Did you know that Match.com International
used to charge bisexual users double to enable searching for both men and women
on the site? I didn’t — but I do now, because apparently they’ve finally decided
to stop doing it. Hoorah for them stopping!... But also, how on earth did it
take them this long to fix the problem? Soulmates Technology, which created
what would become Match.com International, was apparently founded in 1998 — which
means they’ve been doing this for over 15
years. What? Just… what?!
PinkNews drew attention to the problem a few days ago when they posted a customer service reply sent from the online dating site to a UK-based bisexual user based in the UK. The email is a little on the older side — PinkNews notes that it’s from last August — but that doesn’t make it any less argh-worthy. Here’s what Match told the user:
“Unfortunately, it is not possible to switch back and forth between gender preferences. Bisexual members would be required to have two separate profiles. Unfortunately this would mean purchasing two separate accounts.”
On top of that, the email goes on to specify that both accounts would have to be registered under different email addresses. Way to make it as complicated as possible for anyone who doesn’t fit into a binary to use your site, guys.
Yesterday, though, Match.com International
got in touch with PinkNews and confirmed that they are in fact working on a
solution. It still involves a little hoop-jumping; single profiles still can’t
be set up to search for both men and women, so bisexual users will need to
contact the customer service team directly to set up a second profile as part
of the existing subscription. It’s a start, though, so at least no one has to pay twice now.
Here’s hoping that in the future, they make it possible for bisexual users to
use just one profile.
I just can’t believe that they’ve been pulling this stunt for so long. The initial email from last August did say, “We have passed your email regarding the special requirements of bisexual members onto our development team so it can be taken into consideration for future updates to the website” — but how did it not ever occur to anyone in the company that they were shutting out a huge chunk of their target demographic by limiting the site’s search functions to only one gender at a time? That’s bonkers. And apparently the practice is pretty common for online dating sites in the UK, too; Match.com’s statement to PinkNews started by noting, “As with a number of dating sites within the UK, it is not possible to set up a profile to review both male and female profiles at the same time.” This might just be corporate-speak for, “Don't blame us, we were just doing what everyone else does!” — but yikes. How any other countries have the same problem?
Come on. This ain't the dark ages. Let's take a step into the light, shall we?