Online Dating Blog

Issues with the Match.com Six Month Guarantee

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A friend of mine tried out the Match.com 6 Month Guaranteeprogram where if you don’t meet that “special someone”, you will get 6 months free. Unfortunately, when he came to the end of his six months they said he didn’t qualify even though, as far as he could tell, he did. I checked online for anyone else having this problem and found this post on RipoffReport.com. I decided to look into this program and the rules are (basically) as follows:

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  1. Obey the Match.com Terms of Use. The terms of use exists as much to protect Match.com as anything else so I doubt this rule would be causing problems. For example, if you are caught cyber-stalking someone you can’t expect 6 months free.
  2. Pay for 6 months of service in advance for Match.com.
  3. Create a profile with picture which must be approved within 7 days.
  4. Keep your photo visible at all times.
  5. Communicate with other members.
  6. Either email 5 unique people each month or respond to 5 unique people each month or a combination of both. The emails must be sent through Match.com. Winks, MatchTalk and Match Instant Messaging do not count.

In addition to those rules, there were two items that caught my eye in the Frequently Asked Questions:

  • You have to claim your free 6 months during the last 7 days of your first six months
  • If you do nothing at the end of the first 6 months and do not qualify for the free six months they will automatically renew you for another six months!

After reading all this, I realized it would be easy to accidentally not meet the requirements of the guarantee. So, here are the rules I would suggest you follow if signing up for this program:

  1. Plan on contacting 10 unique people a month. The rule about contacting 5 unique people seems to cause some trouble. As an example, if you contact someone and, for whatever reason, Match.com kicks them out, does that communication still count? I would hope so but for some reason, some people are seeing previously “good” months moved to a “bad” status. Also, you’ll need to make sure you’ve never contacted that person before so be extra careful in month 5 and 6 where accidentally contacting someone you’ve talked to before would be easier to do.
  2. Never touch or change the picture you originally set as your primary photo. The rules are vague regarding this picture and it’s not clear if changing the photo affects your eligibility. So make sure you pick a picture you like and never touch it again (at least for 6 months).
  3. Rule number 5 above, in my opinion, is vague. It might not be a bad idea to wink or use other communication methods. Seriously, go read the fifth rule and tell me how its different from the sixth.
  4. You can check your progress for each month but don’t put too much faith in this. Based on the complaint at RipoffReport.com, the status of a month appeared to go from green to red after the fact (which, assumably means meeting the requirements are now impossible for that person). My friend had a similar experience to this.
  5. Keep track of when your 6 months will be up. Based on the rules, it appears that you must make your claim during the last 7 days of your 6 month subscription. It is unclear if they would remind you of this via email. Match.com specifies the six months as a period of time consisting of five 30 day periods followed by one 33 day period. This means you need to make your claim between the 176th and 183rd day of the six months. I would recommend creating some type of email reminder or even setting an alarm on your cell phone so you don’t miss your window to make your claim. Also, and this one is important: if you do not take any action at the end of your six months they will automatically renew you for another six months!. See the Frequently Asked Questions for the specifics on this.
  6. I don’t want to suggest that Match.com would try to avoid meeting their end of the bargain but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take screen shots of your status each month and never delete any of your emails if it can be avoided. If Match.com automatically deletes them you might want to take screenshots of that too.

The program sounds great in the sense that it creates a feeling of hope and optimism. I’m sure it works for many people but Match.com must be raking in the cash off of this program. For example, if you meet someone in the second month you’ve still paid for those additional four months. On the other hand, for those who don’t read the fine print, there’s a good chance of getting auto-renewed. I suspect this is the driving force behind the promotion: getting more out of people than they actually paid for (or wanted to pay for).

Now let me say one last thing: I met my wife using Match.com and I really did think the service was great. I never had a problem at all. Also, the rules of this program are actually wonderful in the sense that they will improve your odds of meeting someone by following them. If you’re shy, this program might just be the motivation you need. With that said, very few things in life are truly free. From what I can tell, even if you do manage to get six months free, you’ll still be paying for it with your effort.

Match.com – Everyone knows someone who met on Match.com. Now it is your turn. Search Now!


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About the Author:

Brad initially struggled with online dating but over time became quite successful using it. He met his wife using online dating and has been giving advice and helping people improve their results since 2007. He has written a Free Online Dating Guide to help others find success with online dating. You can learn more about his personal experience using online dating and running this website here.

Discussion

  1. julie  May 25, 2008

    I think match is great. There are a lot of hidden things, like renewals and the month thing but it is what you make it. Sounds like eharmony is much worse and decides for you who matches you. I like the freedom to look around and also, be available to someone who I may not pick or see, and they find me. I haven’t found my true love but I have dated some very great guys and some not so great guys. I have learned a lot through dating them….sometimes what you think you want or like is not really who you are looking for….

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  2. Jackie  November 25, 2008

    I failed the match 6 months guarantee as I had hidden my profile form and ex and also didnt contact enough people while i was on holidy for 4 weeks.

    I explained my siutation in en email to match and they reviewed my account and gave me another 6 months free.

    Have I met anyone decnt form it???? NO. The same faces appear on many different sites using very different details and that takes a simple google search to sieve out the ones like that but hey I ahve another 6 months free to find my match so nothing to lose.

    I would recommend the service to others for the sheer fact their customers service is really good and very understanding. Do however if getting a 6 months memberships use a cashback site site as qudico to get most of the money refunded to you.

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  3. Your Reader  January 27, 2009

    Great! Thank you very much!
    I always wanted to write in my blog something like that. Can I take part of your post to my site?
    Of course, I will add backlink?

    Regards, Timur Alhimenkov

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  4. Brad  January 28, 2009

    Feel free to use some of the post at your site.

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  5. john  January 31, 2009

    I decided to go for the 6 option with the 6 month free. At the end of the 6 months (late Jan 09) my account was moved down to a non paying member status.

    I complied with all the regulations to achieve the free 6 months. I will give them time to reply but if I do not receve their offer, then I will pursue them to the end (via the courts) and report back here the result. I have sent 3 emails now (rght now – 30 jan -09) asking what is wrong- No reply as of yet but it is early days.

    I will keep you posted

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  6. john  February 3, 2009

    Update on my last comment 31 Jan 09.

    I had sent Match. Com an EMAIL LETTER OF COMPLAINT on 31 Jan 09 asking why I wasn’t receiving my free 6 months membership.

    I received a reply that re-instated my ‘free 6 month membership’

    I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I not started to take the legal route of complaint… BUT

    Well done to Match.com

    I wish it was that easy to get a date from that place..
    But that’s another story

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  7. Kath  February 19, 2009

    Hi

    I have the same problem too with the 6 month free – couldn’t work out why but could be the 7 day thing (although this is not highlighted very well at all)
    John would you mind letting me know who you emailed? I have sent several messages through the contact us sheet but get no reply (despite promising 24 hour reply) and can’t see a email address to send directly too?

    thanks

    Kath

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  8. Julie  March 14, 2009

    I too have had the same problem with the Match.com, 6 months free guarantee.

    I signed up in good faith and my profile was left live however it seems I failed to contact 5 people in any given month a few times. I certainly think that condition should have been made crystal clear. Additionally there was no email warning me that my full membership was due to expire or to remind me that in order to fulfil the terms and conditions I should make 5 contacts a months. Amazing! Especially as they email about anything else!. I really surprised that such a well known site can be so misleading. Granted, I should have read the terms and conditions carefully but as it was such a big advertising campaign for them I took this as the advert suggested. More fool me! I’m really disappointed with Match.com’s 6 month ‘guarantee’.

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  9. peggy  June 18, 2009

    You can click many men and they don’t respond. I actually don’t understand why men do not respond,show their picture. If they are not willing to communicate this early…

    Match refuses to repay any unused time. So as I met someone outside of the internet, i will not get my last 6 weeks or at least one month returned. I think this is called stealing.
    And they also suggest hiding my picture which would then make me ineligible for an extension. Frankly, I wouldn’t want an extension. I don’t find the men in action on this site. I also did not find Match working with my perameters. They sent people across US instead of 10 miles, did not pay attention to ethenticity and continue to send matches of people who have already communicated in one sense or another. I don’t recommend this site.

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  10. nora  August 3, 2009

    I, too, have problems with the six month guarantee. I actually read the terms of use and checked my progress regularly. Even when I had no internet at home, I made sure to still message men and reply to them as to keep up my end of the bargain.

    I get a link to renew my six months for free because I met all the requirements and I click it. They say my free membership is being processed.

    A few days later, I log in and it says my profile isn’t visible! And it wasn’t visible for the past 5 months as well! I click on the link to go to change my profile’s visibility and it says my profile IS visible!

    I sent them an email and will be calling first thing when I wake up to make sure they don’t charge me for another six months.

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  11. keith maher  August 6, 2009

    Match.com does not honor their 6 month guarantee-I met all the qualifications & they still turned off my membership. Their guarantee is a load of bull

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  12. arnoldrichter  March 1, 2010

    I fulfilled the terms of the six month guarantee. I clicked on the link to validate it and the page said “Sorry! We're experiencing a problem processing your selection. Please call 1-800-Match for additional assistance.” This is obviously BS. By the way, this message was integrated into the page and not a pop-up error message or an error page. So I called the number and was on hold for 10 minutes before I could talk to someone. He had to “verify” it with his “supervisor” twice. I should be good now, but once my six months is up, I won't be renewing. I don't like being jerked around.

    Also, I had been a member before and when I tried to cancel my membership, I got the same or similar error message and had to call in. Everything on the site works fine, except when you try to cancel your membership or claim your free time. If you do decide to join this site, make sure you pay with a check and not your credit card.

    -”arnoldrichter”

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  13. Johnny Britton  May 10, 2011

    I too was duped by the “automatic renewel” thing. Was checking my bank account one day and found a mysterious charge on it. Also, I can’t believe they only recommend contacting a measly FIVE people a month. That’s nothing, especially considering chances are, all five won’t respond. That rule must be for women only. Even ten as you mentioned, still sounds low.

    I had some trouble with match in the beginning, but am starting to figure some things out. It only took me like 8 months.

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  14. Matt  May 26, 2011

    Called them up and they said I would have 6 months free after my 6 months expired because I emailed 5 or more people a month. Then when about to give me the deal they told me at the last minute I cannot have it because even though I was on match.com I subscribed to direct dating,com and even though they have merged together, that does not count. They have so many ways to not give you what they promised. Kick in the teech hey

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  15. Martin  May 29, 2011

    Don’t forget that if you get a warning from the mods or a yellow card – AT ALL – you’re disqualified from the 6-month extension. What’s to stop them setting up a yellow-card situation or a shill account used for “complaining about” anyone who looks like they might be due to qualify for an extension? Nothing at all, that’s what.

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  16. Pete  June 10, 2011

    Dispute it with the credit card company, if you can prove your case, no charges. It’s that easy.

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  17. John Lobban  July 29, 2011

    I got that same error and then had to leave on travel. Match tried to auto-bill renew me several times a day after that, so I called them today at telephone number 800-926-2824 and pressed option ’5′ for billing issues. I waited about 5 minutes and a lady named ‘Simone’ (if I remember correctly) came on the line. I explained that I got an error when I tried to validate the guarantee. She looked at my account and said I qualified for the extension and she gave it to me.

    I just checked (had to sign out and back in again) and my membership is working again. I realize I’m not adding a complaint and I do have issues with auto-billing (I’d rather it run out and let me decide if I want to renew) but the lady on the phone was very polite with me and I was able to be polite back and still have things resolved. So, I’d suggest giving them a call.

    One thing I did notice though, after your account expires, you suddenly get lots of emails from match saying someone is interested in you. Another thing I’ve noticed, if you want responses, you might not get near as many through Match as you would through PlentyOfFish.com so I can’t say I’m overly impressed with Match as a way to date.

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    • Chris  November 3, 2012

      When I cancelled before the auto renewal (good thing I read plenty online beforehand) and filling out their close-out “what did you think of our service” questionaire (which I promptly read them the Riot Act), I got an email from Match telling me to call an 800-number. Figured it was Match trying to upsell me another membership, but the rep “Sean” (probably not his real name, thinking Patel) told me they received my responses and wanted to know more about my experience. After a few scammers and several emails or winks from members whose profile could’t be viewed (?!), I told the rep that thier serviced just sucked and I was more adept at finding scammers than Match’s own internal monitoring. Hell, I spent more time sending emails to Match than other members. At the end of the call, when the rep knew I wouldn’t renew, he told me that “you’ll get some more email from us for a couple weeks, just ignore those.” Now, here’s a rep telling me to just ignore the “someone viewed your profile” messages…what does that say to Match’s credibility? Straight in the sh*tter.

  18. happy  September 6, 2011

    Why bother with match.com at all. There are plenty of free sites out there.

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  19. Brad  September 8, 2011

    Happy – I think everyone should take advantage of the free sites. I especially like OKCupid. That being said, most people I talk to have more luck on the pay sites and more than once I’ve been told by women they meet more serious guys more quickly on sites like Match.

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