, you get this image- and you can’t tell if the person just hasn’t uploaded a photo yet (which why would I bother clicking through to a person who hasn’t filled out their profile completely? Ain’t nobody got time for that), or if they do this on purpose. In this case, Rory does indeed have a profile image, but all I get is this random silhouette- so I think they do matches a disservice by using a default avatar- it lends the impression that this user hasn’t finished his profile, so I typically don’t waste my time with inactive users. Not really appealing, I have no idea why they do that for one off matches. It’s annoying.
Even more annoying still- any time you click a match from your email, even if you’re already logged to eHarmony and surfing their site, it requires you to LOG IN AGAIN, EVERY TIME you click a match. Yes, every time. So, you get matched with 5 guys- 3 look appealing. You click 3 faces, and each browser tab opens with a login screen. Who doesn’t love to login 3 times even though you were already logged in 5 minutes ago browsing yesterday’s matches?
Who doesn’t love logging into a website 5 times after you’ve already logged in? It’s a great use of time!
Maybe it’s for security? Hmm, my bank has a better user experience than this and they have every reason to fear getting hacked. This website isn’t cheap either (which I’ll get to), so you’d think someone in development would have considered this? Maybe they have, but please fix it.
Secondly, the subscription plan is a bit confusing and there aren’t many options. When I signed up, there was either a hefty $59.95 a month, or you can sign up for a year, with three payments of $63.83. What I didn’t realize upon signing up, which I apparently should have read the fine print- is that the $63.83 will bill one month right after the other. So, you pay for the entire year, with no refunds (unless you dispute in a 3 day refund window), in under 90 days.
Which honestly- feels like a good way to bait people into paying for year- nobody wants to pay $59.95 for a month when they could pay $63 for 4 months…but then bill them so fast they’re locked in anyway.
The checkout process with various packages was quite confusing, and really- I feel that users get railroaded into signing up for a year’s subscription. Most of us would like to be matched with someone within 4-6 months, so even if you are matched, which is what the site’s designed to- tough cookies, you’ve paid for the whole year.
So, I falsely assumed that eHarmony, when they said they would bill me in 3 monthly installments- would charge my credit every 4 months. Nope. I had three credit charges in November, December, January. By the time I realized this, I couldn’t cancel my subscription. While I realize that I should have read the fine print, and totally am fine paying for 6+ months I’m not going to use, the whole process felt very scammy.
So, with eHarmony- if the product works and you find love, you still pay for it. If the product sucks and you’d rather cancel, you still pay for it. No ifs, ands or butts- be prepared to pay up the cool-o for eHarmony, and an app that makes you want to throw your phone.
Oh, even better-after 3 emails to customer care with no response with questions about my plan, I gave them a call. A rep kindly explained the situation to me, meaning, the “no refunds,” situation, which is fine…so I log onto my account to at least turn it off and get my privacy back. I get this delightful little pop-up that is quite confusing…. does this mean my profile is no longer being matched or that I just don’t get those daily match emails? The “sending” part doesn’t make any sense to me. >flips table<
I kid you not. You can turn off matches, but I could not delete my profile from the website. GOODIE! Let’s just say I found love through eHarmony, and my new boyfriend would rather me not have a profile (you know because, that chapter of your life should be closed), you never really get to go away. Why can’t I be an adult and take my non-refundable membership and put it in the “things I regret and want to forget about category” where I’d like it to go and move on? Why must this go on? Sigh.
So, does turning off matches mean that randoms can’t see my name and profile? Why isn’t this more clear and why does this whole dating site in and of itself feel like a REALLY REALLY BAD DATE. I really don’t care about the daily match emails as much as I care about not being viewed by guys any longer. I mean, if you’ve ever started a new relationship, you eventually ask your significant other “So I take it you deactivated your online dating profile right?” Well, with eHarmony, you can’t.
Perhaps they’re banking it won’t pan out and you’ll be back before your payment lapses…that is, unless they have you for automatic billing which is probably why they don’t make it easy to delete the site- they’re just hoping you didn’t notice and you’ll get locked in for another year.
Eharmony, you have my money, but can’t you just give me my privacy back, in the form of a total delete? I’m an intelligent grown-up. You got my cash, I’d really just like to LEAVE now, but this really feels like I’m on a bad date in real life at the Hotel California. You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave. Sigh.
I don’t think I’ve ever gone on a rant like this on my blog. I’m just not the ranty type, but my experience with eHarmony makes my blood boil. I realize that I signed up to pay for a service, and in that, I committed to a length of time and a price tag- but I feel the money wasn’t worth it, not because the matches were bad (in fact, the matches were just fine!) but that the product itself and the support system around it does not have the customer’s best interests at heart.
I’m sure they have plenty of customers that try and cancel prematurely because they didn’t find love and are frustrated. That’s not the case here, I just really thought the whole experience was lackluster and the process of using the site itself was underwhelming and customer care was frustrating. I would NOT recommend eHarmony to anyone for these reasons- it’s just not a fun experience and this is coming from a gal who has done online dating before and did enjoy the dates she went on. I wish I could say I was bitter and all the guys were jerks, that’s why I hate eHarmony, but that’s not the case- I just really wish I’d never signed up for it.
Is it worth the cost? Nope. Would I pay a lot for a good match? Absolutely, that is worth it! Do I think you can get your money’s worth at eHarmony? Only if you like getting locked into contracts whether the service is successful or not, I’d say, otherwise, nope. If you’re a busy professional who would like logins that work seamlessly, and an app that is user-friendly to communicate with matches so you can browse/chat on the go, I’d also say, no.