Friday, June 22, 2007

Winning the eHarMoney game...

As you've noticed, eHarmony promotional rates are common. And they're quite substantial.

Without a promotional code, eHarmony can cost $60 per month - making it one of the most expensive "online dating" services.

With a promotional code, eHarmony can cost $20 per month - making it one of the cheapest.

Obviously, eHarmony doesn't provide discounts this substantial without some conditions. These discounts are only offered to people who have allowed their subscriptions to lapse, or who never started to pay for the service.

Not a big deal, you say. If you wait until your subscription expires, you're eligible to use a promotional code, right?

Well, recently, eHarmony got tricky.

If you don't call to cancel your subscription... they will automatically renew it. They'll give you a small discount for autorenewal, but it's not nearly as much as you can get with a promotional code.

And if you cancel your subscription - your entire profile will disappear. You've got to call eHarmony, and beg them to reopen your account. And, unless you're a very smooth negotiator, you won't get the promotional discount.

So, how can you still use promotional codes?

Well, I happen to have a Visa gift card handy. To eHarmony, it looks just like a regular Visa card. But it only has $2 left on it.

So... when it comes time for autorenewal - I get an email letting me know that my card has been declined.

Ignore the email a few times, and they'll eventually let the account expire.

(Actually... they'll keep your account open a few extra days. Which is awfully nice of them....)

And now, you have an open, expired account. So you're eligible for the promotional code.

Use the code, put in a valid credit card, renew.

Wait awhile longer, change it back to the gift card.

Repeat as necessary.

And that's how to beat them at their own game.

Oh, and if you don't know where to get a Visa gift card... here's Visa's listings of where they can be bought.


Uncle Fester said...

I purchased my subscription online with a "virtual account number" though my credit card - a temporary number valid for only one use. It should be rejected when eHarmony tries to auto-renew. Same effect, I hope.

Scott Grey said...

That should work too. But "virtual accounts" are becoming rarer.

eHarmony Blog said...

Hmm, you guys need valid credit card numbers?