01 June 2007

eHarmony Hits More Wrong Notes

The latest in eHarmony's legal woes -- via Hit and Run, I see that they're being sued again, this time for refusing to set up a woman looking to meet another woman. Her class action suit is apparently the first of this kind against the dating service.

A partial list of other reasons the service has reportedly rejected over a million applicants:

-Too young (the service has a minimum age of 21)
-Married (this applies even to those legally separated and waiting for divorce decrees)
-Married too often (more than 4 times if you're under 60)
-Atheist (although 7% of eHarmony subscribers describe themselves as "neither spiritual nor religious")
-Not tall enough (applies to men)
-Not virtuous enough (depending on answers to questions about honesty, character, self-esteem, etc.)
-Answered questions inconsistently (the application questionnaire has 258 questions)

More on this in the recent Washington Post story. As a libertarian, I'm obligated first to point out that eHarmony is, in fact, a private company with the right to decide who they'll serve. But California law disagrees with me, so let's move on to what they say in their defense: they don't know enough about gay folks to successfully match them up. The service says its research is based on the 'traits and personality patterns of successful heterosexual marriages,' and seems to want to argue that these patterns don't apply to successful homosexual relationships. This seems a little silly to me, but makes me curious about the methods behind the matching. eHarmony is, obviously, tight-lipped about this.

Ultimately, it probably doesn't matter much. For every conservative social force, there exists an equal and opposite movement to embrace the disruptive, and eHarmony's nemesis is Chemistry.com. Their 'Rejected by eHarmony' ads do a great job of directing the lonely to the appropriate place: normalcy-cravers to the left, atheists, gays, and other assorted oddballs to the right.


Anonymous said...

if you are so sad you have to use a dating service, please do the world a favor and shoot yourself there is no reason why someone cannot do the footwork themselves plus you'll be alot happier that way