Scam (skam): A deceptive sale of goods or services to a consumer designed to extract money unreasonably excessive given the services rendered or goods provided, if any. (duhaime.org)
My name is Derek Gordon, and I first created a profile with Positive Singles on May 2, 2009. Since then, I have answered a lot of questions in various STD forums about PS from people wondering if they would be wasting their time and/or money by signing up. Having spent countless hours within the site testing its features since then, my hope is that any questions you may have about Positive Singles will be addressed and answered on this page.
I will be looking at the following criteria in detail:
- Does Positive Singles let you ‘try before you buy’? How?
- Is Positive Singles rife with spammy and scammy profiles? What is their policy on this matter?
- Does Positive Singles employ fraudulent tactics to lure you into a paid membership?
- Does Positive Singles make it difficult to cancel a paid membership?
- Do they supply contact information beyond an email address?
- Does Positive Singles have a proven record of success?
What is Positive Singles?
Established in 2002, PositiveSingles.com is a popular dating site aimed at matching people with a variety of STD’s. Although it has a global presence, its users are primarily within the United States and Canada. The variety of STD’s that Positive Singles users are living with include HSV-1, HSV-2, HIV, HPV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Chlamydia.
Like the vast majority of dating websites, you are able to create a profile and use some basic search and communication functions for free. If you upgrade to a ‘Gold’ membership, all search and communication functions can be used in whole.
As a free member, Positive Singles actually gives you a little more in the way of communications options than many other paid dating sites. You are able to initiate interest by sending a ‘wink’; you are able to communicate in the forum; you are able to create a blog and respond to others’ blogs; you are able to respond to emails sent to you by paid members. In essence, what you can’t do without upgrading is initiate emails to other members and participate in live chat.
On the downside, search is rather limited with a free membership only, though you are still able to do basic searches and see who is available in your city, state or province.
Does Positive Singles let you ‘try before you buy’? Yes.
One of the hallmarks of scammy (or neglected) dating sites is the scourge of illegitimate member profiles – usually promoting some adult service or other – that go unpunished by the site administration.
The admin at Positive Singles approve all profiles manually, so such time-wasters are virtually non-existent. A few slip through the cracks, but a quick email sent to PS support rectifies the problem quickly. In addition, Positive Singles offers a bonus 1-month gold membership to members who report scam profiles to them.
Positive Singles’ scam warning is as follows:
“We take Scams seriously. If you scam our members, you will be held liable for damages to PositiveSingles. PositiveSingles.com reserves the right to investigate and take appropriate legal action in its sole discretion against anyone scamming the website.”
Are illegitimate member profiles a problem on Positive Singles? No.
Another common practice of ‘crooked’ dating sites is to send you emails notifying you of other members’ interest, while a little investigation reveals that the so-called interested member is actually an employee of the dating site. These dating sites will legitimize this practice by including small print in the profile that describes the person as a site ‘ambassador’. The purpose is to entice you from a free to a paid membership in order to contact the ‘interested member’.
In my experience, having received dozens of ‘winks’ and emails from interested members, I have never seen Positive Singles engage in this practice. In addition, this practice is not mentioned by any free or paid Positive Singles’ members on the lengthy Positive Singles thread in the popular herpes-coldsores.com forum.
Does Positive Singles use fraudulent means to get you to upgrade? No.
Here’s one of the favored practices of online scam sites: You purchase a product or membership, assured that there is a money back guarantee, or that cancelling your membership is simple, and with no questions asked. When you want a refund or to cancel a service, however, you discover that you need to contact someone who never gets back to you, or stalls so that you are billed in the next cycle.
With Positive Singles, cancelling your membership is pretty easy & does not require emailing their support team. It can be done within your ‘My Account’ page, and instructions to do so are clearly laid out when you click on ‘Help/FAQ’ (on the bottom of each page), then ‘Membership’, then ‘How do I stop the automatic renewal?’.
Can you easily cancel a paid membership with Positive Singles? Yes.
Although it is a little odd that they do not list their phone number in the ‘Contact’ section of their website, they do have a 24/7 hotline number listed in the ‘Billing History’ section (under ‘Other membership services’ on your account page). I have called this number twice to resolve minor problems, from the hours of 9pm to midnight, and was able to get through to an agent quickly to resolve the issues.
In addition, there is email support and a postal address listed in the ‘Contact’ section, and a ‘live support’ option for upgraded members on the bottom left hand side of all pages within your account.
Are there various ways of contacting Positive Singles’ administration? Yes.
Positive Singles lists over 400 success stories on their website. Although it’s debatable whether this is a ‘proven’ record, their testimonials appear to be legitimate based on the detail and the inclusion of photographs for many as well. There is no record of complaints or FTC investigations into PositiveSingles.com regarding their testimonials.
The PS success stories link can be seen on the bottom of the Positive Singles homepage (as well as all other pages after registration).
Does Positive Singles have a proven record of success? Yes, apparently so.
This is all fine and good – but can you actually find a match on Positive Singles?
As with any popular dating site, there are always certain demographics more likely to find a match than others. To illustrate who is most likely to be satisfied with Positive Singles, I tested the site and recorded my results in the following articles:
Finding a ‘Living With’ Match at Positive Singles – This article explains how likely you are to find success with PS if you have HSV-1, HSV-2, HIV, HepC, etc
How Active is Positive Singles? – Activity on dating sites is often an issue; in this article I look at how active different groups are who are seeking others with HSV-2 and HIV.
Gay or Lesbian on Positive Singles? – A look at number of profiles of gay men & women on PS compared to other popular HIV & HSV dating sites.
Positive Singles in Canada – Positive Singles has a huge presence in the U.S.; how does it match up in Canada against other popular HIV & HSV dating sites?