- Our first major criteria is, the number of members a site has. This number of course is not set in stone and depends on the dating niche the service is a part of. We would expect a dating site that caters to seniors to have fewer members than a more general oriented dating site for singles. A number of new dating sites have complained of this criteria but, we can't recommend a dating service in good conscience to our readers that can't offer actual matches to their members.
- The next criteria we look at is the business practices of the dating service. Some of the "lower class" dating sites can make it extremely difficult to cancel a membership. Plus you can find them renewing memberships without the expressed permission of the person. These fraudulent sites also will not offer refunds for any reason or within a certain time.
- This criteria is similar to the last one and deals with the number of member complaints found. These complaints are usually regarding; the site not working, or membership problems, or poor customer service. If you search the net you can find numerous complaints about almost any company. We take a look at the scope of the complaints found when compared to other popular dating services. If there are too many and they all revolve around one issue we then take notice.
- Customer Support is very important. You can't leave members to flounder about the dating site themselves if they are having problems. Detailed FAQ or Help Center, Email, Online Support Chat and Toll Free Phone Service are important tools to help members navigate online dating. A dating site needs at least 2 of these tools to even be considered. Hours of service are taken into consideration along with the response time to email and phone inquiries.
- Handling of Abuse is another important criteria. Members need to feel safe online and if another member can't seem to take no for an answer there needs to be ways of dealing with this. From notifying the dating service of this members inappropriate behaviour, to ways of blocking members from contacting (email, IM and chatting), or even seeing your profile online. This must be easy to find and use. There must also be a tool to report inappropriate and fake profiles.
If you don't see a review for a dating site on our site, in most cases it may not be worth joining. Over the years we have had to take reviews of a number of dating sites down due to these services not meeting our minimum dating site criteria anymore. This can happen in two ways. The dating site could of become poorly run and because of this, stopped meeting one of our criteria above. The second way it could of been removed is we added a new criteria in which the dating site did not meet and we deemed important enough to remove the site over. This set of criteria will evolve as we re-evaluate our position, and as dating services add in new features in which we will need to consider.
Having a minimum dating site review criteria helps solve a couple of problems. Most people when visiting this review site are only interested in reviews of dating services that work, and can offer them a good chance of meeting their match. If we included sites we didn't like there would be hundreds of sites on our list and the good ones would be lost in the shuffle. Plus, why waste people's time in reading reviews of sites that hardly have any redeeming qualities, if the site wouldn't work for almost anyone, what chance would it work for them. They need to be reading about online dating sites that do work for people, and they then should only have to decide about what type of dating site they wish to join and what features they are looking for in a site.