Online dating shills?

Has anyone here ever been on Or even eHarmony? Because I think both sites are guilty of doing this as a sleazy way to get people to sign up….

Anyway, my profile has been inactive and hidden for over five months now. Just last weekend, though, I got an email that someone was interested in me and had sent me a message. This is weird, because my profile shouldn’t be visible to anyone.

Being curious, I logged in to check, but… of course, you have to be a paying member to view any messages you receive. Hmmmm.

I mean, I suppose it’s possible that someone I corresponded with way way back somehow became interested again. And, I have to admit, I’m a little curious (“…but what if this mystery person is, like, Jessica Alba or someone equally hot and famous?!?”), but ultimately, I’m not gonna pay $20 just to satisfy my curiosity.

So, here’s my question: Has this happened to anyone else? Have you gotten random messages from people who are supposedly “interested” in you? Did you take the bait? Did you ever meet these people?

I can’t help but wonder if any of the online dating sites use shill profiles as a way to entice people to sign up or stay on. I mean, it’s pretty common in online dating that you’re corresponding with someone, then they just stop responding. How would you ever know if these were actually real people?

5 thoughts on “Online dating shills?

  1. Sabrina says:

    [That’s email marketing, Dennis! Even when you unsubscribe and/or deactivate your profile, there’s no guarantee that it is completely hidden.

    Having been a member of more sites than I’m proud of, I never take their pricing at face value. I’ve always called customer service and negotiated down the rate. If several months went by without a single decent match or communication, I’d call and ask them to extend my membership for free. If you were to pay for a subscription because you wanted to read a so-called message and it turned out you didn’t have one, you’re entitled to your money back.

    What concerns me is that it’s really in Match or e-Harmony’s best interest for me NOT to meet someone, so I keep renewing my subscription….

  2. Joanna says:

    [Also, when I was meeting guys off of dating sites, they would never want to start a relationship with me even if the date went well because they wanted to see what other women were out there. I found it rather common that guys would be a one date wonder, then message me back in a year with a sob story about how they got busy/stressed/whatever and want to meet up again. I never would message them back because it was obvious that I didn’t mean anything to them.

    In general, I stopped using dating sites because I was getting out more and doing more social activities. And then I found the right person in real life by being a social person.

  3. resullins says:

    [All the freaking time! And what’s bad, is I get them from sites I never even actually signed up for, but they have a profile for me. sends me 2-3 a week… if it were that easy to meet and fall in love with a rich dude, I would NOT be marrying a mechanic! 😉

  4. Joanna says:

    [Back when I was on OKCupid (which is a free site) several years ago, they actually did research and had a theory as to why pay sites do that. They also concluded it isn’t in pay sites best interest to show you people you match with, because then you found your mate and don’t need the site anymore. In addition, they would do what you described to get you to keep paying. Dating sites are scams to make money is basically what it says. Dating sites rely on “unlovable” losers to keep paying in hopes that they find their match, which they never will.

  5. BreckEffect says:

    [Yep! This happened to me over the weekend also! My profile has been hidden for at least a month (and was only up for three days before that anyway LOL), so there aren’t that many possibilities who could have contacted me. I’d be pissed if I found out they activated my profile without me knowing, but when I went to the site it didn’t look like that was the case.

    Although…it also said that “someone” viewed my profile a week ago, which again is impossible unless that means “someone” just tried to get to my profile through a link in a message we had exchanged when I was active on the site.

    I dunno. All signs point to this being a ploy by the website to make you reactivate your profile. I’m not taking the bait.

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