The videos are on YouTube, and the issue is on the table: Is eHarmony obligated to find a match for everybody? And what kind of fallout will recriminations, or lawsuits, from spurned members have on the site's future?
Despite the site's it's-not-you-it's-us disclaimer ("We are not able to make our profiles work for you"), eHarmony's cast-offs often report feeling stung by the brush-off, like one woman who joked that she would "wear a big R on her chest the next day," and a man who sighed, "Well, I guess I am hopeless."
Susan Isaacs, who blogs at susanisaacs.blogspot.com, is a self-described "Jesus loving gal," and she was rejected by eHarmony three times. Isaacs suspects she was booted for answering questions "too honestly" at a time when "life sometimes felt meaningless." Finally, she got in, after telling one little white lie: I "fibbed a bit that 'life is always great!'" she says. Then, after all but giving up on internet dating, she met her husband on the site Christian Cafe.
"I don't know which of my answers flunked me," says Texan Barbara Szalkowski, adding, "I was devastated. Being told I was 'unmatchable' was pretty harsh."
Harsh, but unfair? "We judge people in real life, and this site is doing that for you," says Evans, who blogs at onlinedatingpost.com. "Technically, no, it's not fair. But it's their company, and they're private."
California lawyer Jeremy Pasternak disagrees. "People have this impression that private businesses can do whatever they want, but it's just not true. We have non-discrimination laws that apply to companies, and they have to be enforced," says Pasternak, who is petitioning for a class action lawsuit against eHarmony after one would-be user, Linda Carlson, discovered that the site refused to help her find a lesbian match.