Do you find it weird that, in most websites, each occurrence of the word “eHarmony” or “Free Communication Weekend” is always a clickable link?
That’s because promoting online dating sites is a large and lucrative industry. Wherever you find text like these, even in some news sites, the links are rigged so these sites get a commission from $20 to $65 for each sale that eHarmony makes.
It’s a good source of income.
Look at the table of payouts, as of June 2009.
It’s no wonder some of these sites have lengthy glowing reviews about eHarmony.
FACT: The only place ever you need to click a link to receive an eHarmony discount are inside eHarmony’s periodic “Exclusive Offer” emails. We’re furious because hundreds of sites out there trick the public.
- The referral click is saved on your browser in a cookie. Without intervention, your browser remembers the click for 30 or 45 days.
- When a sale is made, eHarmony grants the promoting site the commission if eHarmony detects such a remembered click.
- eHarmony remembers only the last click prior to the sale, so clicking another site’s promotional link makes it forget the previous one.
- This explains why many sites recommend the pricier 6-month or 12-month plan.
- Sales from automatic renewals are not paid commissions.
- There is no “Opt-out” button to this.
How NOT to give out commissions
Here is a brief tutorial to stop giving a site the commission when buying an eHarmony subscription. One reason could be because the site tricked you to clicking their link.
The Easy way: Replace it with one of a search engine
The easiest way is to replace the tracking cookie with that of a site you do want to support. Those that come to mind are search engines.
- Search your favorite search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing (MSN), Ask, etc.) for the term “eHarmony”.
- Click the eHarmony “sponsored link”.
- You’re done!
Search engines don’t receive commissions, but the more clicks the eHarmony ads on search engine results receive, the more eHarmony pays to advertise on the search engine.
The Hard way: Remove the cookie from your browser.
Here are the step-by-step instructions for removing this cookie.
Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8
- Open the Tools menu, then click Internet Options.
- Under “Browsing History” click Settings.
- Click “View Files”
- On the window that opens, search for a file named “cookie:username@eharmony”, where username is your Windows username.
- Delete that file
Mozilla Firefox 3
- Open the Tools menu, then click Options.
- Under “Privacy” click Cookies.
- Click “View Cookies”
- On the window that opens, search for a cookie named “eh_eff_tracking” from the site “eharmony.com”
- Delete that cookie
- Open the Settings menu (it looks like a wrench), then click Options
Click “Under the Hood” and under “Privacy” and “Cookies settings”, click “Show Cookies”
- On the Search box, type “eharmony”
- Delete the cookie named “eh_aff_tracking”
You may delete all the other eHarmony cookies, too, if you like. They are no help to members, anyway.
With the cookie gone, you can now go ahead and buy a subscription.