Confessions of a Former eHarmony Worker

An ex eHarmony.com customer service rep and atheist wrote in. She reveals more about the matchmaking site’s inner workings, including the old guy who sat behind her with a bible on her desk.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind you that it’s not just customer service complaints you can send in, we’d love for you to fink on the inner workings of your company (especially as it relates to consumers and customer service), whether past or present. All the anonymity or prominence you desire is yours for the asking.

But let’s hear about them lovelorn atheists, after the jump…

UPDATE: Alan writes that he just went ahead and created a user profile on eHarmony for an atheist who “drinks regularly, willing to date anyone, and answered “no” to every religious question.” He says he found plenty of matches in his area. So it would seem that eHarmony is not denying people based on religion but on other factors. The criteria are described by Dr. Warren, the founder of eHarmony.com, in this Salon article pointed to us by Jon.

    “Back several years ago, I lived in Los Angeles. I had a couple of friends that worked for eHarmony. This was before the site went “live” and was still in the development stage. I was new to LA and these friends set me up for a job interview- and I was hired to be customer service. Since the site wasn’t online yet, part of my job was to help test the site.

    When I was interviewed and hired, at no point was it mentioned to me that it was a Christian dating service. I began to get a little suspicious when the only other customer service person they had hired was an old friend of Dr. Warren’s. He sat behind me with a Bible on his desk.

    Hmm…

    As I went through the testing, repeatedly taking the personality profile test, no matter how I filled it out, I got rejected. The reason? I always checked the Atheist box. Granted, there were no members yet for them to “match” me with but I was still rejected. It didn’t give a reason- such as “You’re a big heathen and we don’t like your kind.”

    But it was a paycheck. However, about two weeks into the job, when discussing my role in “customer service”, I was informed that I’d more than likely be expected to pray with people over the phone when they called in, distraught over not having found a mate.

    That’s when I quit.

    I have absolutely no problem with Christian dating services- to each his own and all that. My problem was that it felt to me that they were trying to hide what they were, instead of being up front about it. I honestly don’t know if their model has changed since then… several times since then I’ve gone in and taken the test to see what would happen. Mostly I got rejected again, although most recently, I did get matches because I said I’d be willing to date Christians.

    -B.”

Maybe we should start the Consumerist.com dating service.

Comments

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  1. RandomHookup says:

    To kick things off, I volunteer to date Tamsen. Anything in the name of the cause…

  2. Ben Popken says:

    Lev writes:

    “I, too, was rejected by eHarmony, and I can’t quite figure out why.
    My answers were about as
    whitebread/vanilla/squeaky-clean/goody-two-shoes as a person could
    get. The only thing that stands out to me is that on a majority of
    the preference & opinion questions, I answered very neutrally, saying
    I had no strong feelings on each matter either way. (This was mainly
    because I would have been open to discussing whatever opinions or
    thoughts someone else had about any of these issues….)

    I really wonder if my neutrality on so many issues made it difficult
    for eHarmony to pinpoint me as a match for people who had similar
    interests or preferences.

    Either that or I came across as too wishy-washy and boring!

    – lev (34, brunette, single… ha!)”

  3. christy says:

    Maybe look for some nice single atheists here?

  4. Ben Popken says:

    Alan writes:

    “Hey,

    Been reading the Consumerist for months now, and while I love the site, the hate for Christian ANYTHING is really getting childish.

    As far as whether or not E-harmony discriminates against non-Christians: all of the interest in Eharmony got me interested. So I went through and made a profile for an Athiest who drinks regularly, willing to date anyone, and answered “no” to every religious question. I got plenty of matches in my area. So, it obviously works for SOME athiests. If it didn’t take so freaking long to fill out the personality profile, I would try some others extremes. All I know is, they may be a Christian compalny, but they aren’t turning away service based on religion, at least as far as I can tell.

    Of course, it is much easier for a frustrated user to just assume it is because of religion, or drinking. Dating services are about successfully matching people together, and with as complicated of a test as eHarmony presents, they obviously are discerning and want a big success rate. I am not surprised that some people find no compatible matches as a result. I just don’t see how it is newsworthy.”

  5. jmoney says:

    It is strange that they specifically weed out atheists. A friend of mine was an eHarmony member, and she’s Wiccan.

  6. Nick says:

    Surely they should be more than happy to find matches for atheists and agnostics, in hope they’ll spread the Christian Word and convert the unbelievers?

  7. mariser says:

    my SO completed a profile (on my dare…long story). at first he listed hself as an atheist not willing to date Xtians and got nothing… after updating to be willing to date Xtians, got “two” matches (both in California) even though we live in flyover country and my SO specified “within 50 miles…”

    shrugs: just another indifferent experience.

  8. EveN says:

    After his workmates were dinged with something like “not capable of having a long-term relationship,” my SO filled it out and was dinged for the same reason. I just figured eHarm had issues with techies who play video games.

  9. AppTechie says:

    Of course…I hope the lady who quit at the mention of having to pray with the customers realizes…she could have sued the crap out of ‘em prior to even opening the site! Religious freedoms and all that…makes for a nice settlement at least!

  10. Danilo says:

    I’m actually a little surprised there’s no Gawker Singles service. Gawker Keiretsu blog readership is not a bad means of qualifying your next date. It would only work, though, if the driving premise behind the service was snark. Or elitism.

    Tell Denton he’d better get a move on.

  11. mrscolex says:

    A gawker dating service would work like this:

    * Only attention whores would qualify
    * Every profile would have to have snarky remarks with inflection of wit that may seem hysterical to the profile owner, but really is just silly.
    * Profiles would be stolen from other dating websites and the content mish-mashed to make it seem unique
    * The interface would be obfuscating and impossible to browse through. You would search for mates and you’d get a list of fifty plus profiles that seemingly have no relevence to what you were searching for. Example:

    Search: 5’6 woman age 20-28
    Result: Midget woman age 39

  12. RandomHookup says:

    Gawker dating would involve recaps on the morning after including ridicule and snaps of fashion faux pas. Snarky back and forth would ensue. A new Gawker Real Stalker map would pop up. George Clooney would propose flooding it with fake messages to throw off the scent.

  13. bonnie says:

    I tried out e-harmony for a couple weeks and was sent half a dozen matches even though I indicated I was an atheist wanting to date the same. I also tend to have a glass of wine every night and so I likely checked that I drink daily. I’m going to side with those above who suggest that there was something else that caused those people to be rejected.

    Either way, let’s get that Gawker dating site up and running! Up with ridcule and snark, down with twee photos of giddy and vacant-looking couples.

  14. Juancho says:

    Sheesh, I’m Catholic (which, last time I checked, qualified as Christian) and I don’t think I’ve ever been offended on anything on Consumerist. Lighten up.

  15. PanicRoom says:

    All this crap about eHarmony refusing to sell purple ribbon is just made up ridiculous shit … oh, hold on I think I’ve missed something here.

  16. Bubba Barney says:

    I’m thinking Craigslist, Friendster, and Connexxion are already a form of Gawker community dating groups.

  17. purfectpurson says:

    The truth about eharmony is simple. Seven years ago I was tried placing a personal ad online. At that time you placed an ad and if people wanted to communicate with you; they emailed you and it was up to the two people to figure things out themselves. But, hey it was free. Match.com is less expensive than eharmony and you have to pay to see any matches…and guess what folks!? Spam like you would never believe, I am so happy I used a special email address that only match.com had. Eharmony gives evryone a personality test to complete. Yahoo lets you take a test, but it is not requried. Everyone must go through the same criteria with eharmony. A couple of months after creating my profile i began receiving matches. Then one day I was matched with someone who interested me; so I joined. I called eharmony and got a three month membership for the price of one. Some matches closed me adn I closed some. I was matched with people i may not ordinarily considered and as a result have made some new friends. When it seemed that the ages were varying more than I would like, I adjusted my criteria. Eharmony lets you be as specific as you want; unlike anyother dating site. I have a friend who is kind of wierd adn when he tried joining eharmony they said he fell within the group they couldn’t help. At least they told him and didn’t take his money. He went on to yahoo who matched him with scam artists. Do you people know what a free seven day trial is? I manage a fitness cetner so I will tell you. It means that you pay for the membership and within seven days legally for any reason you can terminte your business relationship for a full refund. It is the law. If you want to end your relationship with eharmony after that point for any reason; simply go to account settings and click close account. You will never hear from them again and they will not continue billing you. Just because you didn’t find true love does give you a right to trash the company. Take responsibilty for yourself and accept it. If you are too stupid to even know how eharmony works then I’m thankful we were not matched up. Tired of all the bogus complaints from idiots.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Here’s something else about eHarmony that you may not know. You may be matched with people who aren’t even subscribers. I terminated my membership recently and yet they continue to send me matches with the hope of getting me to rejoin. This isn’t fair to those paying members who have actually responded and wanted to communicate with me thinking I was an active member. Someone should ask eHarmony what their real membership numbers are.

  19. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like people are a bit paranoid. What is so significant about a co-worker with a bible? I’m not religious, but bibles don’t freak me out. I wonder if the only reasons he got rejected was because of his answers to the religion questions. The site just seems to be very selective. Which makes since. Not everyone is ready for a long term relationship. Most think they are, but that’s not usually the case.

  20. Bryan Chandler says:

    I too was rejected at eHarmony when I checked the Atheist box. On a hunch, I checked christian when I filled out the questionnaire again. Suddenly, PLENTY of matches. That just let me know that they had an agenda & I wont be a customer. Every other dating site (minus openly religious sites) treats non-believers the same as religious people.
    eHarmony can S my D