I first joined eHarmony on February 16, 2007 during a Free President’s Day Weekend event (I later found that they offer free trials during most 3 day weekends). The reasons for joining were myriad, but basically it boils down to this: I don’t go out to certain single-gathering areas and I wasn’t particularly interested in starting (plus another Valentine’s Day by myself didn’t help).
During the free weekend, I was limited to 10 matches, and I was unable to see any of their pictures. I corresponded with one girl in Florida for a bit and she seemed intriguing so I ended up joining. Now here’s where the tricky part comes in…
The Pricing of eHarmony is a bit confusing to some, because the site generally shows price per month. As of time of writing the prices are as follows:
- 1 Month — $59.95 / Month
- 3 Months — $39.95 / Month
- 6 Months — $29.95 / Month
- 12 Months — $19.95 / Month
Obviously, the 12 Month plan seems like the way to go, right? Indeed it is, however you need to read the fine print: “Billed in one installment of…”, this means that if you want the monthly price above you will actually be paying:
- 1 Month — $59.95
- 3 Months — $119.85
- 6 Months — $179.70
- 12 Months — $239.40
Data taken from Gift Membership Purchase Price
This isn’t really that unusual, in fact anyone who has ever purchased an MMO subscription is probably going, “so what?” What is unusual, is that after the initial period is up, you start getting billed on a monthly basis, this is AWESOME! In general, subscription based sites re-charge you the full amount whenever your period is up (for instance I get a bill every 2 years from Dreamhost.com).
I’ve had a subscription for the last 3.5+ years, why haven’t I ever canceled? It wasn’t because I haven’t ever met someone on the site; I have. It wasn’t because I haven’t had a successful relationship with someone on the site; I have. The reason I never canceled was because I didn’t want to lose the $19.95 a month price (though I notice after closing my account I can “Reactivate My Subscription at: 1 Month Renewal for a total price of $19.95. “). At various times throughout the last few years the rates have fluctuated, though oddly enough they appear to be right back where they were when I started 3.5 years ago.
Some of the changes I’ve noticed:
In the beginning, I got an email every time I got a new match (which eventually got a bit annoying) as well as whenever I received a communication from a match (which I liked). At some point, they turned off this feature. There may have been an email about this, but I don’t recall it. What I do recall was not seeing any messages, and therefore having no reason to log into the site, which (predictably) disheartened me and led to my first period of inactivity on the site.
Originally your payment got you everything. Later they added the “Premium Personality Profile” a onetime charge of (IIRC) $5.95. I bought it, but it really didn’t do much for me, though it did provide a snazzy icon next to my name (and the names of prospective matches with it).
More recently they added “Verify Your ID”, which is something that you pay for annually ($5.95 at time of writing) and it just verifies that you are in fact who you say you are (it also provides a special icon next to your name so matches know). Given how costly the site is (and the lengthy interview process to create an account), there aren’t too many spammers on it. Personally, I haven’t used it.
There is also “Secure Call” (an additional $5.95/month). What’s that?
Secure Call provides you with the opportunity to easily talk to your matches while maintaining your privacy. With it, you always maintain control over who can call you, as you can block a match at any time. It is also an extremely flexible communication option as you can use your cell, home or work phone.
Yet another thing I don’t have a use for. Maybe it is my dislike for using the phone, or maybe I’m just thinking that by the time I get to the stage when I want to talk to a person we’ll have exchanged actual phone numbers.
Icebreakers — These are canned messages eHarmony has prepared; you can select and send 1 per match. They aren’t anything complex, but they do offer something helpful, a way for you to prod matches that you may be interested in, but aren’t sure if they have a paid account.
iPod App — They finally got one (fairly recently). It is free (though you of course need a subscription to the site to use it) and has the ability to write and respond to your matches, though it does not appear to allow you to send/receive Icebreakers.
Photos — You can upload and provide captions for up to 12.
Profile — Your profile (along with your photos) is what your matches are going to be looking at when deciding whether or not to communicate with you. There is one section on there, The last book I read and enjoyed, that is meant to be frequently updated. I… did not do that. I read very frequently and never bothered to update this after each book I finished, which is too bad, since the default view when you login to eHarmony is to show you a list of recently updated profiles. Theoretically, my updating my favorite book would get me higher up on the list of prospective matches.
Not knowing whether or not a user has a paid account. If they don’t have a paid account, they can’t message you. A little icon next to the name would be all that’s required, either one to indicate they have a paid account, or one to indicate they don’t. I can’t tell you how many matches I’ve had that never responded.
On the My Settings tab, there is a subtab called “Nice to Haves” which asks for your height and how important this is to you. On the other tabs it asks about you (for instance how much you smoke), and what you would like in a prospective match (non-smoking), as well as how important it is (very).
Closing the Account:
To close the account, I went to the My Settings tab and clicked Close Account.
After that it asked me why I was closing the account, well to be more specific it asked whether or not I was seeing someone. When I selected the radio button that said I was dating someone I met through the site it asked me to submit my “Success Story”.
Should you join eHarmony? If you are single, straight (
eHarmony is supposedly working on a special version of its site for homosexuals, but I haven’t heard anything about it latelySee UPDATE 9/17/2010 below for more info), willing to commit to it, and have about $240 (to get a 1 year membership) to spare, yes. I think that it is a very valuable service and as I have stated in previous posts, it has produced the most quality matches.
If you are still leery about meeting someone online and aren’t quite ready to take the plunge… eHarmony is the right site to use. It offers very controlled circumstances for contacting and being contacted, so you don’t need to worry (as much) about getting obscene messages from random people.
RIP 2/16/2007 — 9/17/2010
UPDATE 9/17/2010 Looks like the sister site that eHarmony was designing for anyone interested in a same sex partner is CompatiblePartners.net