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|Reviewed by: Will Peters|
|Number of Reviews: 41|
|Average Score: 72|
Initial review: 1/25/2010
Many people use online dating to cheat on their partners, so Ashley Madison just addresses it straight up. As their motto ("Life is short. Have an affair.") suggests, they keep a sense of humor about everything. The pink and grey site design has a decidedly feminine feel and the simple layout makes navigation a breeze. There's even a panic button that directs you to a PG site, in case your beloved enters the room.
AshleyMadison.com works by buying credits that are spent on sending emails, instant messages, etc. This setup has the potential to get costly, but it remains affordable. You only have to pay for the first email sent to a member with all subsequent correspondence free. You can even send messages "collect," meaning the recipient pays before viewing, so purchasing tokens isn't absolutely necessary.
AshleyMadison promises you can have an affair if you buy their Affair Guarantee Program, which consists of 1,000 credits and a list of monthly quotas you must maintain over 90 days, including emails sent and time spent instant messaging. It's a clever device to keep people active. Adding up the minimum credits you'll need comes to just under 1,000, so don't be surprised if you have to purchase more.
If you follow their guidelines, they'll offer a full refund if unsuccessful. The terms and conditions, however, don't explicitly state what they consider an "affair." The FAQ uses the phrase: "If you have not encountered someone special," so in all likelihood an affair in this case means a person-to-person interaction.
The lifeblood of any dating site is the amount of women available. Unfortunately, search results don't display how many hits you get. Everyone is required to post a picture within 30 days. However, many people keep it hidden until contact is made. In all, about 70 percent of the profiles have a visible picture. Members can also post racy pics and save them in a private showcase where they can invite members to view them.
Many people don't describe themselves in detail beyond the boxes they ticked regarding what they're into, what they're looking for, etc. I can't say with certainty that there are fake profiles, but I did notice a few women using amateur pornstar pics to represent themselves. There's a members' feedback section to each profile where people can assign notes like "salacious" and "better in person."
Ashley Madison keeps things simple, which is its biggest asset and detriment. There aren't many bells and whistles, but you never feel overwhelmed. As for the Affair Guarantee Program, if you apply the same rules to any mainstream dating site you would most likely find success. Then again, those sites don't offer a money-back guarantee if you don't.
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