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Match.com Sued for Deception
June 19, 2009 8:37 AM   Subscribe

Online dating site match.com is being sued for deception by a New York man who claims their practice of keeping up profiles of non-paying members who have no ability to respond to suitors "defrauds the consumer of his/her time, labor, and emotional investment"
posted by The Gooch (93 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
i'm suing hugh heffner because none of his bunnies will sleep with me
posted by pyramid termite at 8:39 AM on June 19, 2009


How can you be emotionally invested in someone who doesn't respond to you?
posted by Sargas at 8:42 AM on June 19, 2009


How can you be emotionally invested in someone who doesn't respond to you?

I have been emotionally invested in God for years.
posted by flarbuse at 8:49 AM on June 19, 2009 [34 favorites]


How can you be emotionally invested in someone who doesn't respond to you?

That's irrelevant. The point is that Match.com is purposefully retaining defunct profiles (profiles of people who are not actually available for members to contact) in order to boost its own standing and to attract new paying members to join Match.com. This is every bit as deceptive as a store that advertises merchandise that it knows it has no intention of selling.
posted by applemeat at 8:51 AM on June 19, 2009 [24 favorites]


I think he has a point, but I don't think the emotional distress argument has merit. On the other hand, if I signed up and paid my money based on the fact that match.com has thousands of members, but in reality only 5% of those "members" are actually available and contactable and there's no way to tell who can respond and who can't--well, then, that might constitute some form of false advertising.
posted by elfgirl at 8:52 AM on June 19, 2009 [6 favorites]


I imagine it would indeed be frustrating to message people and be ignored not because of my character but because they cannot read or respond to my saucy propositions! I think the gentleman does have a point, and it would be very easy for Match.com to display whether a user is able to respond to messages. However, this is not a lawsuit—it's a nasty email sent through the Contact Us form at the bottom of the page.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:53 AM on June 19, 2009


Holy crap--I totally forgot I had a profile there (really, honey, I know we've been married 5 years--I swear I'm not still looking. Really, believe me, baby, I just forgot). Took care of that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:55 AM on June 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hm, there is a part of me that empathizes with this bloke.

I have many a time been 'winked' at by some potential totty. I look up her profile and it turns out we have tons of things in common. She's as enamored of Hungover as the Queen in Maida Vale as I. She rescues cats and furry woodland creatures for a living. Also, she is willing to take it up the ass and make me a grilled cheese sandwich while doing so. She plays the cello and is willing to rock me to sleep with me nestling in her bosom.

So I write her a long heartfelt email about how my life was but a mere script waiting to be performed by players of the utmost caliber. Of how I wanted to distill her longing into a demitasse and drink with her till the morrow morn makes us its own.

But alas, she was not a paying member and never got back to me. So, good for you, dude from Brooklyn, good for you.
posted by prufrock at 8:57 AM on June 19, 2009 [31 favorites]


He can always send them his actual off-site email address and if they don't email him, it's no different than if those recipients COULD respond via the channels on the site itself and chose not to. It's not deceptive - it's just the way it works.
posted by PuppyCat at 8:57 AM on June 19, 2009


What applemeat said. These are colorable allegations of misrepresentation or breach of contract.

That said, the complaint gets a little crazy when it asserts that the plaintiff suffered "humiliation" and "profound personal anguish," which makes the guy sound pathetic.
posted by brain_drain at 8:58 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know much about Match.com but he does have a point. OK, he overstates it, but his point is valid nevertheless.
posted by ob at 8:58 AM on June 19, 2009


I met my SO on a different site years and years ago (though weirdly, at the time we shared acquaintances yet had not come across one another) which was also a subscription-based service - I signed up during a free trial out of curiosity. They deleted inactive profiles on there, as far as I remember, or at least flagged up that they'd not been around in a while.
posted by mippy at 9:00 AM on June 19, 2009


Should have included this in the post - Good Morning America story on the lawsuit.
posted by The Gooch at 9:01 AM on June 19, 2009


As far as I can tell, Match notifies the non-paying members of the attention, so they could respond, the bar is simply higher. And the non-paying members still have a choice as to whether their profile is visible.
posted by Wood at 9:04 AM on June 19, 2009


I've never used Match, but don't they tell you how long it's been since a person has logged on? I've used OKC, and they're pretty transparent about that. In fact, you can request that they not show you anyone who hasn't logged in within the last X number of days.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:08 AM on June 19, 2009


True, but people forget their passwords, change e-mail address, or simply forget they have an account.

I think the biggest casualty of this lawsuit will be how desperate the suing man (plaintiff? not from US) appears. Taking out a lawsuit when she doesn't respond to your messages?
posted by mippy at 9:08 AM on June 19, 2009


I guess I can stop hitting the "refresh" button on the manofyourdreams@gmail.com account, eh?

I wondered what was taking so long...
posted by HuronBob at 9:09 AM on June 19, 2009


I was wondering when this would show up here. I've known the guy in this article for over 20 years. When I first saw this, all I could think was "Poor bastard - he's going to be a absolute laughingstock". There were even a few news articles that took his Facebook profile picture (a shitty webcam capture) and included it, so as to demonstrate how undesirable he is. That having been said, WTF was he thinking? He just turned himself into the new McDonald's-coffee lady.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:10 AM on June 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


How can you be emotionally invested in someone who doesn't respond to you?

10/02/2009: Hey there caligirl1982, read your profile and you seem pretty cool. Care to chat?
12/02/2009: Ah the old silent treatment eh? I like it when girls play hard to get!
13/02/2009: You keep on ignoring me but I'll keep on fighting! I'll win you over!
16/02/2009: WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME! I'M SO ALONE... so alone.
posted by PenDevil at 9:11 AM on June 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


Puppycat -- if you're a non-member you get notification that someone (you don't know who) emailed you (but you don't know what). You can send your off-site email, but the other person can't see that message until/unless they pony up the dough to join.
posted by devbrain at 9:12 AM on June 19, 2009


"Humiliation and disappointment," "profound personal anguish," etc., etc., are just boilerplate characterizations of plaintiff suffering that you could easily find in virtually every lawsuit of this type. The lawyer probably lifted them verbatim from a template. The lawsuit may or may not be meritorious, but the language is not unusual.
posted by blucevalo at 9:13 AM on June 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, I do kind of have a problem with the idea that they're using people's images and profiles to make money even after those people leave the site. And why is it that the other person needs to pay anyway? On hotornot, only one person has to pay in order to communicate. Usually the guy, of course.

But really the whole idea of commercialized dating is kind of weird. And the incentives are all wrong. If you end up meeting someone, the site loses money.
posted by delmoi at 9:16 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


The point is that Match.com is purposefully retaining defunct profiles...

if that lawsuit goes through, dear old andrew conru and his adult friend finder empire are toast.
I'd say it couldn't happen to a nicer guy but I understand he already sold it off.
posted by krautland at 9:18 AM on June 19, 2009


This is perhaps the most frustrating feature of match.com, and the reason why I've switched over to free dating sites. They used to allow you to read the message of someone who emailed you even if you weren't a paying member (though they stripped out any recognizable contact information), so you would be able to make an informed decision about whether it was worth paying to be able to respond to that person. Now, though, when I get a message that says someone emailed me, I have no incentive to sign up, because for all I know, it's some guy from 5,000 miles away saying "hey babi yur cute". And when I email someone, I feel as though I'm sending a message in a bottle; if he doesn't respond, I don't know if the problem is with my profile/message or whether he's just not a member.
posted by cider at 9:19 AM on June 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Match.com was also sued a couple years ago for having female employees create profiles, respond to emails, and actually go on dates with men, then gently break things off, in order to keep those men paying subscription fees by thinking that the site actually works.
posted by fatbird at 9:26 AM on June 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME! I'M SO ALONE... so alone.

I had a similar experience when I joined a free site. I didn't always reply to e-mails, because I didn't feel like it, or was just too busy to respond to people. One guy kept e-mailing me. And kept e-mailing me. Another who contacted me had a LOT of stuff in his profile about how he was a nice guy and easily upset.

I showed this to someone I know who does ads for Match, and he described it as a 'load of old toot'.
posted by mippy at 9:27 AM on June 19, 2009


But really the whole idea of commercialized dating is kind of weird. And the incentives are all wrong. If you end up meeting someone, the site loses money.

Less weird than meeting someone at a bar, in my opinion. As for the 'incentives' being all wrong, I believe these sites all have a 'Success Stories' section free to everybody (plus word of mouth). I mean, if the dude who recently rewired my house did a shit job, he'd be coming back and I certainly wouldn't recommend him to any of my friends. Not to mention successful dates from the site don't mean there's longterm potential there. Many of those people will be back based on the fact they are either too busy or too shy to meet people in 'real' life.
posted by gman at 9:29 AM on June 19, 2009


He just turned himself into the new McDonald's-coffee lady.
The sweatpants Liebeck was wearing absorbed the coffee and held it next
to her skin. A vascular surgeon determined that Liebeck suffered full
thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body,
including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin
areas. She was hospitalized for eight days, during which time she
underwent skin grafting. Liebeck, who also underwent debridement
treatments, sought to settle her claim for $20,000, but McDonalds
refused.
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2009 [37 favorites]


We were just talking about something similar over on AskMe. A guy was feeling a little weirded out that his gf had an OK CUpid profile that said she "replies often" or some such and was wondering what was up. In addition to a lot of people saying "Eh OKC is just for uizzes for a lot of people anyhow" we learned that for a lot of us who just barely use the site, it says we reply often even when we pretty much reply never. Bleh.
posted by jessamyn at 9:32 AM on June 19, 2009


He just turned himself into the new McDonald's-coffee lady.

She had a completely valid claim, buttressed by the testimony of food-service and public safety experts--see DU's link, above. McDonald's was keeping their coffee hazardously hot, as a matter of corporate policy, and she suffered very severe burns as a result. Somehow the media spin machine turned her into a punchline.

This guy has a valid claim to some extent--New York consumer law is very clear that you can't advertise goods or services you don't have the ability to provide--but his "distress" language makes him look like a douche.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:38 AM on June 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


DU, all the more reason why the comparison is valid. Both have valid claims, but both are going to be lambasted in the public sphere.
posted by ShadowCrash at 9:39 AM on June 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Thanks DU. The "McDonald's coffee lady" myth is one of my personal pet peeves. The McDonald's in question had been warned that week that their coffee was too damn hot. And the lady was not driving, she was a passenger.

Wiki entry.

Um, to get back on topic, yeah, match.com is being deceptive, and the guy suing for it is not doing himself any favors.
posted by Xoebe at 9:40 AM on June 19, 2009


Well, I congratulate the guy on finding his current girlfriend on Match.com.

For those too lazy to click:

"McGinn declined to comment, but in an ironic twist, his lawyer said McGinn "met someone he's happy with" through the site. "

Way to go, Sean! You found love, and now you want some money, too! I'm glad to see the service worked; too bad 99 percent of the articles online conveniently leave this fact out.

Match does show you the person's last login date; so basically, if you can READ (this person has not logged in for more than 3 weeks--in RED letters, right at the top of the profile) you can see if you're mailing someone who probably won't respond.

When this suit gets dismissed, it won't get a tenth of the press that this sort of hysteria-mongering is getting. Congrats, Sean. I sincerely hope you found the girl you were looking for.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:43 AM on June 19, 2009


I think the biggest casualty of this lawsuit will be how desperate the suing man (plaintiff? not from US) appears. Taking out a lawsuit when she doesn't respond to your messages?

I happen to agree with you, but the "Emotional Distress" aspect of this case is a red herring. "Emotional distress" is a very difficult tort for any plaintiff to prove, and it is entirely possible, if not likely, that this judge would dismiss the entire Emotional Distress count from this plaintiff’s complaint. (p.s. The "kitchen sink" approach is commonplace in litigation, with filed complaints regularly including numerous separate causes of action, some of which are far weaker than others.) The real issue here, and one that I believe is meritorious, is simple: Match.com retains and promotes unavailable memberships in order to entice new members who are unaware that promoted memberships may be unavailable. This looks very much like commercial deception.
posted by applemeat at 9:47 AM on June 19, 2009


applemeat: "This is every bit as deceptive as a store that advertises merchandise that it knows it has no intention of selling."

Exactly. And that reminds me...

It was a rainy day in January. This last January to be exact. I was at Union Square, heading to a hotel for a conference, wishing I had an umbrella. Longing for my old umbrella that mysteriously went missing at work. It was just like this one, which is a beautiful thing if you are short and don't enjoy stabbing random strangers.

Walking past the Levi's Store at the corner of Post and Stockton, but what do I see? A HUGE display, probably 80 of these umbrellas. They have them strung on top of each other in rows, stretching from the height of their 20' glass windows to the floor, and repeated in columns for the length of the endless wall.

I was so giddy I think I jumped. Twice. I may have clapped. I heard angels. There was probably a rainbow somewhere. So I go inside and walk right up to the bouncer guy in the tight shirt and say "Where can I get one?" while pointing to the sea of umbrellas. And he says to me, "Oh, they're not for sale. They're just items for the display."

It was one of those times you spontaneously say "what" and you really mean it. Because you can't believe your fucking ears.

I don't have anything else to add, but to say that I contemplated suing Levi's (among other plans of doom I contemplated) the whole rest of the way to my destination. And now that I think about it, I still might be just slightly bitter about the whole experience.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:48 AM on June 19, 2009 [9 favorites]


Fatbird, that lawsuit you are mentioning was dropped because it was baseless. Scroll down the page:

The suit was dismissed by the United States District Court for the Central District of California on April 25, 2007

People file lawsuits all the time for all kinds of reasons against all kinds of businesses. When they get laughed out of court--well, that doesn't get quite the same press, does it now?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:49 AM on June 19, 2009


deadmessenger: ...He just turned himself into the new McDonald's-coffee lady.

For the record, the McDonald's coffee lady was injured so badly that she had to have dead flesh removed from her scalded coffee lady parts, and in no way deserved the smear campaign against her.
posted by univac at 9:49 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


They used to allow you to read the message of someone who emailed you even if you weren't a paying member (though they stripped out any recognizable contact information), so you would be able to make an informed decision about whether it was worth paying to be able to respond to that person. Now, though, when I get a message that says someone emailed me, I have no incentive to sign up, because for all I know, it's some guy from 5,000 miles away saying "hey babi yur cute".

THIS. God, I hate that about match.com. I have tried turning off everything about my profile, but I still get besieged with come-ons in email that "He's waiting for you" or "check who checked you out," but you can't look unless you pony up the $40 for a subscription. I guess it's not really "okay to look."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:51 AM on June 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yes, it's a tangent, but really, coffee cannot be too hot (unless you're a moron and hold it in your crotch rather than your hand or a cup holder.).
posted by coolguymichael at 9:58 AM on June 19, 2009


Not to get too far offtopic, but I really hate the "hurf durf LAW SOOTS" media stories. Or for that matter, not even just lawsuits. It's all part and parcel of the "let's teach everyone that everyone else is an idiot" which plays (intentionally or not) into the mistrust of society and government that is the basis of conservative political rhetoric.

The "idiot" who is "emotionally invested" in match.com? Actually has some good points.
The "idiot" who "somehow managed" to burn herself with coffee? Needed non-lolsome skin grafts.
The "moron" who stuck up a gun store with a knife?1 Actually a homeless man with mental problems.

And so forth.

1I'm not thinking of a particular story here, but the point remains.
posted by DU at 10:05 AM on June 19, 2009 [7 favorites]


A real solution: http://match.metafilter.com.
posted by boo_radley at 10:13 AM on June 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


I feel you, DU, but can we still enjoy the bunny-hoarding woman?
posted by snofoam at 10:15 AM on June 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


brain_drain:

What applemeat said. These are colorable allegations of misrepresentation or breach of contract.

That said, the complaint gets a little crazy when it asserts that the plaintiff suffered "humiliation" and "profound personal anguish," which makes the guy sound pathetic.


Maybe the "pain and suffering" kind of thing is what lawyers encourage clients to toss in there? This kind of less-concrete claim seems to always be attached to cases of this sort that make it to the mainstream media.

Maybe it helps to make the jury take it more seriously and helps win the case? I never hear about a case in which someone sues a company saying, "Hey, it was actually no big deal to me, but what you guys did was just plain wrong, regardless."
posted by ignignokt at 10:16 AM on June 19, 2009


I was going to say that no, we can't laugh at the obviously-ill woman who is torturing rabbits. However: Ranger said she found no rabbits when she finally got inside but did find a half-empty 10-pound bag of carrots.
posted by DU at 10:28 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Kind of insulting to this guy's new squeeze, isn't it?

"Yeah, I eventually found love on match.com, but think of what could have happened if they'd pruned their user database! I may have wound up with someone better!"
posted by Spatch at 10:28 AM on June 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


deadmessenger: ...He just turned himself into the new McDonald's-coffee lady.

Oh, sweet Jesus fuck. When can we please put this interminable ledged to rest? The real story behind the McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case should be included in Metafilter's FAQ so we do not have to go through this every few months when someone else decides to trot out this inaccurate, yet incredibly durable tribute to corporate whoredom.
posted by applemeat at 10:32 AM on June 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


From the ABC story linked above which is about a guy named Barry not Sean McGuinn:
Barry: "You can find yourself, uh, staying up at night, waiting for emails that never come and it's really sad."

Match.com is clearly wrong for keeping unsubscribed members as active, but I don't think it's their fault if Barry cried himself to sleep at night because no one answered his emails. Well, they shouldn't be civilly liable, perhaps morally though.
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:33 AM on June 19, 2009


Yes, it's a tangent, but really, coffee cannot be too hot (unless you're a moron and hold it in your crotch rather than your hand or a cup holder.).

And yet, strangely enough, food-safety experts and doctors do not agree with you, which is why that woman won her verdict. Note: lawsuits are decided on the merits of the claim and on the believability of the expert testimony offered, not on what some random person on the Internet thinks.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:33 AM on June 19, 2009 [11 favorites]


ledged = legend
posted by applemeat at 10:33 AM on June 19, 2009


Match.com is clearly wrong for keeping unsubscribed members as active,

Yes, and they may be civilly liable for that under New York law.

but I don't think it's their fault if Barry cried himself to sleep at night because no one answered his emails.

Agreed. But if they were taking Barry's money every month based on a false presentation of their "stock", they certainly owe him a refund.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:35 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


About time. Dating services need to lose this kind of sleaze. Perhaps a (successful) lawsuit would help them get the message.
posted by -harlequin- at 10:41 AM on June 19, 2009


Match.com was also sued a couple years ago for having female employees create profiles, respond to emails, and actually go on dates with men, then gently break things off, in order to keep those men paying subscription fees by thinking that the site actually works.

I think they should sell this as a service.
posted by rdr at 10:48 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


THIS. God, I hate that about match.com. I have tried turning off everything about my profile, but I still get besieged with come-ons in email that "He's waiting for you" or "check who checked you out," but you can't look unless you pony up the $40 for a subscription. I guess it's not really "okay to look."

Is your profile "hidden"? I ask because this thread made me go and hide my defunct profile & I'm assuming/hoping the stupid messages will stop. Honestly they should have a proper delete.
posted by Wood at 11:05 AM on June 19, 2009


Match does show you the person's last login date; so basically, if you can READ (this person has not logged in for more than 3 weeks--in RED letters, right at the top of the profile) you can see if you're mailing someone who probably won't respond.

The way the site works, it shows even when non-paying members log in. Therefore, even if it says someone logged in yesterday, or is even currently on line, there's still no way of knowing whether or not they are capable of responding. Which is why I left Match for other sites.
posted by KantGoOn at 11:28 AM on June 19, 2009


We all know that no women anywhere wants to have sex with anyone and to titillate us with any thoughts otherwise is just bogus.
posted by porn in the woods at 11:33 AM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Re the coffee case: yes reporting on that story is always horribly distorted. Yes, the woman in the case was horribly injured and McDonalds was incredibly stupid not to settle the case generously much earlier. Yes, McDonalds ought not to sell it's coffee so hot that it will cause 3rd degree burns in a matter of seconds if you spill it on yourself.

All that said, putting a styrofoam cup of freshly-bought coffee between your knees and then pulling off the plastic lid is an incredibly stupid thing to do. McDonalds shouldn't sell it's coffee so hot that morons will injure themselves if they do something moronic with the coffee--but that doesn't mean that what the woman did wasn't moronic. Had I injured myself in the same way simple shame would have prevented me from attempting to win any restitution from the provider of the coffee.
posted by yoink at 11:44 AM on June 19, 2009


All that said, putting a styrofoam cup of freshly-bought coffee between your knees and then pulling off the plastic lid is an incredibly stupid thing to do.

Yes. And if the coffee had been kept at a safe heat, the result would have been coffee stains all over her clothes and car seat, not necrotizing flesh. That's the basis of the lawsuit--coffee is something a consumer can reasonably expect to be uncomfortably hot, not something that a consumer can reasonably expect to be flesh-searing.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:51 AM on June 19, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yes. And if the coffee had been kept at a safe heat, the result would have been coffee stains all over her clothes and car seat, not necrotizing flesh. That's the basis of the lawsuit--coffee is something a consumer can reasonably expect to be uncomfortably hot, not something that a consumer can reasonably expect to be flesh-searing.

Yes, you're right; I meant to say this: "Yes, McDonalds ought not to sell it's coffee so hot that it will cause 3rd degree burns in a matter of seconds if you spill it on yourself."

Oh, I see that I did and you ignored it for some reason.
posted by yoink at 11:56 AM on June 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Agreed. But if they were taking Barry's money every month based on a false presentation of their "stock", they certainly owe him a refund.

Definitely. When I said civilly liable I was just referring to the "crying". If they are guilty of fraud or whatever the tort? is for keeping those profiles active, then they should pay.
posted by nooneyouknow at 12:11 PM on June 19, 2009


Oh, I see that I did and you ignored it for some reason.

Because you went on to say "Shame would have kept me from filing a lawsuit." The thing is that if you put the coffee between your legs, you can expect to spill the coffee on yourself. What you can't expect is that the coffee will give you third-degree burns--she took that action assuming that the coffee was kept at a temperature generally regarded as safe, and that was where McDonald's committed the tort.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:14 PM on June 19, 2009


All that said, putting a styrofoam cup of freshly-bought coffee between your knees and then pulling off the plastic lid is an incredibly stupid thing to do.

I got a story.

My brother works for a state corrections system as a Parole Officer and a trainer. One day he was pulling out of the parking spot of a convenience store, holding a freshly poured hot cup of coffee in one hand, when one of his delinquent and particularly violent parolee's nonchalantly was crossing street on foot in the intersection in front of him. My brother did an "oh shit" as he went to call it in on his cell phone and set his coffee into a cup holder. The cup holder was too small for his mega-grande coffee cup. So he set between his knees. It had a top on it. He was craning his neck to see where his parolee was heading to when car hit his from behind. This had a cascading effect. It forced his knees together. The pressure popped the lid off the cup. The boiling hot coffee exploded into his lap. The searing pain forced him to hit the gas which lurched his car forward. Which rocked his head into the steering wheel. Which honked the horn. Which got the attention of his parolee who noted my brother, now screaming obscenities, in his car. Which initiated a brief chase on foot. Brief. The chase then caused chaffing between his jean and my brothers quickly swelling and burned testicles. Which took off the skin. Which made him lay on the black top in front of a bookstore. Which earned him the nick name: BALLS OF FIRE!
posted by tkchrist at 12:27 PM on June 19, 2009 [13 favorites]


*pulls up chair, waits for tkchrist's brother to show up*
posted by Space Kitty at 12:51 PM on June 19, 2009


A real solution: http://match.metafilter.com.

Sweet Jesus -- you want us to BREED????
posted by LordSludge at 12:53 PM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is equally, if not more, true of eHarmony -- which actually sends you frigging lists of people who aren't paying for the site and invites you to contact them, even knowing full well, that they won't be able to reply.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:58 PM on June 19, 2009


...WTF was he thinking? He just turned himself into the new McDonald's-coffee lady.

Yep, this will be spun as "You hear about the guy who couldn't get a date on Match.com so he sued em? Huh huh huh... But what's crazy is he WON! Gall-dern what's this country commin to..." -- factually incorrect, but when has that ever mattered? The "frivolous" nature of the McDonald's lawsuit is known among idiots far and wide.
posted by LordSludge at 12:59 PM on June 19, 2009


A real solution: http://match.metafilter.com.
posted by LordSludge Sweet Jesus -- you want us to BREED????


[more inside]
posted by mattdidthat at 1:08 PM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


He just turned himself into the new McDonald's-coffee lady.

god damn why does this have to show up in every thread involving a tort
posted by oaf at 1:11 PM on June 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


all the way down here and nobody said it? fine.

MetaFilter: a load of old toot.
posted by davejay at 1:31 PM on June 19, 2009


Has anyone here actually found a 'perfect match' on match.com? It's in the company's best interest to inflate their numbers any way that they think they can get away with in order to draw in new business. It wouldn't surprise me if some seriously shady shit was going on, but I think it's going to take more than a civil suit to make an honest company out of 'em.
posted by item at 1:56 PM on June 19, 2009


Has anyone here actually found a 'perfect match' on match.com?

Um....not a romantic match, but I did find a business partner.

Met a guy on Match.com back in 2001. We hit it off like gangbusters on our first date, we dated from August '01-January '02...but things started petering out through January, and we pulled the plug.

However, we both were theater people, and by then we had already started talking about possibly working together; I'd started helping him plan a benefit for his theater company, in fact. A couple days after the breakup conversation, I forget who called whom, but somehow we ended up tentatively talking about the benefit -- "So...do you want me to help still?"..."....Oh, I didn't think you'd want to -- wouldn't that be weird for you?..." "I don't know, would it be weird for you?" "...Why don't you come to a rehearsal and we'll see how it goes?" And I went to a rehearsal, and afterward we shyly were all, "...was that weird for you?" "No, was it weird for you?" "No....so, should I come to the next one?"..."...Okay..."

And then after a few weeks, he asked, "...would it be weird for you if you joined the company?" "....I don't know, would it be weird for you?" "...I don't know....wanna try for a while and just see how it goes?" "...Okay..."

....And so I joined the company -- which by then only had him as the administrative staff, so I doubled the staff -- and the next time either one of us looked up, three years had passed, we'd produced 6 shows and four benefits, founded a playwriting contest, and changed offices twice. And suddenly we just sort of looked at each other, realized all of that, and blinked and said, "...Huh. Okay, I guess this is what we were supposed to be doing all along."

He is one of my best friends, I trust the guy with my life, and I have absolutely no romantic feelings towards him any more (seriously, it feels even CONCEPTUALLY weird to think that we actually dated), and the company has gone in some cool directions with us working as a team. So -- Match.com didn't do much for my love life, but it did WONDERS for my career.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:10 PM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes. And if the coffee had been kept at a safe heat, the result would have been coffee stains all over her clothes and car seat, not necrotizing flesh.

If the coffee had been kept at a "safe heat," McDonalds would not sell coffee, because everyone would go down the street to Dunkin' Donuts or wherever else sells proper coffee. Serve coffee at a "safe heat," add milk and sugar, and you've got an unpalatable cup of "refund please."
posted by explosion at 2:22 PM on June 19, 2009


I don't know about a "perfect match," but I did meet some nice women via match.com. Granted, that was over 7 years ago; I then, indeed, found a perfect one via the Washington City Paper's personals.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:26 PM on June 19, 2009


Why Don't You Talk to Me?
Alistair Campbell

Why do I post my love letters
in a hollow log?
Why put my lips to a knothole in a tree
and whisper your name?

The spiders spread their nets
and they catch the sun,
and by my foot in the dry grass
ants rebuild a broken city.

Butterflies pair in the wind,
and the yellow bee,
his holsters packed with bread,
rides the blue air like a drunken cowboy.

More and more I find myself
talking to the sea.
I am alone with my footsteps.
I watch the tide recede
And I’m left with miles of shining sand.

Why don’t you talk to me?
posted by madamjujujive at 2:53 PM on June 19, 2009


Item: "Has anyone here actually found a 'perfect match' on match.com?"

I have attended a wedding that was a result of match.com.
posted by team lowkey at 3:12 PM on June 19, 2009


I'm kind of surprised sites like this function in any meaningful way for anyone. I'm sure that 90% of the accounts are idle and linked to dead email addresses, 5% are probably split between prostitutes, scam artists, and shills, and the other 5% are desperately trying to fight off a horde of losers and wondering what the hell they were thinking when they signed on.

On a side note, I have one of those idle accounts linked to a dead email account. Yay me.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:20 PM on June 19, 2009


> Oh, sweet Jesus fuck....so we do not have to go through this every few months when
> someone else decides to trot out this inaccurate, yet incredibly durable tribute to
> corporate whoredom.

Let's try to understand this to you. The Coffee Lady is a punchline because it's widely known that she thought it would be a good idea to use both hands to rip the lid off a take-out cuppa, while holding the cuppa with her knees. What could possibly go wrong, eh granny?

If it had been a Mcdonalds shake-up salad in a cup with a lid and the salad had gone all over her and the car, only her immediate family would have known granny's a moron. Because she got burned and sued over it, and won, the whole world knows. Merely saying "...but the coffee really was too hot! She really did get burned! Her lawsuit had merit!" no more rescues the hands-and-knees business from being a comical retard stunt worthy of Larry or Curly (Moe would have been too smart) than saying "...but Santiago is in Chile!" or "...but Descartes invented the graph!" would.
posted by jfuller at 4:36 PM on June 19, 2009


Yeah. Old ladies inflicted with 3rd degree burns are HI-larious!
posted by tkchrist at 4:57 PM on June 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, didn't you know that only idiots spill things? The fact that McDonald's had a corporate policy dictating dangerously-hot coffee, despite knowing the dangers to the public, has nothing to do with it. It's not their fault that old ladies are so dumb! Thanks for reminding us of that, jfuller. I am sure that you would never do anything so foolish as to put your drink between your knees.
posted by dhalgren at 5:25 PM on June 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think he has "turned himself into the new McDonalds coffee lady", because there is some serious merit to his claim, but idiots, chuckleheads and right-wing psych-ops media types will wilfully misunderstand and sneeringly misrepresent the story. FWIW, I thought deadmessenger might have been making that point; given that he/she hasn't been back to confirm that, I might have been giving him/her too much credit.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:55 PM on June 19, 2009


Match.com does, however, report when a person logged in, even if they're not a paying member. "HotBunnie last logged in 30 days ago..." They use those messages as the incentive to subscribe.

Now, if I were trying to maximize income, I'd probably play with the way those "Match Me" results display, try and use it as a way to entice people in... but who knows how they do it.

Match is kind of a fascinating operation when you start to pick it apart. It's actually pretty slick for what it is... no doubt that not removing people who haven't logged in for awhile but still has accounts allows them to brag about 10,000,000 registered members. (Or whatever.)

What the lawsuit gets at, though, is the central bit of weirdness with online dating -- people will not respond to you or disappear mid conversation or whatever, and you'll never know why. You can come up with any number of scenarios and some of them might be right, but ultimately, it is Unknowable.
posted by ph00dz at 7:22 PM on June 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah I think all the sites do this, and it's really annoying. When I was on EHarmony, before I met my gf, I eventually worked out that it's much more effective to only message people that have viewed your profile, since those are actual active members.
I also used GreaseMonkey to hack the bejeezus out of the crappy UI they have on that site.
posted by w0mbat at 8:04 PM on June 19, 2009


"As far as I can tell, Match notifies the non-paying members of the attention, so they could respond, the bar is simply higher. And the non-paying members still have a choice as to whether their profile is visible"

I've had a profile up there for years, but haven't been active (or paid) in at least 2 of those years. I don't recall receiving any notification of any hits. Nor do I receive emails telling me that MagicMan69 or KoolDude is interested in my profile (which I did when I was active).

Was never very impressed with the caliber of people on there anyway. More of an online singles bar.
posted by mnb64 at 8:30 PM on June 19, 2009


Serve coffee at a "safe heat," add milk and sugar, and you've got an unpalatable cup of "refund please."

Umm, no.

Coffee at a safe heat is still hot. It will scald you if you spill it on yourself or drink it too quickly. It just won't give you third degree burns. If the consequences of spilling my morning coffee on myself included skin grafts, I would wear protective gear and carry the cup away from my body, possibly with foot-long tongs.

I get several requests during every shift at the coffeeshop where I work for ice cubes in the cup to cool the coffee down; I've gotten one complaint in three years that the coffee was too cool.* (That was memorable because the lady had filled her cup over halfway with milk, and after I dumped her coffee so she could get a new cup, did the same thing.)

* not counting when I've forgotten to switch the pots
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 11:52 PM on June 19, 2009


I met my wife through match.com. We printed up our profiles to post on the wall at our reception- when I logged in to retrieve it I was forced to make it 'active' in order to view the whole thing. I did so, saved, and deactivated/hid it. In that time I got 2 contacts from other women- tripling the total number of unsolicited contacts I had ever received on the site.

I guess you really are more attractive when you're taken.
posted by Four Flavors at 12:02 AM on June 20, 2009


Congrats, Four Flavors, and I should clarify - obviously real people do hook up on that site. There's no way they'd have stayed in business if they didn't. I know a couple that met on the site, though it was because of meddling from a match.com employee. Said employee tailored her friends account to include all aspects of a 'successful' profile, right down to the poses in the profile's photos. Regular customers definitely don't get that kind of attention.

People hook up on many internet sites, though. Hell, I'm sure there have been 'matches' because of comments on goddamn Youtube.
posted by item at 2:24 AM on June 20, 2009


hey used to allow you to read the message of someone who emailed you even if you weren't a paying member

Classmates.com has the same policy. "3 new people have signed your guestbook."

[delete]

"SIGN UP TODAY TO READ YOUR GUESTBOOK!"

[delete]

"FREE 7 DAY PROMOTION!"

Really? Click.. click... ahh, there's the catch: "Please enter your credit card number. We promise we will cancel your account immediately if you want us to, or if you don't (or forget) we'll already have all your credit card info so we'll just happily charge you every month for the rest of your life."

[delete]
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:13 AM on June 20, 2009


Yeah... that's a service Match charges for, Item. I've never used it myself so I'm not sure about cost, but you make it sound more sinister than it is.

It is kind of a neat concept, though, given that they theoretically have access to objective data to back up their theories on successful profiles. For the right number cruncher / db wizard, that place must be an awesome research platform.
posted by ph00dz at 5:15 AM on June 20, 2009


The coffee lady wasn't made fun of for putting her cup between her knees -- the lawsuit was spun as being purely frivolous, derided as an easy cash-in against a corporate giant. People erroneously saw her as either greedy or whiny. As I remember it, the stupidity of balancing one's hot drink between one's knees never really came into it.
posted by hermitosis at 9:15 AM on June 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hell, I'm sure there have been 'matches' because of comments on goddamn Youtube.

Thanks for those nightmares!
posted by yoink at 9:56 AM on June 20, 2009


As I remember it, the stupidity of balancing one's hot drink between one's knees never really came into it.

Of course not, since even right-wing chuckleheads seem aware that it would be absurd NOT to expect that people IN CARS buying beverages TO GO from a DRIVE-THRU might hold said beverages between their knees. ...And had the coffee in question been of normally hot temperature, this plaintiff would have received no serious injury from her spill; this case would not exist; and we would have all missed out on jfuller’s uninformed and mean-spirited comments.
posted by applemeat at 10:20 AM on June 20, 2009


I'm suing Match.com because my husband's profile was a misrepresentation of himself. His profile never mentioned he can be an asshole. I was duped!
posted by dasheekeejones at 4:26 PM on June 20, 2009


You don't think a 79yr old would need to use two hands to get a lid off a cup of coffee? I do and I'm twenty-seven.
posted by mippy at 2:07 AM on June 21, 2009


Match does show you the person's last login date; so basically, if you can READ (this person has not logged in for more than 3 weeks--in RED letters, right at the top of the profile) you can see if you're mailing someone who probably won't respond.

You don't seem to understand the complaint people have with Match. It's about nonpaid accounts, not how frequently people use the site. You can't assume that if someone logged in recently, they have a paid account.
posted by Jaltcoh at 5:24 AM on June 21, 2009


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