I dislike the term "seniors" I prefer older. I mean when you were young didn't you want to be with the older kids? But the world uses this as a way to describe older or elderly people. I may flip back and forth between the two.
Thus my tale begins. I had been married for 35 years, widowed now for 5 yrs. Looking for a relationship was not my reason to try an online dating service. There was another personal one that doesn't matter to what I experienced.
So I picked one recommended site, to test the waters, that was free. I wasn't going to pay and instantly I got 49 "let's meet." I had posted a real picture of how I look now, an honest description and accurate answers. I mean let's be honest we aren't going to say, "Overweight old broad with wrinkles is seeking a stud." So skimming along the truth isn't awful. But what I initially found was badly written profiles almost to the point of trying to seem genuine, horrible selfies (the bathroom ones the worse) on one side then the other side slickly written profiles that were contrived. My favorite is nearly every guy is laid back plus an athlete (pictures on boats or skiing or hiking.) Yep, every guy my age is virile. That's why Viagra sells more than aspirin. I get the need to skim along the truth but "profile talk" with walks along the beach, sunsets and other buzz words; I was getting nauseous. I changed my profile so many times, at one point I was offering to write profiles for a fee. I actually made recommendations about using pictures. I mean missing teeth, ragtag clothing and shirtless pictures are among my favorites. Yep those will reel in tons of females.
I did communicate with a true scammer that was upsetting but nothing really happened to me. I mention the FBI and panic ensued. I could understand scammers but something just as nefarious happened. So I searched for any articles about online dating, tons on scammers but nothing on what I ultimately found that we "old folk" need to know. I was pissed about the scammer but wiser and more informed about what to look for, I got back into the fray uncovering what, to me, what was so disheartening.
Opting to pick a site that was supposed to be for "seniors" I browsed for free. The profiles seemed legitimate and more realistic. I got the freebie smiles or winks to show interest but could not go further unless I joined to have access to communicate. So I chose the cheapest $30 and went forward. I sent a few messages but got one-line replies then nothing. So I asked more detailed questions and got unrelated answers. I found this very odd I mean it's just talking? Why wouldn't guys my age just answer back? So maybe a few want younger women that makes sense but the replies were gnawing at me. Something was off.
So I decided to do my own research, based on my gut feelings. I know about surveys and that 1 person does represent 100 in likes, dislikes and opinions; so I became investigator not seeker. I read most of the profiles, careful to pick same types as the service is analyzing my picks and preferences. I looked at the photos, profiles, likes, etc. All were from my State and within 100 miles or less, with most around 20 miles. The general age group that popped up to browse was 58-68. I looked at every picture in my browser about 75-100 guys.
Then I selected about 35+ to message, commenting on current local events, their pictures, etc. I commented to one guy he had a great picture. I got what picture? The picture I am looking at we are messaging each other with. Oh that picture. Oh it was in Atlantic City, really I replied, "I was from Jersey." Silence. This happened several times. So then I communicated to one guy, 70 years old that I wasn't sure if his profile was him, hacked or inactive. I figured selecting a guy older than me would produce an interest, as in wanting a younger woman. What I got was language not in line with a man of 70. The dialogue became belligerent when I asked to confirm whether he was as represented. No real person would get nasty over asking a simple question, especially an older guy to a woman. I don't want to detail other telltale signs, as this might help this continue but I knew right from the start I was communicating with a much younger person.
So here is my assessment. Of the 35+ guys I sent messages to I got 1 back and forth communication. Let's break this down. Of these guys let's say 10 wanted a younger woman. Let's say 8 didn't like my look. Maybe 10 weren't online but I sent messages they should've gotten notifications but maybe they didn't like me either. That still leaves 7. But let's be upfront regarding these guys, whatever I looked like, at least 2 guys just want to get laid. That's one reality or there had to be a few really lonely guys. Either way no communication?
What was happening was so obvious I was surprised it was never written about before. I truly believe none of these guys were "active" members. I mean one guy's profile said he was really 67 not 61 but the age next to his picture was 63 then 4 hours later the same guy was 58, what a neat trick is that!
I can bet my own little survey, if conducted on a wider basis would prove me right. My conclusions is all of these services are geared to the 18-45 age group. Older adults would tend to want to stay for a time then get off, the age pool on this group would be really low, and so to keep getting new subscribers they have to recycle inactive members. I believe I communicated with either a young person or a robot designed to respond a certain way. This is unethical business practices. The service is claiming 100s or 1000s of new members daily, which may be true with younger people but not older.
These services could care less because if they average 100 people for the week who purchase 1 month that $3000 buckeroos for one week. It's a scam in a different sense. Maybe they aren't scamming for someone to clean out their bank accounts but they are dealing in a bait and switch business practice that cons people in; without true representation of who is active. Their disclaimer absolves them of any scams, etc. They offer tips to identify fake profiles but in the same breath lying. Your photos are now their property. Why would they need them? If not to use them this way.
Now, one can state this isn't a guarantee, absolutely correct. But the real fraud is hurting older people who are already going in with more insecurities and fears. While alert to scammers no one would think there aren't 100 guys to browse but 10. Come on. I can take rejection but let it be by real people not ghost members or robot talkers. My author picture is the same I used.
I complained and asked for a refund. I was given half, of which, at this writing has not gone through. If I don't get it. I will dispute the charge. Older people wouldn't consider this aspect. They forget it and think they were rejected or are embarrassed to even claim they went on a site.
I checked several more sites, age-related and they all operate the same way. There has got to be a better method and I'm going to figure it out.
So Seniors! Oldies! Boomers! Don't buy the nonsense. Test it, as I did, then if you get similar results ask for a refund. They get us in the pocket, return the favor.