The Germany online dating scene is woefully lacking in two main areas - price and flexibility. German professionals, as well as the large number of foreign professionals moving to Germany, find they are being stung by the country's inadequate consumer protection laws, when related to online dating portals. Many are finding themselves locked into contracts they did not realise they had to cancel during a tight window of opportunity - a very ruthless strategy employed by many companies here. This particularly hits foreigners where it hurts, as this arguably underhand system of "customer retention" is often new to foreigners when they first arrive here. Others believe they can have a free trial, only for the dating site to disable nearly all features during the trial, thus invalidating the whole purpose of having a trial period with which to experience and evaluate first-hand the dating site. Additionally, most of the larger websites refuse to allow users to subscribe for just one month, instead opting to force their potential customers to sign contracts for a minimum period of 3 to 6 months. So jumping on a dating site, messaging a potential love interest and organising a date, all of which may take just days, requires you paying the site for many months. Does that sound fair, or does it sound like throwing money down the drain?
Given the huge interest in online dating, it is surprising that so little competition exists in the German market, and what does exist, is considered by many to be too restrictive and expensive. Not to forget the rather long and personally intrusive profile questioning system which takes an age to complete and is forced upon new users. Whatever happened to allowing members to determine what they wish to share with the dating company, without dubiously extracting it from them in the form of personality profiling for match-making - which if not completed, prevents you from using the site.
So many serious flaws in the current offerings for online dating in Germany, hence why a new alternative was created
The Eye Newspapers aims to change the options available for German online dating. They have created a new site called DeutscheDate (deutschedate.de), which addresses what they perceive as the many failings of the bigger brand names in the country. For instance, there is no contract needed, or indeed offered for any of their services. Therefore there is no convoluted and deliberately painful contract cancellation process. No contract tie-in periods, whether it be 3, 6 or 9 months. No missed "window of opportunity" to cancel the service. In short, no headaches, no risk and no over-priced cost for a service which may not even have people in your area, nor which you may even use for the full time-frame you pay for. Many of the sites, due to their contractual minimum period of usage, are requesting users to hand over hundreds of euros over that period.
DeutscheDate uses a cheap virtual coin-based credit system, where you buy virtual coins to use the site as you see fit. How many coins you buy is completely up to you. There are no minimum or maximum limits. Additionally, you do not need to sign any contracts. The credit cost is very cheap (a fraction of the cost of other dating sites), and exists primarily to dissuade non-serious users from using the site. It is worth noting, that DeutscheDate was created primarily as a fair and cheap alternative to what is in the current online dating market, i.e. to allow professionals to easily and quickly make a connection with a potential romantic partner online - it is not a site designed for profit. Consequently, being user-focused, you will find none of the usual hoop-jumping, time-wasting, cost and risk-taking associated with other big name brands. It is nothing more or less, than a simple online portal to connect with others whom you may wish to strike up a romantic relationship with.
We hope this new site raises the bar for online dating portals in Germany and marks a move away from extracting as much cash from customers as possible, towards a more fair and financially-attractive model. Feedback and new feature requests are always welcome from our members, and can easily be submitted via registering on the site (which requires only name, location and email - no lengthy sign-up process or fees to join).
Image by The Eye Newspapers