As the most popular dating service on the Internet, Match is confident that it will help you find your special someone. In fact, they guarantee that if you haven't found a suitable match within your first six months of using the website, the next six months of using the website won't cost you a dime!
Sounds like a pretty good deal, right? Well, as the saying goes, "if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Match.com's guarantee means that they're potentially giving away their paid service for free, so they're very strict when it comes to what you need to do to be eligible for that guarantee.
Match.com Guarantee rules
As you will see in the pop-up window of information below about the guarantee, there are already a few rules that you have to follow in order to qualify for it.
The very first paid subscription that you choose MUST be for 6 months (bundle or basic). Choosing any other plan first (even if it would add up to 6 months eventually, like six 1-month instalments or two 3-month instalments) will automatically make you ineligible for the guarantee, even if you choose to switch to a 6-month plan later.
During the initial 6-month period, you have to create a profile that is truthful (remember, it now runs background checks on its users for security reasons, so they'll know if someone's running a scam), includes at least one main photo of yourself (that is approved within the first week of your subscription), and is kept publicly visible at all times.
During each month of the initial 6-month period, you have to use Match.com's email system to communicate with at least 5 people whom you haven't communicated with already. This means that you have to have had contact with at least 30 different people over the course of 6 months via its email system. Of course, it never hurts to communicate with a few extra people to make sure that you're meeting the eligibility requirements.
Also note that winks, phone calls, or instant messages don't count; only emails do. And they have to use Match's email system; they can't be to or from an outside email account.
Redeeming the Guarantee
There is one other major thing to mention about this guarantee. Even if you maintain your eligibility for it the whole way through, Match won't (or can't) automatically assume that you want to redeem the free 6-month extension once your initial 6-month subscription runs out. These two paragraphs of "the fine print" shown here spell this out:
Basically, what this says is that if you are initially eligible for the guarantee (by making your first subscription for 6 months), you get an extra page on your account that will let you see if you are still eligible for the guarantee or not, and what you need to do to keep yourself eligible.
Now, here's the really important part about this "Guarantee Eligibility Progress" page: if you're still eligible for the guarantee during the last week of your initial 6-month subscription, you MUST go to this page, tell Match that you haven't found your "special someone," and tell them that you wish to redeem the guarantee for a free 6-month extension of their service.
The sooner you do this, the better. As we mentioned in our article on how much Match.com costs, Match is a very large and popular website, so it will take time for their customer service team to process any requests related to subscriptions and billing.
This is the part that a lot of disgruntled former users missed when they tried to get the free 6 months. They assumed that they would automatically give them the guaranteed extra time if they fulfilled all of the eligibility requirements, or they waited until it was too late to explicitly tell Match that they wanted to redeem the guarantee. Instead, what happened was that Match assumed that they didn't want to redeem the guarantee, and instead just renewed their 6-month subscription and billed them for it as usual.
Again, vigilance and being proactive are crucial when it comes to making sure that you don't pay for more than what you're using or being offered. Know when your subscription starts and ends, check your "Guarantee Eligibility Progress" page to make sure that you're following the rules, and give its customer service team as much notice as you can when confirming that you want to redeem the guarantee.