(Online Dating Industry Journal) When most consumers get a "free trial" of a product, they expect that product to be functioning like normal while they try it out. That isn't the case with eHarmony, which puts limitations on its "free communication weekend" that it has offered twice in the last several months.
For one, eHarmony doesn't allow users of its "free communication weekend" to see photos of other members. You have to pay for that. In addition, eHarmony limits the matches to ten. Want more than that? Gotta pay. eHarmony also disabled its Fast Track feature so that users of the free trial couldn't skip the normal communication process and begin communicating instantly.
eHarmony's "Free Communication Weekend" is quite deceiving. Personally, I like the service, and have always had great success with it. But if you're going to offer a free trial, do it right. In general people want to know "who" they are communicating with and seeing a picture of someone is an important element as to who they are. I always had my photos open from the beginning of communication because I wanted the people I was communicating with (or vice versa) to be able to associate a name with a face.
While deceptive in its practice of "free communication weekend", eHarmony knows that it takes more than four days to go through the entire communication process. They also know that by getting tens of thousands of additional subscribers during the "free weekend", they can claim those as new "members".
Keynote tells us that its research shows that a majority of online daters are disappointed with their experience with online dating services. Perhaps online dating services need to do more to regain that trust than to continue down a path that people see as deceiving.