Plenty of Fish and the Upgrade scam
When I was on Plenty of Fish in 2016, I “Upgraded” my account. That upgrade was just affording me a little more access to the site with profiles and this-and-that.
Between the lack of responses to social attempts and other judgments against POF, I cancelled my account in early fall. Done and over with. I move on.
Except in the payment area. POF has charged me – twice – since cancellation to continue the “Upgrade” subscription (despite the fact I no longer have an account with them).Every 3 months I will be charged $38.75.
I emailed POF’s highlighted Customer Service email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and lo-and-behold these two key areas of the email:
If you are an upgraded user, or have question about one of your payments, please send us a new email from the email address registered to your Upgraded POF account.
Replies to this email will be automatically deleted.
So, in essence, a customer service line that vows to ignore you? Pleasant, no?
Calling POF or your pay line (be it your bank, PayPal, or credit card company) may or may not get this resolved. In my case, I’m hearing impaired – while I can hear, I’m horrible with the phone.
Update 1: I contacted support again from another email address, this time I got no auto-response so someone may actually respond. The fact they weren’t clear about how my email wasn’t registered with their DB (when contacting from my original address) is an eye-rolling frustration-.
Update 2: Never a word back from POF after two emails sent over the past week. Great Customer Service, eh?
Update 3 [final update]: It’s 2:30 PM on Friday, Feb. 17 and I just received a refund notification and a payment suspension via PayPal.com. No direct response from POF. While this brings back th emoney taken by POF and stops the auto-rebill, it’s still a degree of cold social on their part. Never the less, mission accomplished.
The “interests” failings of Plenty of Fish
Months ago, I went after some online dating sites because of shortcomings of the platform. Years ago, I took shots at Plenty of Fish for shortcomings of some of the participants of the site. Plenty of Fish, for those who don’t know online dating sites, is a bare-bones service that’s just a mite more involved than Craigslist… Well, write ups can be shorter than Craigslist but the point is that it’s a minimalist dating service (now owned by Match.com).
One of what should be a nice guide for the site is an interest listing that’s able to be used with the service by its members. It’s sort of like keywords or topics, but applied to life. Of course this does lead to shortcomings by a segment of the user base on POF who don’t use detailed terms or words to describe what interests them. Others will make the error of using phrases and sentences like it’s a continuing conversation arm… But there is a segment that is just fine with showing thins that truly interest them or entertain them.
This is where Plenty of Fish screws up.
It’s not the aspect of having the tool that makes it fall short, to say the least, it’s how it doesn’t work easily or properly that is the problem. See, just to click on the topic of interest on a profile will give you a very generalized list of users on the site. I don’t mean linked to the interest, I mean you get a generalized list of users in a certain timeframe and nothing more.
Now, hold on there! What about Google searches and finding an actual page that shows users on POF who do use the tag? That’s got to work, right? Indeed, it does!!… and the list is of every gender and age group in the site DB who uses said tag, making it just a bit more difficult to find those who cater to your romantic wants, meaning the proper gender that matches your wants, the proper age range too. Oh and there is the silly little aspect of profiles being ancient in some cases.
Let me give you an example page here: I’m a Tampa Bay Lightning fan. Hell, I’m a known Tampa Bay Lightning blogger. Using the team and the sport as an interest to meet people would be wise, no? S, here you go! Interest page Tampa Bay Lightning gives you thousands of results (marked as “700+”) from the network with all genders using the term. That’s one hell of a tough pile to sort through. Especially because the profiles aren’t just unsorted by gender but also by profile age… A neglected or unused profile created years ago comes up in the search results and can show up in a primary position on search results pages.
But wait! There’s a search field at the very top of that page! Let’s try sorting through ages and genders to get it so a guy like me can find a woman. That’s where the next aspect of futility rises in Plenty of Fish; to use the sort field to search through the interest list brings inconsistent results and gives you general listings of the age group within the distance you sought. You also get hit, again, in that profile results may be ancient results from days gone by… Meaning those who didn’t delete their profile can come up as a search result despite the fact they no longer use the service. Yeah, that’s an aspect that can happen on just about any dating site… The thing is that Plenty of Fish gives you the recent-users option on other searches on the site. Just not within interest searches.
To list interests is just an attempt to show you a bit about the person listed on a dating site. It can spark curiosity or interest, or it can shy you away from a person if they’re keen on things you can’t stand. It’s useful subject matter that should be better utilized on that dating network. It’d just be better if the damn thing could actually produce a quality and detailed search result like it can with other aspects on the site.
A social reaction to an aloof social-media status response
I tend to be a wise ass when I set a status message on Facebook, or I’ll play around with pop culture, or music, or share small, small things in a very unclear way. It part of it is me trying to draw attention and yet also have positive interaction with friends. Talking about private issues in truth and honesty, as a guy, is going to just lead to complaints / mockery from guy friends.
It can also piss you off as hypocrites participate in comments.
Monday morning I dropped on to Facebook and one of the top status messages currently going on my timeline was a female friend telling a personal story tied to….bathroom stall graffiti. My friend is divorced, still trying to move on in life after the divorce (the marriage ended abusively). Between that status, written at sometime around 2 AM, and other thoughts dangling in my mind in recent days, I put up a very personalized status of my own – a little generalized and grandiose but the message was honest:
“Why is it the most mundane and yet immense social destination of life, love, is a journey that fails so completely for me? It’s an adventure with someone that just never materializes into the joint trip.”
A private status just went public, why? Because of the response I got. See, with a status like that you’d think to either be hands off or encouraging. That’s private and personal. What I got was a dense, reactionary reply from someone who had been who I had a very stunted journey with when it comes to love. Someone who was alienated by life, had long interest in me, and who threw it all away. We’ll put it that way. Someone who’s twice married and who slept around before, during, and after marriage:
“Love is elusive. You won’t find it if you are looking for it.”
That’d be a profound remark if the responder did not have ties to my statement, as someone I failed the journey with. And I’d willingly open up a conversation on the point – that I had some great leads when I was least looking for romance – if she wasn’t an example; an example of one, who wasn’t elusive but who dropped the entire idea when it was least convenient.
Love isn’t elusive. It’s too easy for some to find to be considered that way. The fact I hear of marriage and babies from so many friends of both genders I’ve known (some of whom I’ve been attached to) is counter to the notion of elusiveness. Even dating that lasts more than a single or few nights, or lustful romances that come and go… That’s something more than what I’m experiencing.
The only thing elusive is what path I have to take to actually find myself in a mutual romantic involvement without being taken for granted or used for the moment. Someone who wants to take the trip in life with me and someone I want right by my side for the trip.
The Definition of Insanity
A common saying is that the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing, over and over again, and expect a different result.
My heart is insane, my head is not. My heart hoped (hopes?) that a relationship that has turned long(er) distant will last, and my head knows exactly what was and is in store. In fact, it’s playing out in front of me right now and it hurts — being forgotten about and having my own actions overlooked and treated like less than they’re worth. Seeign someone being exceedingly self absorbed and feeling like I was only a egg-timer until this moment had arrived for her.
I need to let go. My heart is waiting for a sign of dedication from the girl / woman I’ve fallen for, but I know beter. I know better because I’ve been here before. I’ve done all I could, and now I have to wait for the pain to subside so I can move on… Because God knows I don’t get a rebound.
Waiting for Her Word
It’s been months since I posted anything on my personal blog here. Where am I? Is this sitei site dead?
I’m busy more often than not, and no – the Stonegauge is not dead. Â Just dormant. Â When I have been writing lately, it’s been personal and it’s been in the mail (didn’t I once say that it’s great getting letters in the mail?)… Â That or I am doing hockey stuff.
This off-season has afforded me more time for myself (which has been a good and bad thing). Â I’ve found escape in writing, an ability to immerse myself in a thought or idea, or a feeling and a story. Â It’s like a release, as it used to be when I would write a real good poem that conveyed something creatively.
Oh, I’m still doing poetry too. Â Just not much of it, thanks. Â That’s what this post is – a poem. Â Something I wrote a few months ago for an absent face.
bringing out the worst in me
It’s funny how some thigns come to you and inspire you to write or at least get the thoughts out someplace or another. In my case, it’s here on the Blog where the world can read, dissect, and make fun of whatever is bugging me.
In this case, it’s thoughts of the malignancies from this summer. Nothing new or fresh happened: the closest thing to news would be the fact I got a Christmas card from said malignance after the holiday. I didn’t even open it — because of the anger it brings out in me.
That’s the whole point of this post: It’s not healthy to brood about something that went wrong or something that happened in the past. It’s not healthy to sit on it and bubble over with thoughts that are just negative toward what happened. Negative and brooding.
A half hearted attempt in a card to thaw the ice didn’t exactly play well with me – not after five months of nothing. Nor would showing up in one form or another now and trying to play friendly. Thawing the ice isn’t going to happen when I have gotten to sit on the malignancies seven months.
But that’s not even supposed to be the point of this post. The stubbornness on display? The fact I am still angry after all this time? That’s the point — it’s bringing out the worst in me. Good friendships or other relationships are supposed to help you highlight your best thoughts and actions. The best of your character.
Chalk this up as another thing I’ve learned.
Stimulating an inferiority complex
I’ve got a friend who likes to highlight his frustrations and sometimes show off a perpetual defeatist attitude: One where he goes into a situation worried and “a wreck” and comes out worse off with no confidence at all. Usually these are either social situations where he’s trying to make inroads with a virtual stranger / romantic interest or job interviews where he feels like he has to sell himself.
Well, he has to do that in both… Or he’s certain of it. Sell who he is and what he stands for and demonstrate it.
In comparison, my worry is attaining these situations. I’m not fearful, going into it, of screwing up a job interview or a social meeting but I know that afterward I will worry that I did just that. Be it a job interview or a date. I don’t sell myself but I try to be myself.
But like I said, it’s attaining these things that worries me. That challenges me. That makes me a wreck and makes me frustrated. I scan over job listings and I see jobs I could do but then there is one, two, three, maybe a few other details that I know I couldn’t handle or things I cannot fill in because I lack those credentials. On dating sites, it’s seeing someone’s image and knowing that’s just what you want and then not getting a reciprocation of interest when you reach out to them. Or worse, “Thanks but no thanks.” Some dating sites are worse because you find out how “compatible” you are with someone and see you are not nearly their ideal… Or lack one or two key intangibles time and again on every single listing you read and requirements of what the other person wants.
You start doubting yourself and everything about yourself. Do you have skills? Absolutely. Do you have talent? Unquestionably. Do you have something to offer in a relationship? Undoubtedly…
…they just don’t seem to apply to anything you are applying for, though.
It feels like there is a phantom job that is out there just for you. There’s a phantom person that is waiting for you to drop into their lives. I’m not even talking about ideals here, but I am talking about something above bottom-of-the-barrel. I’ve been in both jobs and relationships that I ended up feeling were beneath me. The job didn’t make me feel so bad because I was being productive and I gave my all for my paycheck. You don’t get a “paycheck” in a relationship, so to speak, so you better damn well feel productive and happy with who you are with.
But in the hunt for either a job or a relationship, I end up feeling torn down before I even get a chance to make an attempt. That’s a repeatedly poor situation that just keeps popping up.
SMS / TXT — for lack of context, I am done with it
The last post — the video — got me thinking to some of my own endeavors with SMS / TXT messages over the years. I’ve spent hours on multitudes of people waiting for responses, hanging in limbo, hitting highs and lows over anagrams, or perhaps misinterpreting things that are being said or not getting the entire context of the story or getting to talking about anything of substance..
Enough of that shit.
Seriously, one or two messages from people who I normally converse with and share the context of their lives with is fine. Because txt is simply a surrogate while they can’t be in touch with me or I can’t be in touch with them via email, IM or on the phone.
But in certain cases, txt replaces chatting and it’s unhealthy. It leaves you out of the loop in general on people’s lives and you find yourself disconnected from them.
I may be hearing impaired but most people know how to get in touch with me if they want talk. But to keep doing it solely by txt? Sorry, not happening any more.
July 26th, 2008 Edit: I humored someone with this, the same person that sort of highlighted the lack-of-context aspects of txt/sms. Part of me wanted to keep the connection open… And decided to cater to the lazy aspect of said person.
…but that lack-of-context helped kill a long time friendship in the end. Lack-of-context led to lack of information, lack of information turned to lack of honesty and frankness, lack of this turned to disrespect and everything went
In limited use, sms/txt are a great tool. To keep in touch in general, you gotta be fucking kidding me.
Valentines Day disappointment hangover
Valentines Day is over commercialized.
It’s odd that t hsi very cynicism set myself up for a downfall yesterday. No, not that I forgot the holiday for a certain someone — it’s that I set myself up for the letdown by playing cynic with the cynic I had tagged as Valenine.
Me “Happy Valentines Day”
Them: “Happy Fake Holiday”
Me: “Happy bitter singles day”
The conversation went on to discuss how Spain has a special holiday for single/recently broken up with people ont eh day after valentines, but through all this I took it as a cue she hadn’t gotten my gift and thus was set up for a surprise.
Well, if she checked her PO Box.
Yeah, by compounding the cynicism I only built up the idea that I hadn’t gotten anything — that or the holiday has just become an excuse to put high ticket items on sale. Heaven forbid someone actually writes,/creates something personal in order to touch someone’s heart on what is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year.
Romance isn’t dead… Realism and cynicism are holding it hostage though and the retailers are paying for the hostage-takers risk.
A little advice, hai?
I’m going to a Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi bar tomorrow. I’ve never done Japanese meals — Sushi or Japanese prepared entries. That being said, I could use some advice on what to try or what to avoid.
I’d like to get through this without gagging, or without throwing up and looking like a fool (not that I can avoid it) too badly… So please comment away for, say, the next 16 hours…
I need to start paying heed to what I write
Back in July, I wrote a disgusted little message to myself:
Note to self: People make time for whatâ€™s important to them. Be they friends, ideas, events, etc. Proof of this is someoneâ€™s trip to (South Florida) while not being able to stop by while only a matter of blocks away during upteen days of (recent) past.
So what should we have learned here kids? “You make time for what’s important to you” as I said directly. You make time for kids, you make time for pets, you make time for friends and certainly for those you have interest in. When you or someone else doesn’t make that time – well, search down deeply enough to see if what’s important to you is as important as what is keeping you from those that matter to you.
Why am I bringing all this stuff up? Because after an eye opening encounter I’ve gone right back to this square one. From the point where I have someone aware of what’s been obvious for a while to right back to what I used to deal with.
Closing from that post in July that I linked to and quoted at the top? It still applies: And so it goes, and so it stays…
Do I have to say the words?
You know, I tried to find the perfect way to write up a story about my night last night but “Do I have to say the words?” seems perfect in describing it. What I thought was obvious had to be stated. What I thought was apparent, had to be admitted.
What comes from it remains to be seen, but at least I’m not sitting on things.
(this absolutely vague message was brought to you by Al Gore, astrologers everywhere and the letter O!)
Note to self
Note to self: People make time for what’s important to them. Be they people, ideas, events, etc. Proof of this is someone’s trip to Jupiter while not being able to stop by while only a matter of blocks away during upteen days of past.
So it goes, and so it stays…
J.J. Hardy and ChiSox at Devil Rays last Thursday
My friend Bryan Wolfe has been a Wisconsin sports fan since I met him — he was a die-hard Packers fan at age 14, and able to talk circles around most when it came to football. I admire the guy for it, I really do. His passion also carries over to the Milwaukee Brewers and the Bucks in the NBA.
Of course with the Brewers exploding in the NL Central as baseball’s best team, Bryan is feeling vindicated for holding onto his belief that the Brewers were on the verge of something special.
With all of that in mind, I’m writing this for Bryan who was dumbstruck last Thursday at the Devil Rays / Chicago White Sox game at Tropicana Field. I don’t know all the details and I don’t want to paint this as a reaction specifically because of his Milwaukee sports pride, but my friend is now smitten with a girl who wore a Brewers jersey to the game. Not just any Brewers jersey but JJ Hardy.
Jenny, are you out there?
With exact circumstances unbeknownst to me, Bryan and Jenny struck up a conversation somewhere in and around the stadium and Jenny wowed Bryan with her insight and knowledge. She invited him to sit with her and another guy but Bryan chickened out because she was “with someone.”
That someone being her uncle, he would later find out.
So, if you’re reading this Brewers-fan-Jenny who attended last Thursday’s Rays-Chisox game in St. Petersburg with your uncle — Bryan is searching ever so desperately to get in touch with you again. He’s planning on attending more Rays games because he thinks you are a regular and hopes that will do the trick.
Me? I’m blogging for my good friend in hopes that you somehow stumble across this on the World Wide Web. Lord knows I’ve had others do that before whom I never would have suspected to ever see things I wrote.
Strong for them, hell for you
How many times have you been supportive of someone who is close to you or who has meant something to you in the past, all the while you end up feeling like crap for doing it? Not because of you giving support to this person, but because of the topic?
It’s almost like what should lead to a breakup… Being there for someone but feeling trampled on in the relationship. You care and want to be there but you can’t keep being a friend for someone when they don’t respect you or even consider what certain topics/phrases do to you inside.
Respect… And Disrespect. If you are there for someone when they need you and they aren’t there for you, if you will apologize to someone about things – but they won’t ever apologize about any anger they’ve caused… It’s just not healthy and just not worth it. Friendship or more — it’s a two way street.
Show me some respect or find another person to dump on… I’m not playing the inanimate teddy bear any longer.
You know, last year I played the scorned and jaded lover… Last year I wrote about how I hurt and how I felt used and blah blah blah. I was worshipping Bitter Singles Day and writing a tome to them (which I will not link to tonight becuase I feel sick :p ).
It’s funny the difference a year can make….
This year I am kissing strangers and joking around, in good spirits. This year I am waiting eagerly for that special someone who is my left hand. This year I feel complete. This year I’m in love once again.
This year is a different world and I am glad I returned to it.
That being said, I still must send out regards to the lonely out there — there is hope and it will hit… Just make sure you keep your morals high and don’t bend for a moment. Don’t fool yourself iwth false emotion. It’ll be surprising when you find them… It is for me.
Just what am I thankful for? Just what is there to be thankful for?
For starters, having readers like you actually viewing my web page. Hello, how are you? 🙂
I’m thankful for electronics and for the mesh of the electronic and the biologic that gives me a chance to hear again.
I’m thankful that George Dubya Bush hasn’t blown us all to hell yet – though I don’t think it will be much longer if the fool gets to remain in charge for a while.
I’m thankful for the internet….
For Sarah Marie….
For Target Corporation and giving a guy who can’t hear that well a chance to do a job on the sales floor.
Speaking of Target, I’m thankful I still have use of my legs, feet and arms after getting worn out pushing, shoving and lifting stuff and putting them on to shelves.
I’m thankful for Jon Gruden, for the Glazer family proving that they aren’t as incompetent as they are shrewd, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneer sand 9-2 as of this writing….
For the Tampa Bay Lightning proving me wrong and starting off very hot this season. I am very thankful for that.
For Lou Pinella Coming back to TB to coach the Devil Rays who play like Deviled Eggs.
For the Beatles and Sony Music not suing my ass, and for the fans who supported me while they threatened… I am most certainly thankful for this.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving everyone 😀
First off, a week until my birthday…. Donations and death threats can be sent to the Stonegauge….
Have you ever found your heart just aching for someone you know? Someone who remembers something, or makes a routine joke that they’ve made before… Someone who says something truly sweet to you or someone who admittedly thinks about you all the time….
I never really knew love, mutual love, until now. I can’t give details, I can’t give mug shots, I can’t even tell you why this has happened or how but I can say I’m happy right now…. :smile
And upset at the same time. I will remain vague just because
Rays are finally out of my misery right now. It’s been a long and pathetic season. I joked on www.emailtherays.com that the team is changing it’s name tot he “Groundhog Days” (in honor of Bill Murray’s movie) because they are putrid at every level… over, and over, and over again and never get it right.
Meanwhile, the Bucs kicked ass Sunday 😀