Plenty Of Fish is one of the most popular online dating services. It advertises as “the best dating site for conversations”. In fact, it is one of the earliest online dating services. However, as you’ll know, being the first does not make a service the best. Also, Plenty Of Fish is a pioneer in free dating services, as its fame comes from it being free. However, as you’ll know, being free does not make a service the best.
The big question is whether it is only “the sentimental draw of being one of the firsts” or “the appeal of not paying” that POF has going for it; or whether POF is really an ideal online dating service. In the first place, is Plenty Of Fish genuine?
Yes, Plenty Of Fish is legit. It is not a scam because they will never steal your money or credit cards details. And you will receive a service you subscribed for.
This Plenty Of Fish review will examine the Plenty Of Fish in order to provide the information that will help you to answer these questions and more.
Plenty of Fish – Background
Plenty of Fish was founded by Markus Frind in 2003. Thus, Plenty Of Fish is one of the earliest dating services in the internet. Since its founding, POF has known growth; and it now stands as the largest online dating service in terms of membership base and site activity (conversations).
In 2015, Plenty Of Fish was sold to Match Group LLC for $575 million. The Match Group is a reputable operator of some of the best dating services around, which includes Match (its namesake brand), Tinder, and OKCupid. Given that the Match Group continually roll out upgrades on its brands to give a better dating experience, you can expect POF to keep up with the advances in online dating.
POF is a pioneer in free online dating. As we’ll see many of its features can be used to fully date free of charge. As a result, POF has attracted the dating crowd. The dating service boasts of over 150 million registered members worldwide. It reports that it has over 4 million active users on a daily basis. It also reports that over 1 billion messages are exchanged in the platform in a month. It is because of the sheer size of its membership base and the volume of messages exchanged in the platform that POF advertises as the “best dating site” for conversations.
Some can argue that the measure of a good site for conversation should not be the volume of conversation had in the platform but the quality of conversations that can be had in the platform. However, it cannot be argued that POF has more conversations than any other dating site.
Background – Overview
- Founded in 2003
- Now owned by Match Group LLC
- One of the largest membership base (over 150 million worldwide users)
Who is it for?
POF is for singles seeking to find other singles for a relationship. Thus, to use POF, your relationship status must be one of single (never married), separated, divorced, or widowed.
With regards to what kind of relationship you can seek in POF, the options you’ll find are:
- I’m looking for Casual dating/ No commitment
- I want to date but nothing serious
- I want a relationship
- I am putting in serious effort to find someone
- I am serious and I want to find someone to marry
This shows that in POF, you can find everyone from the hookups seekers to the long term commitment seekers. Thus, if you have a particular type of relationship in mind (e.g. serious about finding a marriage partner), you’ll have a lot of sifting to do. You may be better off using a dating service that is particularly geared towards finding long term commitments. In the same vein, if you want to be in a dating service for hookups, and don’t want to be bothered heart-seekers, you may be better served by dating services geared towards the hookup dating services. While POF serves the full spectrum of relationship seekers, it tends to tilt more to the casual date seekers than to the serious date seekers.
Also, POF can be used by everyone whether straight or gay. A man can seek the opposite sex (woman) or the same sex (man); while a woman can also seek the opposite sex or the same sex. Thus, POF is LGBT friendly.
Who is it for – Overview
- For singles
- Seekers of any kind of relationship; from hookups to marriage kind, and everything in between
- Seekers of heterosexual or same sex relationship
How it works
One of the main selling points of Plenty OF Fish is that it is a matchmaking service. That is, it is not simply a platform where singles can meet each other; rather it is a platform that provides personalized matching. That is, as a member of POF, the match suggestions that you will get will be a specially curated list of persons that you are most likely to click with.
Plenty of Fish is able to do this because of what it calls a “Relationship Chemistry Predictor”. When registering to use POF, you’ll have to answer series of questions. The dating service then uses your answers to establish your personality. Five broad dimensions of personality, which POF identify as essential for building a romantic relationship, are measured.
- Self-Confidence – This dimension measures how comfortable you are with yourself, both in private and in public
- Family Orientation – This dimension measures the degree of your family orientation
- Self-Control – This dimension measures the extent to which you exert control over the different aspects of your life and the lives of others
- Social Dependency/ Openness – This dimension measures the extent to which you are open to and dependent upon other people
- Easygoingness – This dimension measures the extent to which you can be relaxed and psychologically flexible
Since every member of Plenty OF Fish takes this chemistry test, the dating services are able to determine the personality of everyone, especially these dimensions essential for building a romantic relationship. Thus, when Plenty OF Fish generate matches for you; what the dating service does is simply to compare your personality rating with the personality ratings of its other member, and to identify persons that it is confident that you are very likely to date, and maybe marry.
How it works – overview
- Every member takes a “relationship chemistry” test
- The test is used to determine 5 dimensions of personality that are essential for building a romantic relationship
- When matching, POF uses the chemistry test result to give you a personalized list of persons who you are most likely to click with
Using Plenty of Fish
Like every online dating service, you’ll have to register and create an account to use Plenty of Fish. The registration form can be found on the landing page of the Plenty Of Fish website (www.pof.com). You’ll have to nominate a username and password, supply your email, gender, date of birth, country, and ethnicity then hit continue.
The registration process is pretty lengthy. First, you’ll have to provide the general user information.
These include information like: your state, city and postal code; your gender, the gender of who you are looking for, your marital status, the number of children you have, and your desire to have children; your physical appearance such as body type, height, hair color; your preferences, such as religion, profession, smoking, and drinking. In this section POF also ask whether you own a car, and whether you do drugs.
One important thing is that all fields are mandatory in the user information section. However, while you cannot skip any question, you can choose “Prefer Not To Say” as an option if you’d rather not answer a particular question.
Before profile creation is complete, you’ll have to nominate a username and write a profile headline. You’ll also be asked your interests and an idea for a “first date”; then there’s the all important “About Me” section. It’s where you have to write a description of yourself. This is one of the most important aspects of the POF profile as it is will be published in the displayed profile. So if you’ll want to make a good impression on others who’ll be viewing your profile, you should be in you’re A-game when writing the “About Me”. After that, you can upload some pictures to get going.
Thus, registration and profile creation themselves shouldn’t take much time, so you should start meeting other members in no time. However, that is not the case because of the mandatory Plenty Of Fish Relationship Chemistry Predictor test. You’ll find scores of questions, which may take about 20 minutes to complete.
With the test aiming to determine your self-confidence, family orientation, self-control, social dependency/ openness, and easygoingness, you can expect the questions to covers all and sundry. You’ll find questions asking you to rate how some adjectives describe your personality. For example, to what extent does proactive describe you? One good part of the questionnaire is that you do not have to answer yes or no to whether any of the adjectives describe you. For these questions, POF uses a four point Likert scale so that answers not falling into the two extremes of yes and no can also be captured. Answers on the scale are: Not at all like me, Somewhat unlike me, Somewhat like me, and Much like me.
There are other tests that can be taken which could give you a better experience using the service especially in getting more persons to be interested in you and in being successful in finding what you want from the dating service.
For example, there is the POF “seduction style guide”. The seduction style result is meant to inform other users of POF who might take an interest in you about how best to woo you. But these tests can also be very detailed.
For example, the seduction style guide questionnaire starts off by asking how long you’ll prefer communicating with someone online before meeting in person. Then from a list, you’ll choose three types of flirters that most appeal to you and three types that least appeal to you. The next page asks questions about how you’ll want your first date, and then you’re asked to rate how accurately some 25 adjectives describe your sexuality. Some of these adjectives include: attractive, charming, immodest, indecent, provocative, seductive, and shameless. However, just as with profile creation, answers are on the four-points Likert scale(Not at all like me, Somewhat unlike me, Somewhat like me, and Much like me)
The next page requires you answer in your own words: 3 topics you most like and least like talking about on your first date, 3 activities you most like and least like doing on your first date, and 3 characteristics of a person that turn you on and off. Then the page goes off asking you to rate the extent to which you find some (34) sexual play appealing. These include rubber/ latex fetishism, spanking, hot wax, voyeurism, strip teasing, Gynonudomania (ripping one’s clothes off), and more. You’ll also rate the extent to which you find some theme appealing for a romantic fantasy appealing. These include forbidden/ power dynamic fantasies themes (such as therapist and patient, teacher and student, and more), force fantasies theme (kidnapper and victim, etc), starring role theme (such as your favourite celebrity, a porn star, etc), and more. Then you’ll rate the appeal of some settings when thinking of your favourite fantasies; there are 55 settings to rate which include beach, soft light, bed and breakfast, space and heaven, moonlight, and more. At the end of the test, you can view your report. The link to your report can also be saved so that you can send it to anyone you are interested in, who you’ll want to give heads-up on wooing you.
Getting Started – Overview
- Getting started is relatively easy and short but the chemistry test which is relatively lengthy
- There are other tests that can be taken to get a richer experience from the service
The profiles of other members of the program are what you are going to be viewing to make your decisions. Thus, you’ll want a dating service that leaves nothing out in its profile. In their words, the profiles should be detailed; containing virtually everything that will give quality insight into the individual. In this regards, the profiles of Plenty Of Fish only does so-so.
First, the displayed profiles of POF are very very short. In fact, they are shorter than the profiles of almost all the top competitors of the dating services.
The displayed profile that other users will be viewing consists of a profile photo displayed prominently, and three text rows to its right.
The first text row consists of the written headline and the user’s location. Note that the profile headline will be displayed prominently, almost as the display of the profile name in most of the other dating services. Thus, you’ll want to make the headline very catchy; it should be such that will make other users that come across your profile stop interested.
The second text row is where what you write in the “About Me” section of profile creation is published. Thus, this is where you should leave nothing out. If your profile headline catches someone’s attention; then this part should hook them. Thus, whatever about you that you want standing out in your profile will go into “About Me”, and others will see it here. The third text row consists of the username, age, relationship preference (whether you want something serious, casual, etc), education level, and online status.
One of the strengths of the POF profiles is that they show photos. Many users of dating sites want to see the faces of profiles they view; however, many dating services blur out profile photos for free users, and allow only premium (paying users) to view photos when checking out profiles. POF allows everyone, free user and premium users, alike to view profile photos.
However, it is our opinion that the short profile of POF may be found to lack essential information that one may want from the very start. For example, the user information published in the detail is skeletal. In the profiles of some of the top dating services in the market, you can find a ton of user detail from height, body type, smoking preference and more. Also, the profiles lack a section dedicated to the user’s interests, values, and ethics. POF will hope that the user captures this detail in the “About Me” section; but if not, the profile can then lack pertinent information that gives quality insight.
In fact; Plenty Of fish knows that the “short” profile lacks depth. Because, as a premium member, one of the benefits you get is the privilege of viewing an expanded profile that will capture many of these essentials excluded from the regular profile.
- The displayed profile is very short
- Photos are not blurred out in profiles (even for free users)
- The short profile can be found lacking information that users may want at a glance
- Premium users can get to see an expanded profile, which gives better insight into the user
You meet people in dating sites by simply viewing their dating profiles. Like in many of the online dating services, in POF, there are two routes to meeting people – suggestions from POF, and searching the POF membership database yourself.
Remember the POF relationship chemistry test and their other tests; they come to bear in the first route to meeting people – getting suggestions from POF. Typically, POF will run through its membership database to identify persons whose personality closely matches yours or who share your interests. Thus, the list of profiles that POF suggest to you is a personalized list of like-minded persons.
The second route to meeting people in POF is to “go fishing” yourself; that is, to search the membership base of the service yourself for singles that you may like. For this, POF has a search tool. Like almost every other online dating service, POF has two search levels – the basic search and the advanced search.
The basic search tool of POF trumps the basic search tool of many of the other dating sites. In those other services, a basic search will only allow filtering using very few criteria like profile photos, age range and location. On the other hand, the POF basic search allows you to filter profiles using a relatively wide range of criteria. With the basic search, you can search for people using: sex, age range, profile photo, intent (whether you want long term commitment, casual dating, etc), body type (thin, athletic, a few extra pounds, etc), education level, ethnicity, country, city, zip code, and location from you. Also, there are “newest users” and “last online” filters. This can come in handy when you only want to meet new members or if you’ll rather check out persons who have recently been online. For example, you can set “last online” to 24 hours, and get profiles of persons that were logged within the day. That way, you’ll not have to waste time and effort checking out persons who are no longer active in the platform.
The advanced tool really gives you control, as it allows you to search using varied criteria. You can search for profiles using profession income, level, smoking and drinking preference, and more. For example, do you want someone that speaks another language; or that owns a car, or that does not like pets? You can zero in on the appearance, by searching with height range, hair colour, or eye colour. You can search with a wide range of personality dimensions; do you want someone who is easygoing, open to others, self-confident, etc? With the advanced search, you can comb the membership base with a very fine comb and come out with profiles that meet your particular criteria.
Meeting People – Overview
- The search tool has two levels – basic search and advanced search
- The basic search allows filtering by more criteria than the “basic” we are used to
- The advanced search tool allows filtering by a wide range of criteria (including whether the person has a car)
Making a Connection
When you come across a profile that you like, you’ll also want to find a good range of options for interacting. Plenty Of Fish does relatively well in this regards.
The main feature here is the email messaging. You can jump right in and send a message to any user whose profile you like. This is always one area where POF beats many dating sites – every user of the service can send and receive messages. That is, many dating platforms will only allow you to check profiles, preventing you from communicating except you purchase its subscription plan. On the other hand, Plenty Of Fish allows even its free users to communicate – send and receive messages.
The only messaging restriction you’ll find in Plenty Of Fish is that “first contact” messages can only be sent to 55 new people per 24 hours. However, this should not be an issue, because you shouldn’t be starting up to 55 new conversations in a day if you are serious about finding a date. However, there is no limit to how many messages you can send in a day; and you also can message as many different persons as you want in a day, as long as you’ve previously made contact with them.
If you need an icebreaker, POF has a smart feature called spark which will come handy (albeit it’s available only in the mobile apps). You’ll only need to drag and drop the conversation icon onto a part of the user’s profile, which then allows you to comment on that part of the profile. Plenty Of Fish reveals that since its launch the Spark feature has increased conversations by 15%.
When making a connection, the best to come out of Plenty Of Fish yet is a group of features which the dating service calls “Conversation Powers”. As their names suggest, these features give users a richer conversation experience. Some of these features include voice calling or sharing photos in chats.
Granted, chatting is fine; but hearing the voice of the other person is even better. With voice messaging, you can record and send a voice message in reply to a written chat message. This handy feature is rampant in social media and chat applications but hardly seen in online dating services.
However, the dating services realize that at some point in your chatting lifecycle with a potential partner, you’ll want to hear the person’s voice, even if you two have not reached that point where you feel comfortable with revealing your private contact numbers. That is why some of these dating services now offer an anonymous call service, where the caller’s IDs are replaced with auto-generated numbers. It should also be said that while the anonymous call (where offered) is reserved for premium users, the voice messaging of POF is available to even free users.
The ability to share pictures when chatting is another fine element of the “Conversation Powers”. It is said that “a picture is worth a thousand words”; and that holds true here as there are times when you can express yourself better by taking a snapshot or drawing a picture from your gallery and sending it to your chat partner. However, this ability to send pictures is restricted to only female users. POF reportedly blocked men from using this feature after too many men users were found to have sent inappropriate pictures.
Making a connection – overview
- Even free users can send unlimited messages
- Messaging is anonymous
- Spark feature helps to break the ice and start a conversation by allowing you to comment on any part of a user’s profile
- Users can send pictures in chats
- Users can record and send voice messages in chats
Ease of Use
Plenty of Fish is relatively easy to operate. The main tabs for dating activities (inbox, meet me, and search) are easy to reach when using the website.
Thus, it’s easy-breezy to send and receive messages, view recommendations, and search the member base. You can also easily add users to a favourite list so that you can easily check them out at a later time. Also, using the rich interaction features of POF (such as sending a gift, etc) is also relatively easy; as many of these features can be accessed from the user’s profile. You can see a list of people who are online, which allows you to reach out to those who are very likely to reply immediately.
The website is mobile optimized, so you can date on the go. POF also has Android and iOS apps for a richer mobile dating experience. Also, the apps are light-weight and intuitive.
However, when contacting people in POF, there is a 14-year contract restriction. That is, you cannot contact someone who is either more than 14 years older or more than 14 years younger than you. The brains in POF believe that no meaningful relationship can be had by any two persons if their age difference is more than 14 years. Seriously!!!
The restriction is even tighter for those who are less than 22 years of age. POF does not allow connect persons who are under 22 years with anyone who is older by more than 9 years. Does POF really believe that a 21-year-old and a 31-year-old cannot have a meaningful relationship?
Ease of use – overview
- Relatively easy to use
- Has free mobile apps for Android and iOS devices
- There is a “+/- 14” year contact restrictions (or +9 year restrictions for those under 22)
Plenty Of Fish is one online dating service that rewards you for being active in the platform. It rewards you with log-in points every time you log-in to your profile. What is more, you don’t need to go hunting for the points; they’ll be automatically added to your account. You can use login points to purchase virtual gifts and tokens.
This is a list of nearby persons that POF suggest to its users. You’ll be shown the photos of these persons, and you can choose “Yes”, “Maybe” or “No” to whether you’ll like to meet them. You’ll be notified if another user says “yes” to wanting to meet you. However, you cannot see who these persons are except you upgrade to the paid plan. Thus, such Meet Me notification are just dangling carrots to make you upgrade.
Ultra Match is a list of the members that POF is confident that are most compatible with you. So while there are many persons that are compatible, POF ranks them, and give you the best 50 in the Ultra Match list. The founder of POF claims that some of the most successful members of POF find their love in the Ultra Match list.
One of the special features of Plenty Of Fish is “tokens”. These are simply credits which you can purchase to enhance your profile. Thus, the profile makes you stand out, making it more likely for you to be successful in finding love in the platform.
With POF tokens, you can do the following:
- Send a “Super Yes” – If sending a Yes lets the other person knows that you are interested in him/ her; sending a “Super Yes” tells the person that you are super interested. POF reports that users who send a Super Yes are 56.3% more likely to get a mutual match.
- Highlight yourself – An orange bar on your profile tells you that you are highlighted. The effect of highlighting yourself is that your profile will be labelled “Today’s Catch” to other users in their “Meet Me” page. Naturally, many persons will want to find out why you’re the catch of the day, thereby leading to more connections.
- Send a Priority Message – Common sense tells us that priority messages are given more attention than the regular messages; such attention will include expedited delivery, and being among the first to be read. That is what happens when you use POF tokens to send a message as a priority. It won’t just appear in the recipient’s inbox; rather it will be the first message in the recipient’s inbox. Being the first message the recipient will see, he/ she is more likely to respond to it
However, the tokens are add-ons that must be purchased separately. You can purchase tokens 1, 5, or 10 at a time; and you use a token for every Super Yes, Highlight or Priority Message. Also, you’ll want to use up your token purchase, because token packages expire after 6 months of purchase.
Virtual Gifts and Roses
You’ll not disagree that sending a gift to someone will, in no amount of words, tell the person that you care. Plenty Of Fish allows you to send virtual gifts.
However, you can only send virtual gifts when using web browsers. When using mobile browsers, you’ll have to “switch to Desktop site” to access and send the virtual gifts.
You can also send a virtual rose to another user. Upon registration, you’ll be given two roses; you can only have two roses at any one time, and it’ll take a month after sending a rose to get another its replace. Thus, you’ll want to make your rose giving count.
The gifts do more than telling you that someone is interested, it can help your profile stand out. This is because the virtual gifts that you receive will be displayed on your profile for three weeks, and visible to anyone that checks out your profile. Thus, if people see a couple of virtual gifts on your profile, they’ll know that a lot of others have taken a liking to you and may want to find out why themselves, leading to even more connections.
Pricing and Related Policies
It has been mentioned that Plenty Of Fish allows every user to receive and send messages. What differentiates the free services from the fee-based services is communication. Fee-based services will not allow you to communicate unless you pay; while the free services will allow communication. This means that Plenty Of Fish is a free online dating service.
Without opening your wallet/ purse, you’ll be able to create an account, take the POF tests, get matches, search for singles yourself (even using the advanced search), view profiles including profile photos, add other users to a favourite list, send and receive messages, and send voice messages or pictures (if female) in chat. In short, you can fully date.
However, Plenty Of Fish has a paid plan. Though you don’t need it to use the dating service of POF, you’ll get a richer dating experience with the paid plan because some features are exclusive to it. Some of what you’ll get as a paid user includes:
- Being able to add up to 16 photos to your profile – As a free user, you can only add 8 photos to a profile
- Being able to view every users’ extended profile – As a free user, other members’ profiles that you can view is short, and may not include some details that’ll help you get a quality insight about the profile owners
- Being able to see whether your messages were read or deleted – As a free user, you cannot tell if a message you sent to a user has been (or was) read
- Being able to use the service ad-free – Free service providers will make money somehow; so if it does not come from subscriptions, it’ll come from ads. So as a free user, many of these ads will be directed at you.
- Being able to see who viewed your profile (even the date and time of view) – As a free user, you can only see who adds you to his/ her favourite list. But by being able to see everyone that views your profile, you can gauge how successful your profile is in garnering interest
- Getting priority placement on the Meet Me list – As a free user, you’ll get included on the “Meet Me” list POF sends to others; but as a paid user, yours will be among the firsts photos on the list
- Being able to see who said “yes” to wanting to meet you – As a free user, you’ll know that your photo is being shown to others in their own “Meet Me” list, but you cannot tell if any one of those persons have said “yes” to wanting to meet you. This information can serve as an icebreaker in starting a conversation.
- Being able to send virtual gifts (three gifts per day) – You can choose to send a virtual gift to another person; it’s a very effective way of breaking the ice and starting a conversation
- Being able to use the Username Search feature – As a free user, you’ll have access to the advanced search tool which may serve you well. But as a paid user, you’ll also get to search by username.
Service Plans – Overview
- You can fully date with the free plan
- Though largely free, there is a paid plan which gives a richer dating experience
Plenty Of Fish has only one service plan which is separated into three subscription packs using different billing periods – 3 months subscription pack, 6 months subscription pack, and 12 months subscription pack. Having only one service plan means that every member purchasing a POF pack will have access to the same features; the only difference between any two subscribers will be the length of time that the service can be accessed.
The three months pack cost $38.70, which works out to $12.90; the 6 months pack cost $51.00, which works out to $8.50 per month; while the 12 months pack cost $81.40, and works out to $6.78 per month. You’ll be better off with the long term subscriptions because they are heavily discounted.
It can also be seen that Plenty Of Fish will not burn your pocket if you do choose to buy any of its subscription packs. Its three months subscription is only as much as the month by month subscription of some of its competitors.
However, POF does not have a free trial. This means that you cannot test the premium services before you commit to the premium plan. What is more, POF subscription packs starts from 3 months, which means that you’ll be making a relatively long term commitment if you choose to upgrade to the POF premium plan.
Pricing – overview
- One service plan having three subscription packs
- Prices are competitive
- There is no month by month subscription
Full of fake and unserious profiles
The major stick with which POF has been flogged is that it is full of fake and/ or unserious persons. Many users respond to finding people in the platform who misrepresent everything about themselves (that is, they are not what they say they are).
It also does not help that there have been a lot of cases of unsuspecting POF members duped and raped by scam artists and rapist masquerading as fellow love seekers in the platform. And these are not just unfounded rumours; many of these offenders have been tried in reputable courts and have been sentenced accordingly.
It should be remembered that Plenty Of Fish is a free online dating service; as such, it attracts every element, from the just unserious to the chronic criminal-minded. It also does not help that POF does not show the same commitment to profile verification as some of its counterparts. For example, there is no email verification when registering, and there are no identity checks. Dating services committed to weeding out fakes have exemplary measures. For example, Lumen requires you to take a selfie for photo verification; LoveStruck requires you to submit a link to a social media account which will be cross-referenced for identity verification. At worst, the leading dating services have a team that checks users’ profiles in order to identify and remove fakes. But what POF does is just automated profiling and decision-making; there are no real humans checking profiles. Thus, the system is really not effective in weeding out fakes.
However, this does not mean that there are no serious love-seeking persons in POF. There are, but there can be just as many (or even more) unserious and fake persons. As a result, when using POF, you’ll need to spend a good deal of time and effort in going through its numerous charm-speaking user profiles, to distinguish the real charm form the fake charm.
Another complaint you’ll find about POF is that of unwanted charges because of its auto-renewal policy. That is, when you upgrade to its paid plans to enjoy its premium service, you’ll find that on the expiration of your subscription, it automatically renews to the tune of the previous pack. Thus, if you purchased a 3 months plan, your subscription will be extended by 3 months and you’ll be charged accordingly. However, the auto-renewal policy is not peculiar to POF; every dating service in the industry that charge fees will automatically renew.
While a case can be argued for auto-renewals because it makes for unbroken service; the problem with auto-renewals is that it can lead to unwanted charges. That is, someone may have stopped using the service, only to find out that he/ she is charged. That said; you may want to unsubscribe from auto-renewals as soon as possible so that you’ll not forget to and be kicked later with subscription charges.
Age Contact Restriction
It’s been mentioned that POF has certain age restrictions, particularly the (in)famous +/- 14-year contact restrictions. There cannot be contact between any two persons in the platform if your age difference is more than 14 years. For those under 22, the contact restriction is even stricter (they cannot contact anyone who is older by more than 9 years). POF believe (wrongly, if I may add) that there can be no meaningful relationship between individuals with an age difference of more than 14 years.
Needless to say, a lot of users are not impressed by the contact restrictions. You can count me as one of such unimpressed persons. However, it is not because I want to prey on those who I’m 14 years older than or take advantage of those who I’m 14 years older younger than, but it is because I don’t agree with POF’s reasoning that nothing meaningful can be had between persons with such a large age difference. I do not agree because I am a product of such a union, and my parents are still happy together after 40 years.
Is Plenty Of Fish legit?
Plenty Of Fish is legitimate. It is not a scam. Using a legit online platform is a no-brainer. When it comes to dating platforms, apart from the usual fear of being ripped off, there is the fear of being served heartbreaks and disappointment. Thus, the big question is whether POF is legit.
Our first check of legitimacy is usually legality; and Plenty OF Fish ticks that box. POF is owned by Match Group LLC, which is a 100% legal company. Suffice it to say that all the dating brands under the Group are also 100% legal.
Our second check of legitimacy is the test of time, and POF also ticks that box. The dating service was established in 2003, which means it has been operating for over one and a half decade. Suffice it to say that the scam platforms are usually short-lived. It’s only a matter of time before their scamming activity is exposed, and with such exposure, they disappear. On the other hand, POF has not only been in the game for so long, but it is the largest online dating service (by membership base).
However, the ultimate test of legitimacy is “fitness for purpose”; and despite all its problems, POF does tick this box. On the landing page of the website, you can view success stories; that is, stories of persons that POF has brought together for a wholesome relationship. If you do not trust such self-published claims, you can also find some POF success stories in the independent online review platforms.
That said; with POF being 100% legal, and having a long operating track record of successfully connecting singles, there is no doubt that it is a legit dating service.
Is Plenty Of Fish safe?
Plenty Of Fish is safe. Legitimacy is not enough in the online spheres. You also need a legit platform to be safe. The first aspect of safety is in the protection of users’ data. Personal information and transaction details (credit card details) that you supply when using a dating service should be prevented from leaking out to unauthorized persons.
POF says that it regularly monitors its systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks and that it regularly reviews its information collection, storage and processing practices to update its physical, technical and organizational security measures. Though the details of these measures are not provided, there is no reason not to assume that the dating service is safe.
Another aspect of safety is “making the service relatively free of fakes and scammers”. This is a no-brainer because while POF itself will not rip you off, scam artists that are not screened out of the platform can rip you off. This is where POF needs to get its act right. It’s been documented that POF verifications are nothing to write home about. The fact that it is free adds to the problem. Thus, it’s really no news that POF is full of fakes and scammers.
However, POF make features for reporting suspicious profiles easily accessible; and the dating service encourages its users to not shy away from making use of these features if need be. Thus, while POF is not really committed to preventing the entry of fakes into its system, at least it is committed to removing identified fakes.
Sites Similar to Plenty Of Fish:
Plenty of Fish is legit and also a pioneer of free dating services (you don’t have to pay to use it). As such, its membership base is one of the largest (if not the very largest) in the online dating world. This makes POF an ideal dating service if you want a large membership that gives the opportunity for more connections, or if you do not want to open the wallet/ purse to use a dating service.
However, Plenty Of Fish has almost non-existent verification and identity checks. Being free and having poor checks; it attracts all and sundry (including fakes and scammers). Yes, POF’s membership base is impressively huge, and volume of conversations in the site is unmatched. But the truth is that POF’s matches lack the quality of many of its premium counterparts.
In terms of dating features, POF holds its own against any dating service in the industry. The service is relatively easy to use, it provides matchmaking services, the search tool is advanced and allows users to filter profiles using a wide range of criteria, there are lots of interaction tools provided, and more. However, POF has a paid plan, and you may have to upgrade to the paid plan to have access to some of the rich features of the dating service.
- Almost all the mating features can be used free of charge
- The search tool is advanced and allows filtering using different criteria
- There is a large membership base
- The platform has a lot of fake and scam profiles
- You have to upgrade to a paid plan to get some important features like finding out whether your messages are read
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