Comparative dating results between
Video Introductions and eHarmony (2008)
I was spoiled by you, what you offer is so superior, you are so diligent, you quickly and efficiently get people together. eHarmony is agonizingly convoluted, an annoying dud. Dave S. Vacaville, CA, Video Introductions member, August 2008
Dave is a nice looking middle aged man of normal height and weight. He is divorced and has a B.A. degree. He is a retired business owner and he's healthy. Out of the initial 200 women (approximately) that eHarmony selected for Dave on the basis of eHarmony's compatibility criteria, he was confined to making his choices from only those approximately 200 women that eHarmony selected for him (eHarmony doesn't allow members to see or make their own selections from their entire database of the numerous members they claim to have). He attempted to contact approximately 40 of these women. About half of these women did not respond back at all. Some of the rest did not finish the tedious, drawn-out, question/answer process via eHarmony controlled e-mails that are normally required before direct e-mails between two persons can finally be exchanged. By Sept. 2008 he ended up meeting only 1 woman a woman who used an old photo and weighed about 30 pounds more than he was led to expect. By Oct. 2008, after receiving some more matches from eHarmony and making more attempts to meet, he ended up meeting only 3 more women including another woman who was even more overweight and had provided a deceptive photo of herself.
In contrast, out of first 12 women Dave selected at Video Introductions on the basis of compatibility testing, videos, photo verification (and the year a photo was taken) plus identity and age verification options, where he had access to all of the members and was allowed to make his own selections, he received 9 positive responses (women who reciprocated interest in him with an exchange of mutual contact information). He received 1 negative response (a woman who was not interested in him with no exchange of mutual contact information). Two of the 12 Video Introductions members he selected were not ultimately counted as selections because they did not respond within a reasonable time period and they were inactivated from the active membership. As of Oct. 2008, Dave had met 7 of the 9 women who responded positively and one of these positive responses became an ongoing relationship for awhile. He decided not to meet one of the other two women who responded positively after a few phone conversations with her. A meeting with the other woman who responded positively had not yet taken place. Dave was also selected by two Video Introductions female members and he met one of these women as well.
Video Introductions average results over the years have typically been about 50% positive responses ...in other words, about 1 out of 2 persons a member selects, has responded positively to the member selecting them and phone numbers/e-mail addresses are immediately exchanged upon getting a positive response from the person selected. Dave had better than average results with a 90% positive response rate (9 of the 10 available women he selected responded positively). Of course, Dave had very good results and of course some members don't do as well. At the time of this comparison study Dave had met 7 of the 9 of the Video Introductions members who responded positively - a 78% positive response meeting rate with Video Introductions, not counting the one he had not yet met.
At eHarmony, Dave's initial meeting (date) results were of 1% of the women that Dave reported eHarmony had selected for him. (1 date out of approximately 200 women). To be fair in this comparison, Dave attempted to contact only about 40 women of the first 200 women selected for him by eHarmony.
By Sept. 2008 Dave's meeting (date) results with eHarmony were 1% of the women that Dave reported that eHarmony selected for him, (4 dates out of a new total of approximately 400 women that eHarmony selected for him - and no second dates) including another disappointing meeting with yet another very overweight woman who provided a deceptive photo of herself.
By Oct. 2008, Dave had not only met more women through Video Introductions than through eHarmony but his meeting rate was tremendously higher. Dave's meeting rate (an actual date) with Video Introductions was 7 women out of the 10 active women that he selected by himself. This was 70 times higher than the 4 women out the approximately 400 women that eHarmony selected for him. This amounted to a 70% meeting rate with Video Introductions vs. a 1% meeting rate with eHarmony.
In addition Dave also met one of two women who selected him at Video Introductions, making a total of 8 women he met through Video Introductions at the time of this comparison plus some second or addtional dates.
After Dave concentrated his meeting efforts on the approximately 80 eHarmony members he attempted to meet, Dave's meeting rate (an actual date) at eHarmony amounted to just 5% of the women he made efforts to meet (he met 4 out of the 80 eHarmony women he made attempts to meet out of the 400 matches provided by eHarmony) and no second or additional dates at the time of this comparison.
Dave had a 70% meeting rate at Video Introductions (7 of 10 women who he attempted to meet)
resulting from the right to make his own selections from all of the Video Introductions members.
Dave had a 5% meeting rate at eHarmony (4 of 80 women who he attempted to meet)
resulting from only those eHarmony members that eHarmony selected for him.
Why was a comparison with eHarmony made?
Since 1977 Video Introductions has offered videos to more realistically see and evaluate someone by more factors than what a profile or a photo can convey (body language, communication skills, tone of voice, etc). At eHarmony there were no videos for Dave to review.
Video Introduction requires photos. eHarmony does not.
In eHarmony's "compatibility" testing process, similarity appears to be the key factor used to determine matches, in contrast to Video Introductions compatibility method which measures how well persons might meet what they want from one another. Moreover, eHarmony uses their compatibility process as a basis of their matches, which serves to prevent access to all of their members and restricts member from making their own selections (an agency dictated, restricted choice program). Moreover, with regard to the similarity issue, please be aware that similarity between two persons can also be harmful. It can be either beneficial or harmful depending on the similarity variable in question and other factors. In other words, similarity is not a true measure of compatibility and no similarity test can measure all the complexities of compatibility. Making members dependent upon eHarmony's "compatibility" conclusions puts their members at risk of questionable logic leading to these conclusions and the practical consequences of incompatible matches which result.
Furthermore, Video Introductions originated modern compatibility testing for singles several years before eHarmony introduced their method in 2000. Video Introductions compatibility testing was created in 1992 based on a compatibility system which analyzes how well each person meets what each person wants from one another. We consider this to be a more accurate and genuine measure of compatibility. Additionally, Video Introductions shares a wealth of helpful, detailed relationship information with members including who a member is most and least compatible with, plus compatibility percentage comparisons and rankings, relationship happiness chart ratings, and other compatibility information, allowing members to make their own choices (a member enabling, freedom of choice program) which is based upon all available information, including a required photo, year of photo information, optional video interview, identity and photo verification information, etc. and a member's own judgment.
Additionally, Video Introductions offers caring, humane and personalized service to members in contrast to an impersonal, profit-driven internet operation, although eHarmony does offer some personalized help to their members called eH+ for a substantial $7000.00 fee (as of 2015).
Video Introductions does not reject applicants for unknown or baffling reasons such as eHarmony's uncaring rejection of applicants who they deem to be depressed based only upon a cursory, flawed, internet-only test assessment, without a personal, professional diagnosis. Moreover, a firm which professes to help singles (especially one that makes claims of psychological expertise) should consider the emotional damage they may inflict on a person reaching out for relationship help who may be depressed and then informed that they are unsuitable for eHarmony's program and left to wonder why they're a relationship reject (what's wrong with me?) and then abandoned to suffer the consequences of this rejection without an offer of personal, professional support, follow-up or treatment.
Video Introductions offers optional Singles Counseling with a Ph.D. Psychologist and a Licensed Marriage Therapist to anyone who wants to explore or treat a personal or relationship concern. Members also have access to a staff person for routine matters or relationship guidance as well.
The other reason this comparison is used was because after Dave became a member of both firms he became aware of substantial differences in his results and experiences at Video Introductions as compared to eHarmony. His frustration with eHarmony led him to share his unhappiness about eHarmony's program. This provided an unsolicited and unbiased, experiential basis for a side by side comparison based on Dave's reports. His experience with both firms served to shed light on how each firm does business, generates revenue and provides services. A fair comparison was made based on Dave's experience. He was not paid for the information that he voluntarily provided nor was he given any special privileges.
eHarmony is not singled out for undue criticism (they at least try to screen out married persons who are allowed on some other sites), and there are certainly numerous other firms in the industry that are also problematic and have many of the same shortcomings plus additional issues that are not even mentioned in our comparison. For example, 84% of personal ads on Craig's list were found to be imposters according to a study by Consenting Adults Network. However Dave's experience is not unlike reports of others who have joined eHarmony.
Other Reasons for Better Results with Video Introductions
Unlike eHarmony, Video Introductions requires a photo and offers year of photo verification, in-person identity and age verification and video interview options. Video Introductions also provides the opportunity to preview all of the members before joining, plus the ability for a member with selection rights to make their own selections from all of the members rather than being restricted to seeing and choosing from only those members that eHarmony or another firm selects for you.
Moreover at Video Introductions, if a member is selected, regardless of the membership plan they are on, including the free Passive plan, they have the right to respond back without delay and get a phone number and/or e-mail address of the person who chose them without having to pay a fee or being required to upgrade their plan (members who don't have e-mail or phone and some members in countries outside the U.S. may only be able to communicate by postal mail or another method). At eHarmony and many other "free" dating sites a member must usually pay a membership fee before they can hope to gain access to direct communication with another member. Therefore if you are impressed by a dating site which claims to have millions of members who are lured in by a free membership, or an offer to review compatible (or photo-less) matches for free, or a free communication weekend, etc., keep in mind that only a fraction of these members can or will respond back to you, including persons being portrayed as available or interested in you, or compatible with you, despite the fact they may not be available or might have even requested a cancellation of membership or asked not to be displayed as available members.
To provide good results, Video Introductions follows up on member selections with attempts to contact members who don't respond and inactivates those who fail to respond in a reasonable amount of time after they are selected, so that the members being displayed as available do not include persons who are unresponsive or unavailable. Someone who doesn't respond is not counted as one of a member's selections. Also an inactivated member may resume their membership if they again become available. Note: Some members who may have become unavailable might be shown on our website due to loss of contact with them at the time we shut our website down rather than pay a ransom. However other selections can be made by in place of any selections of members who we discover have become unavailable.
Video Introductions has never subjected members to automatic renewal billing practices. And yes, like many others who have received eHarmony's renewal surprise, Dave's initial 3 month membership with eHarmony was automatically renewed and charged to his credit card unexepectedly for another 3 months in August 2008, when Dave was sure that he had signed up for only a 3 month membership.
Also, Video Introductions does not put members through an controlled series of lengthy, time consuming eHarmony questions and answers exercises back and forth between members before direct communication is allowed (albeit eHarmony does offer a way to shorten this process if both persons agree). Although their controlled communication can provide information about members, this set of eHarmony exercises stifles immediate, open communication. Some persons are not willing to endure a prolonged, eHarmony guided communication series of pre-composed questions and answers sent back and forth between two members before direct contact information can possibly be obtained. Clear and effective communication will suffer when it is preformatted, circumscribed, limited or controlled.
This eHarmony procedure also serves to burn up membership time so that even if both persons attempt to comply with all of the protracted e-mail communication exercise sessions, a membership may expire before completing the exercises, thus necessitating a renewal of membership and additional payment before contacts can be re-established and phone numbers or contact information can be exchanged, not to mention the numerous complaints by eHarmony members about unexpected or unauthorized automatic renewal billing charges on their credit card.
And yes, like many others who have received eHarmony's renewal surprise, Dave's initial 3 month membership with eHarmony was automatically renewed and charged to his credit card unexepectedly for another 3 months in August 2008, when Dave was sure that he had signed up for only a 3 month membership.
Your time, your energy, and your emotions are valuable commodities in your search for relationship fulfillment. Membership plans with selection privileges are priced openly at Video Introductions. The pricing is straightforward. Video Introductions does not employ deceptive subscription, renewal and auto-renew practices to trick you out of more money than you expected to pay. Moreover, you can waste your time, energy and emotional resources by making the wrong decision about which kind of dating program can best help you, or making a decision based on price alone, or being deceived by a costly bargain in a disguised pricing swindle. And keep in mind that your time is not a renewable resource. Video Introductions also provides a free Passive membership plan (albeit it is not usually as effective as our other membership plans). You also need to consider whether your membership fee will go to a firm which has your best interests in mind, or whether it will go to a firm that may use it to fund questionable marketing, advertising and sales, rather than a valid, effective, caring program for members. You might also want to consider the value of doing business with a small, conscientious firm with an exemplary consumer record where you can receive personal service and are treated with dignity and respect, vs. a large, impersonal firm which may be more interested in your money than your feelings. We are stubbornly dedicated to ethical and humane practices in a predatory industry where greed and deception often prevail. We hope this information will be of help to you. We also suggest that you read Things to Look For in a Singles Dating Service "a consumer guide" © 1982 by Video Introductions founder, Norman Mickey.
Consumer complaints against eHarmony
You may be astounded at the alarming number of complaints recorded on various consumer websites about the callous and disturbing nature of eHarmony's practices, as well as similar complaints about other sites including Match.com and many others. Complaints against eHarmony were so massive that in 2004 Online Dating Magazine reported they had received more complaints about eHarmony's customer service than complaints of all other online dating services combined.
A subsequent 2007 article by Online Dating Magazine noted that True.com (now defunct) had surpassed eHarmony for the top complaint distinction. Read the various complaints yourself by doing your own research about the numerous complaints about eHarmony and some other firms and form your own judgment - they are quite revealing.
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