Inside The Online Dating Industry
by Joe Tracy,
publisher of Online Dating Magazine
Management Systems, like "Don't Date Him Girl"
Have Several Flaws to Work Out
of the growing vertical markets of online dating
is "reputation management systems." These
are sites where you can post information on a guy or
has cheated on you. Most of them are aimed at women
expressing displeasure to men. Sites like "Don't Date
Him Girl" have garnished a lot of media attention,
fueling their growth.
a court of law, sites like "Don't Date Him
Girl" allow the accuser to post anonymously. But the
person being accused (rightly or falsely) has their
name, age, city, state, and photo posted. The defense
name and phone number of the person posting anonymously."
Yet, the "Don't Date Him Girl" founder has
admitted that she would go to jail before revealing
such information in a court of law. So basically, they
are making it easy for people to post false information
or attempt to ruin the reputation of someone they don't
Here's a case and point:
female posted on "Don't Date Him Girl" that her
boyfriend had cheated on her and that he had also given
her herpes. The accusation, along with his name and
location was posted for the world to see. When the
he wrote in saying that he did not have herpes and
asked "Don't Date Him Girl" to remove the
information. Yet in order for that to happen, they
had three requirements the
guy must do:
1) He had to go have an STD test done.
2) He had to fax the results to the site.
3) They had to call the STD clinic to confirm the
The guy did it and it was determined that he
did not have herpes and that reference was removed.
"Don't Date Him Girl" has taken the concept of justice
and turned it upside down. The basis of our justice
system is that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
In the "Don't Date Him Girl" justice system, a person
is guilty until proven innocent. And, many times, they
must prove that innocence against an "anonymous" source.
"Don't Date Him Girl" is
aimed at ruining the reputation of both guilty and
innocent people. They allow one
source to be anonymous and the other source to have
as much identifying information posted about them as
possible. I wouldn't be surprised if it was only a
matter of time before innocent people who have been
and file a class action lawsuit for libel or invasion
of privacy against
the site for promoting this type of behavior without
checking out the facts first.
I have a problem with sites that allow anonymous accusations
to be made against a person. It kind of reminds me
of high school where someone would start a rumor about
someone that would quickly spread and could ruin a
person's reputation, even if they were completely innocent!
I'm not totally against such services, as long as
a man who has done nothing wrong truly has nothing
to fear. It must be embarrassing for a guy to Google
his name only to find all these allegations being
thrown at him by an "anonymous" source.
And that goes also for sites that allow men to post
Date Him Girl" doesn't attempt to contact a
guy who has had accusations made against him if they
with any contact
information. So until a new guy's girlfriend, friend,
family member, or boss accidentally stumbles across
the information and confronts him, he is completely
of the loop and defenseless. It's like a court trial
where the jury hears from the prosecution and the
defense isn't present. Then the jury delivers its one-sided
is too much "anonymity" online, in my humble
opinion. A person should never be afraid to post their
name to what they write. It helps ensure that
what they write is more accurate. Many reputable sites
people to post their names along with the information
they dispense. It's something a site like "Don't Date
Him Girl" and "Don't Date Her Guy" (when
developed) could learn from.
Now, with that said and aside, I have a simple message
to both men and women that I'm very passionate about:
cheat on your significant other.
I can't understand why someone would want to put their
marriage or relationship in jeopardy by cheating. Does
it please them to bring pain to other people? Are they
happy doing something that can and will destroy the
lives of them and people around them? Do they take
pride in not honoring their commitments?
I think a course that should be taught to everyone
is one about a person's character and honor. We carry
our character and honor with us throughout life. It
is something we have full control
over and can consistently nurture
and develop. Our character and honor should be something
we seek to improve. There's no greater compliment than
to have someone say that you are a very honorable person.
Cheating destroys a person's honor and character.
So then why do it? Don't! If you are ever tempted,
just take time to think about the consequences first.
What is the worse that could happen as a result of
your infidelity? Know in advance, because that is likely
If you are dissatisfied in your relationship, cheating
isn't the answer. Taking steps to change the problems
or leaving the relationship is the answer. Destroying
to make the person want to leave you is destructive
to everyone. You hurt them 100 times more than if you
had simply broken up. No one wants to learn that they
cheated on. Make sure your significant other doesn't
learn that by never cheating.
Tip of the Week
For the last several weeks we've talked about tips
for gaining more traffic to your Website and building
your userbase. Now we're going to switch gears to customer
Tip #8: Put Customer Satisfaction First
The biggest problem with major online dating services
is their disregard for a user once they have their
money. Services automatically rebill (and this is not
for the customer's convenience) and when that rebilling
is disputed services do little to help the customer
get their money back. That's because they want to keep
it. And this practice has become a major source of
complaints to the Better Business Bureau and state
Attorney General offices. In fact, there is a ongoing
lawsuit against Match.com and Jdate over breaking California
Civil Code by not refunding money to customers who
requested it within a specified time period.
Are we really to the point where customers have to
file lawsuits in order to obtain satisfaction from
online dating services?
Right now the industry is wondering why the growth
rate for online dating is flat (I'll be addressing
this in a future column). One of the main reasons is
dissatisfaction. At most reputable stores, you are
provided with a money-back guarantee if you are dissatisfied
with a product or if it didn't meet your needs. You
would be hard-pressed to find such a guarantee with
most online dating services, who will also look for
ways to rebill you for maximum profits. Just read the
majority of our reader
reviews and you'll see a recurring
theme about how an online dating service did them wrong.
Changing this practice starts with you. By putting
customer satisfaction first, you can start to establish
a more loyal and appreciative userbase. Make your practice
different from the big guys then publicize those differences
(use charts, tours, etc.). Make sure that your reputation
becomes a positive one instead of a negative one by
honoring a commitment to truly put the consumer first.
Profits will follow. People don't like to be taken
advantage of and by being honorable in your approach
to the consumer, you can help build trust back into
So how do you do this?
1) If a consumer is dissatisfied with their
results, refund their money.
Do so in a way where you send them
a letter letting them know that their satisfaction
is your priority and that you have refunded their money
and would like to know from them how they can improve.
People like to give opinions and be listened to. When
you become a service that listens, you'll start to
see more positive responses than negative ones.
2) Respond quickly to user inquiries.
One of the biggest
complaints we hear is that someone emails a problem
to an online dating service and never hears back from
them. They call ont he phone and are given the run
around. Then they run away from the service and post
negative comments. Make sure the place they run to
is your site and that you treat them with respect,
honor, and integrity.
3) Don't put money before customer satisfaction.
Last week we received an email from a gentleman that
one of the advertisers we linked to was publishing
adult content, which breaks our advertiser agreement.
Since we check all advertisers beforehand, we were
puzzled. We immediately responded, asking the gentleman
to let us know which one. He did and we checked it
out. Sure enough, the site was now publishing nude
photos and linking people to solicitation sites.
We immediately removed them, sent them an inquiry,
and refunded their remaining balance. We were later
informed that they had sold the site and changed
the focus. It didn't matter to us. Our readers expect
that, when visiting Online Dating Magazine, they
will not be linked to adult sites. And even though
it cost us money to remove the advertiser, it was
the right thing to do. Always put your customer first
and stick to values and ethics in everything you
Joe Tracy is
publisher of Online Dating Magazine and is often quoted
by the media in relation to online dating topics. His Inside
the Online Dating Industry column is published every
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