Looking For Love? Consumer Reports Tests 5 Online Dating Sites

Looking For Love? <i>Consumer Reports</i> Tests 5 Online Dating Sites – News by InformationWeek
Here’s what Consumer Reports discovered about 5 of the sites:

True: “If Internet dating makes you hesitate, try the True site because they screen their members and they have a customer-friendly privacy policy,” said Ware, who noted that True runs a background check on members against a criminal database. True reports that it will notify authorities if they find a member who has a criminal background.

eHarmony: Ware said eHarmony is good for people who want a “hand-picked” match. The site only lets you see profiles and exchange emails with people they’ve selected to be a good match for you. If you don’t want to scan through hundreds of profiles on your own, this is a good site. They’ll do that part of it for you.

Match.com and Yahoo Personals: Consumer Reports noted that both of these sites are great for the basics. They both have a simple setup and are well organized, said Ware. The sites are accessible and easy to use, so they’re good for the novice or someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time navigating a site.

American Singles: Ware said they liked this site because of its privacy verification. Verisign certifies the site and the Better Business Bureau calls it a trusted site. Being able to trust your online dating site is a good thing when there are enough other dating issues to worry about, she noted.

Consumer Reports’ test also helped them come up with five tips for better online dating:

— Create a separate e-mail account for your dating mail. The magazine’s tester received about 200 e-mails in one month when she put profiles up on the five sites. Granted, most people won’t be using so many sites at once, but it’s smart to keep your dating e-mails separated from the rest of your incoming messages, if only so your main e-mail account isn’t overwhelmed;

— Try each site before you make a commitment. Use its freebies before you pay. Go on the site, check it out, and fool around with it. Make sure you’re comfortable with the way it works;

— Read the privacy policy and the terms of service. You want to make sure you know what you’re getting and there’re no gotchas. You also want to know exactly what you’re going to be charged. Do you have to pay up front? Can you pay on a monthly basis?

— Remember that if you cancel your subscription, your profile still can remain active and viewable. It will remain up for everybody to look at unless you notify customer service and have them remove it. If your information is still out there and you don’t want it out there, that’s a privacy issue;

— All of the sites let you block e-mail from certain members. If somebody is bothering you, you can report bad behavior and block them from emailing you again.

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