eHarmony Now Free to Communicate

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Wow I got a surprise when I visited eHarmony.com today. The first thing I noticed was that they have changed the banner that use to say in all capitals "Check Your Matches Free" to "Now Free To Communicate". This changed seems to be only on the United States eHarmony dating site as the Canadian one still has the original message.

After doing a bit more investigating it looks like eHarmony.com now allows free communication all the time. It seems to work very similar to Free Communication Weekends (FCW). You can use the guided communication process for free which after 3 steps does lead to sending emails via eHarmony Mail. The 4 steps of the guided communication process are designed so that you can learn more about your match. The first step is quick questions, the second step moves onto any makes or breaks you may have for a relationship and the third step has you asking some deeper relationship questions. The final fourth step is mail.

Free memberships still do have their limits though. The top 4 restrictions would be:

  • You cannot view your matches photos
  • You cannot see who has viewed your profile
  • You cannot see when your matches have last logged in
  • You also cannot skip to email

This is very similar to the restrictions placed on free communication weekends. To remove these restrictions you would then have to purchase a membership plan. eHarmony has 3 plans called Basic, Total Connect and Premier which can be purchased in 1, 6 or 12 month terms with prices ranging from $18.95 to $41.95 per month.

This is a big change eHarmony has put into place. I am not sure if this change is permanent or if they are just testing things out. They also haven’t officially announced anything either but I would expect some sort of press release soon. I am sure if it is successful we will see eHarmony sites in other countries follow suit. In my opinion it also places them much closer to a free dating site like Plenty of fish (POF). While you cannot go straight to sending email to members like on POF, for people seeking a long-term relationship the guided communication is very helpful and you can send mail once it is complete. POF’s free members have very similar restrictions as eHarmony unless they choose to upgrade. The major difference being between the eHarmony and POF memberships is POF members can view member photos.

Update: April 2, 2013 - I just found out another restriction which isn't obvious at first and would have changed the tone of this post a bit if I had known about the restriction before writing. Apparently you can only send out an email message in step 4 of the guided communication process. If the match replies to this message you cannot see it until you pay for a membership. Getting to use the guided communication process is nice but it would be even better if we could view the replies once we are finished with it like during a FCW.

I guess we now need to update our eHarmony review to reflect this new information along with the other profile changes I notice.