E-Harmony Gives You 58 Dimensions Of Suck By Billing You For Two Accounts

David tried to sign up for an eHarmony account, and there were problems. For instance, after he signed up and paid, the company kept asking him to join. He called and was told the transaction listed on his PayPal screen wasn’t showing up on their side, then that it was a “pre-approval” and would go away. It was not and it did not, of course.
Update: eHarmony has returned the money.

The next day, David’s bank account was hit with two charges for over $100 each, and now eHarmony is saying that either he didn’t send them the money (what?) or that he deliberately opened two accounts.

Worst of all, they’re not actually trying to help him. The CSR who promised he would make a note on the account to reverse any fee that showed up actually wrote, “The customer lacks the fundamental knowledge of how PayPal works.”

On Saturday I sign-up for an eHarmony.com 6-month plan and thought everything went smoothly until I noticed it was still asking me to join. To ensure it wasn’t a cache problem, I closed my browser, cleared the cache and tried again with no success. Before I decided to call eHarmony I checked my PayPal account to verify the payment was sent. Getting a hold of someone was relatively easy but when I provided them with account information and explained to them the problem everything went downhill from there.

I was promptly told, “I’m sorry sir, we do not show you made a transaction… are you sure you used this account to sign up?”. After a few convincing arguments on my part they decided to look up the transaction in their PayPal account and sure enough they found it. But what I heard next I did not expect, “Sir, it’s just a pre-approval and there’s no need to worry about it.”. After explaining to them that PayPal isn’t a lending service and they do not pre-approve transactions she asked if I would like to speak to her supervisor Chad, I agreed.

Chad started the conversation off by trying to convince me it was just a ‘pre-approval’ and in the event it was a technical glitch on their end, the money would bounce off their account and end up in my PayPal account. After calling B.S. on that immediately, Chad promised to note in my account that if the money was successfully transferred from my PayPal account to eHarmony’s, they would issue me an immediate refund for the amount of $143.76. I was convinced that Chad understood my issue and to reassure me he offered me a discounted 6-month plan at $110.85 and that he could sign me up over the phone to verify that it was successful and sure enough it was.

Yesterday I logged into my checking account and to no surprise, $143.76 was missing and so was $110.85. I immediately called eHarmony with the hope of receiving a refund and when I explained the issue again to the CS agent and mentioned that Chad noted on my account that I was due a refund if the transaction when through. Well, she said the only thing Chad noted on your account was “The customer lacks the fundamental knowledge of how PayPal works…”, when I heard that I was livid and asked to speak to a supervisor immediately.

The supervisor I spoke to was not only rude but extremely condescending. She asked me repeatedly if I had multiple accounts and when I tried my best to assure her that I only had one she said the following “Sir, are you sure you sent us the money?”. After hearing that I figured this is a complete waste of time and hung up the phone. I filed a dispute with PayPal but was told their Buyer Protection plan does not extend to Virtual Services and/or Goods. Nonetheless, PayPal is doing everything they can and they’re the only people I have on my side at the moment.

Attached are photos of proof that the money was not only sent, but taken from my checking account too.

Here’s a screencap from his PayPal account page, clearly showing that two separate transactions were made by eHarmony. (If you’re not familiar with PayPal’s notation, the double-listing for each transaction shows the funds being first transferred into your PayPal account, then paid out to the third party.)

Here’s a screencap from his checking account, showing that yes, they did in fact both go through.

We hope one of David’s 29 dimensions describes his ability to not have a brain aneurysm while dealing with the lies and insults coming from eHarmony’s staff.

(Photo: David Light Orchard)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Randy Treibel says:

    I had massive problems getting a refund from this place. it’s terrible and i got massive runaround. Thanks for the reminder i’m going to call and complain abut my runaround.

  2. sinfuly Delicious says:


  3. BigHarv says:

    I see ‘Plenty of Fish’ in his future.

  4. MostlyHarmless says:

    Oh good! I can wave this in my moms face. “See. Your grand plan to ‘find a daughter in law over the internet’ THIS is what happens. Its useless. Mom I KNOW the internet… I make a living out of it, believe me, the only thing you will find on the internet are spam, nigerian scammers, other scammers, and bathrobe bloggers in their parents basements who are mean to women. And pictures of cats.”

    Sometimes parents have to be protected from themselves.

    • Gravy Spasm says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: “Oh good! I can wave this in my moms face…..”

      just leave a copy of the article near the dryer when she comes downstairs to do laundry

    • emona says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: THIS!!
      It will save me from having to explain for the 854th time why I will NOT sign up for Match.com, and I’m fine being single, no I’m not going to get pregnant this month, you have 3 other married children of child-bearing age, bug them.

      • admiral_stabbin says:

        @emona: My god…I have the same talk with my mother every time I talk to her. Well, except for the pregnant part…I was given daddy parts instead. My very recent 30th birthday didn’t help matters much either…I should have brought my ex-wife to the party. ;-)

    • econobiker says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: Surely your mom found out about Craigslist dating while buying some Hummel figurines for her display cabinets in the front parlor.

      You know- display cabinets in that room upstairs with the plastic covered furniture that you are never allowed to step foot into since you might get something “dirty”…

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: Would your mom be open to her new daughter-in-law being, say, a picture of a cat?

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: I have been married 6 years to my wife, whom I found on an Internet dating site (now out of business).

      It can work.

      • Anonymous says:


        I met my girlfriend of almost 3 years on a dating site as well. Who the “F” wants to go to bars or *shudder* “dance clubs” i find myself a nice geek girl online and we are planning a wedding in the future.

        • trujunglist says:


          I love clubs but they’re for dancing, not for talking, as made obvious by the 110 dBA of thumpin’ tracks blasting from the speakers.

    • goodywitch says:

      @Lucifer_Cat: depends on the site. my cousin found a really nice girl through one of the specialization sites (eg jdate/shaadi). eharmony/match/okcupid = too broad to be useful.

      • SybilDisobedience says:

        @goodywitch: I actually used The Onion’s personal site to meet my guy. He was on The Dallas Observer’s personal site (it’s a free weekly). They used the same database of profiles, despite being separate sites. Didn’t matter – the point is, we got lucky and met each other. It’ll be 6 years in August.

        Not an endorsement of all dating sites, mind you – just a testimonial that even the cheap ones can work. I’d never have been an eHarmony candidate anyway; too many “issues,” not the least of which is atheism :)

        • someToast says:

          @SybilDisobedience: Chemistry.com needs to work that into their ad series.

          “I don’t believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny… the Tooth Fairy…” [REJECTED]

        • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

          @SybilDisobedience: Free ones work too. I met my boyfriend of 3 years through Craigslist, after multiple failures through okcupid and the like.
          eHarmony wouldn’t even take me because my “personality type was difficult to match with” or something similar. Oh well. At least this happy mutant found her match.

      • MostlyHarmless says:

        @goodywitch: Thats exactly why my mom is on my case. One of my friends brother found his wife though one such site, like shaadi.

        I am not opposed to it at all, I just dont want mom to be involved in the process until the last mile. Moms always try to accelerate things. Not good.

  5. Marshfield says:

    David, hang in there. Calm persistence will win over these clowns.

  6. HogwartsAlum says:

    eHarmony is screwy. I’ve known too many people who were dumped by it for no apparent reason. The fact that they use PayPal is another reason not to go there.

    • edwardso says:

      @HogwartsAlum: agreed. The only time i find paypal acceptable is if I’m on etsy or ebay

    • Anonymous says:

      @HogwartsAlum: not to mention that if you’re not straight, they won’t even let you join. i stopped using eharmony years ago when that happened to friends of mine. funny that they’re a religion-based matchmaking service (which they don’t advertise) and yet their CSR didn’t act in that same manner when “helping” this guy.

    • harlock_JDS says:

      @HogwartsAlum: Eharmony doesn’t exclusively use paypal the person decided to use paypal to pay eharmony.

      that’s his first mistake, using paypal.

  7. CColdsmoke says:

    I’d actually like to see a study of eharmony’s business practices. I have some questions regarding how they try to retain customers. I’ve used it a couple of times and each time I’ve gotten very few matches and then suddenly got quite a few after I went through with an account cancel. Shady from start to finish.

    • econobiker says:

      @CColdsmoke: I found Plenty of Fish’s creator’s strategy to be an interesting anti-eharmony business read too..

    • harlock_JDS says:

      @CColdsmoke: That was my experience too. However i had a friend that signed up and he got a consistently high number of matches and didn’t notice any spikeing.

      My wife also said she didn’t notice the number of matches spiking at the end of a billing cycle (we met via eharmony).

  8. Gravitational Eddy says:

    Jeez, why would anyone be so desperate to actually pay these people in the first place. Suck it up Gen X’rs, some of you are -not- potential mates. And you never will be. Live with it. I do.

    • cubsd says:

      @Gravitational Eddy: Geez, if you’re going to be down on yourself that’s one thing, but don’t drag the Op down with you.

    • nakedscience says:

      @Gravitational Eddy: I’m thinking your attitude has more to do with your problem with not getting dates than anything else.

    • Anathema777 says:

      @Gravitational Eddy: Thanks for taking yourself out of the dating pool.

    • satindevil says:

      @Gravitational Eddy: That’s definitely a really unattractive attitude. No wonder you have problems.

      Anyone can find love – sometimes it just takes a little boost for some folks.

    • brettt says:

      @Gravitational Eddy: @Gravitational Eddy:

      stay on topic, rearwipe.

    • SybilDisobedience says:

      @Gravitational Eddy: So, based on NO personal info about the OP whatsoever, you paint him with the sweeping assumption that he’s undateable? Bravo. I think we know why you can’t get a date (hint: it’s because you’re a judgmental pessimist).

    • Gravitational Eddy says:

      Read my -first- question again.
      I’m truly saddened by the fact that men and women have to use a “service” in order to find someone who likes them (or who is just as desperate as they are).

      I view operations like this as one step down from a used car dealer. Damned salesmen will lie to you there as well, and they don’t push rose colored glasses onto your face and charge you money upfront, just to -see- what they got on the lot.

      You think finding someone to love is hard.
      Truth is, you aren’t trying hard enough.

      • nakedscience says:

        @Gravitational Eddy: Oh, come on, sometimes life gets busy, or you’re just not meeting quality people the normal ways, or you don’t like bars, or hell, dating sites are available, so why not?

        Something tells me you’ll be single a long, long time, my friend, while the OP — who is taking matters into his own hands and not bitching about it on the internet — will be juuuust fine.

      • edwardso says:

        @Gravitational Eddy: Trying hard to find love rarely works, since most people find desperation a turn off

      • hexychick says:

        @Gravitational Eddy: Why is it a sad thing? How is looking online not trying hard enough? It’s still looking!!! Not everyone has a social network and not everyone has the ability to find people face to face. One of the most amazing things about the human race is how DIFFERENT everyone is. Some people do great in bars. Some people have matchmaking friends. Some people are social butterflies that meet people left and right. But a lot of people do not fall in line with this. A lot of people are afraid to go out there so they find a way to help them. It takes different formats to find the one you want. Another perk of searching online is that the selection process gets narrowed down pretty efficiently. Why judge someone for looking for love online?

        • trujunglist says:


          It’s the same type of thinking that has lead to the RIAA all up in arms and the newspapers going out of business. Old media only! Old ways only! We must not use this new-fangled internet for things that can be done in the old-fashioned way! You’re a fool for shopping online because B&Ms exist! You’re a fool for getting digital music because… I can’t think of a reason other than that you get no physical copy, but that is pretty much negated by the fact that you’d have to pay $12 for the 1 song out of 15 that you actually wanted! You’re a fool for using the internet to obtain news information because they’re all bloggers/liars! You’re a fool for using the internet to date because classifieds are already out there and you can always go to a bar – if you don’t, you’re a freak and should be goddamn ashamed of yourself you fucking pathetic loser! Etc.

  9. MyPetFly says:

    “Bobblehead old geezer on TV lacks the fundamental knowledge of how must a punch to the nose hurts. Will inform him.”

  10. ScottRose says:

    David et al:

    Despite the level at which PayPal recommends it, do not use your bank account as the source of payment. It works to their benefit, not yours — and PayPal’s “customer service” deserves those quotes I’ve just put around it.

    With a credit card, at least you can do a charge back and (hopefully) talk to a human that can help you.

    That’s just my advice.. I know it’s too little too late for David, but I don’t have any tricks to dealing with PayPal other than wait, hope, and pray..

    • IT-Chick says:


      If you’re going to use your bank account, it is also better to use a Debit/Credit card. I have no problems with chargebacks from my bank, but adding PayPal in the middle can cause issues.

    • floraposte says:

      @ScottRose: I always figure that any payment method they’re so determined to dissuade me from must be the good one for me.

  11. Keith Brown says:

    Did you make sure the first transaction money’s not sitting in your Paypal account? It says “charge invalid”….they might have taken it out of your bank account but it’s sitting in your Paypal account still and didn’t go through to eHarmony

    • Alex Duzik says:

      @Keith Brown: the poster quite clearly added that text himself. PayPal processed both transactions.

    • IT-Chick says:

      @Keith Brown:

      It doesn’t say invalid charge in the account, that is Consumerist’s, or the OP’s notation on the screen shot.

    • nrich239 says:

      @Keith Brown: The “charge invalid” is not part of the paypal screen but was added (either by consumerist or the OP)

    • outoftheblew says:

      @Keith Brown: I believe the “Valid Charge” and “Invalid Charge” are notations made by the OP, not something that appeared on the screen.

      And to recap: “If you’re not familiar with PayPal’s notation, the double-listing for each transaction shows the funds being first transferred into your PayPal account, then paid out to the third party.” They aren’t sitting in his Paypal account.

  12. IphtashuFitz says:

    PayPal sucks. Enough said.

  13. Terraxsu says:

    I personally have never had a problem with eHarmony during my usage. I find the service easy, fool proof, and the best quality online. And if you were to average out the membership cost per date, it is well worth it.

    @Lucifer_Cat et al

    I can understand your skepticism, but if mom is willing to pay for it, why not go for it? I’ve never had a problem meeting women in day-to-day life normally, but gave the service a shot at finding me a larger pool of potentials. You’d be surprised at how many beautiful, intelligent women you get dates with in the end. Honestly.
    Besides, if mom is going to pressure you into one of the dating sites, eHarmony is probably the best way to go since there isn’t any ‘date shopping’. People can’t browse your profile, they have to be matched to you via the system first which prevents random people from stumbling across it for the most part.

  14. chipslave says:

    Hmmm… I know someone who works at their call center. Maybe I can get her to help.

  15. calquist says:

    I am on to eHarmony. On the commercials everyone is shown as being married on very suspicious dates. Examples: July 7, 2007: 7/7/7! or August 8, 2008 – 8/8/8! Seriously! Watch the commercials!!! I guess those could just be popular dates to get married… but still… I’m keeping my eye on them!

  16. Homerjay (insert star here) says:

    Thats the best headline this year.

  17. jamesdenver says:

    Jeez- why on earth to people use their BANK ACCOUNTS for auto-billing stuff?

    I might make a credit card payment with my debit card, (where I ONE TIME give the number) but would never allow a company to repeat bill it.

    Use a credit card – which you can easily dispute without some skeezy company depleting your checking account and rent money.

  18. TheMonkII says:

    Wow, I’ve gotta say, I feel pretty badly for the OP. Not only has he been driven to the internet, but he got screwed out of a couple hundred buck, lost his cool (for obvious reasons), then got pwned by the CSR @ eHarmony. I’m not expert on the whole online dating but when an online company can spend as much as they do on media marketing, pre-bubble, they’re doing something fishy.

    David, my sympathies…

  19. lalaland13 says:

    If you were gay, this would have never happened. This is clearly all your fault.

    Kidding aside, might that work? Tell them you’re gay and see if they rush to drop you? Oh wait, they’re starting some same-sex matching service, right?

    The CSRs sound like total tools. Sorry he’s having to go through this, as online dating services generally take away enough of your pride and self-respect anyways.

  20. conquestofbread says:

    Did you send them the screenshots you posted here? That should get them to refund…

  21. Nick1693 says:

    The customer lacks the fundamental knowledge of how PayPal works.

    Anyone else thinking PayPal lacks that too?

  22. Catpain Blackudder says:

    @emona: Sometimes I am really, really happy that my mom has this stolid pleasant-but-distant attitude towards my relationships that forbids her to admit that I have a heart or a uterus. I’m told it’s a German thing, in which case I think I’d like to move to Berlin.

  23. eHarmony_Jack says:

    We regret to hear that David had a negative experience with our Customer Care team. I want to reassure everyone that we’ve looked into this situation and will be addressing this as a training issue with the appropriate personnel. We take this concern very seriously and will follow up with David to ensure that his billing issues are resolved promptly.


  24. brettt says:


    do not use paypal. they are not a bank. they are not ethical or held to strict laws. they can steal your money or mishandle transactions with no easy recourse.

    buying something on paypal is akin to giving money to a drug dealer and asking them to deliver it to the seller. leaving money in a paypal account is putting it in the drug dealer’s glove compartment.

    why would you let your money sit in an uninsured, unsafe place?

  25. BillyDee_CT says:

    I feel sorry David got taken by this huckster. An alleged “Christian” comapny who figured out how to sucker the secular world with his 29 delusions. I was once a member and it wasn’t worth the money … at any price!

    Lately they seems to be trying to market themselves to idiots with their “see your matches for free” campaign. Like who in their right mind would join a service where you couldn’t see what you were getting into BEFORE you pay.

    Oh, and can I tell you how much I hate Paypal, too?

  26. DH405 says:

    Seriously. Go to OKCupid, if you want to use a dating site. Their math is effective, and they have lots of good people there. Also, it’s free.

  27. RogueWarrior says:

    I signed up for this a while back. Spent 45 minutes answering the questions only to find out that there was nobody within a 100-mile radius I was compatible with. Guess I shouldn’t have moved to Los Angeles.

  28. TrueBlue63 says:

    you can easily cancel a subscription within 3 days and recieve a refund. Given the strange circumstances why didn’t Chad do that? Not saying they shouldn’t refund over the phone, but why not follow the path of least resistance?

  29. purseho says:

    They should call that place eharMONEY.
    I got so much better action from free sites than i ever did from that place. there was no one within a 100 mile radius that I was compatible with….bs. and the ppl that i did talk to…totally socially inept.

    The fact that they charge so much for their site should be a warning sign from the get-go. It’s not a filtering system…Weirdos have money too.

  30. meechybee says:

    PayPal + Direct Withdrawal from Checking Account = DISASTER


  31. ViperBorg says:


  32. jcargill says:

    How is it such sites still exist? Everyone misrepresents themselves on those sites: appearance, interests, history, etc. The sites misrepresent themselves also. They make you think it’s easy, that you’re just simplifying the process, but really you spend a lot of hours and money on these sites and get very little. Sure, for a few people it will work, but the majority of people leave empty handed. Best thing to do is F2F, in person flirting and meeting: you control the circumstances, you get to see what the person really looks like, you know if they have a personality and best of all you aren’t disappointed that you had to pay someone to get you together.

  33. saralegal21 says:

    Jesus would not approve.

  34. tworld says:

    Go after e-Harmony via PayPal. Ultimately you are PayPal’s customer. Go to your account and look for the options to cancel the transaction. If you still need help, call PayPal at 800-852-1973.

    I use PayPal all the time for domestic and foreign transactions and I’ve never had a problem with PayPal. They are extremely customer oriented, unlike e-Harmony.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Call your bank, tell them you had an unauthorized transaction on your account. They might have you go in and maybe fill out an affidavit. But let them go up to bat for you.

  36. Javin says:

    Okay, I think this site is beginning to run rampant with people who write scathing reviews if they don’t get absolute immediate gratification. I agree with the manager in that it sounds like David doesn’t understand the fundamentals of how PayPal works. Particularly in the case of accounts set up with a checking account. YES, there is a pre-approval process. YES it can take time from preapproval to actual transaction. That’s a very basic part of PayPal. I have used it for over a decade. Just looking at the dates here, and reading the story, here’s what it sounds like happened:

    1.) David goes to eHarmony, sets up an account. Attempts to do the automatic payment. The pre-approval starts, and he gets notification that his payment has been “accepted.” (This does not mean APPROVED or SENT.)

    2.) David tries to log in, but as eHarmony has not actually recieved the money, he can’t. He loses his shit.

    3.) Calling customer service, he’s insisting that he’s already paid (because he doesn’t understand how PayPal works) and is confusing the hell out of customer service insisting that he’s already paid when he hasn’t. They can’t find the transaction because it hasn’t completed.

    4.) With much more bitching, they look elsewhere to see that a preapproval has been processed (which of course, they can’t see from their transaction screen as it has not been completed yet.)

    5.) Exhasperated, the lady patches David to her Supervisor “Chad.”

    6.) “Chad” explains this as well and accurately as possible but David “calls B.S. on that immediately” again showing his lack of understanding or willingness to TRY and understand.

    5.) Chad, in an attempt to appease this “GIMME GIMME NOW NOW NOW” customer offers to walk him through the process manually, and gives him a significantly discounted rate to appease him. This slows the frothing at David’s mouth.

    6.) Chad clearly explains that if/when the initial transaction goes through, he will refund the money. (He obviously can’t refund money that he doesn’t have yet.)

    7.) David nods his head dumbly, and ignores this information. Chad manually sets up David’s eHarmony account for him, and activates it, even though he only has a pre-approval to go on.

    8.) All of the prior happened on February 28th (as can be seen in the screen shots.)

    9.) The transaction did not complete until March 2nd (as can be seen in the screen shots.)

    10.) This consumerist report was posted on the 3rd. (as can be seen at the top of the page.)

    Conclusion: David is an idiot for not knowing how his payment method of choice works, and the Consumerist is equally as ignorant for failing to properly filter these complaints and see the obvious.

    I think both David and Consumerist owe eHarmony a sincere appology for this one. Otherwise, the Consumerist has become nothing but another “ripoffreports.com” allowing anyone to post any ignorant slander they want.