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Last year I went to Toronto on business to meet with a dating site in stealth mode. While I was there I spent some time at the offices of Ashley Madison. I don’t particularly love the particular brand of Kool-Aid that they were selling, but that’s besides the point. They have identified a market, they own it and they’ve found thousands of people to pay for the service each month, good for them.

Recently Global Dating Insights mentioned that Ashley Madison Charges $19 For Full Profile Delete. This kind of business practice really grinds my gears. It doesn’t surprise me that AM charges $19 to run an SQL database query while most other dating sites have automated the process and offers it for free. Squeeze customers for everything you can, right?

Forcing people to pay money to be removed from the site plays right into the idea that extra-marital affairs are bad. If cheating on your spouse is the only option to save the relationship, and it’s “healthy” for people to do this, then why the full delete option? I guess the logic is, “I screwed around with a few women, now I appreciate my wife, so I’m going to pay $20 to erase all proof that I was ever on the site.” Does the $20 include a note to my wife? Maybe a dozen roses and a nice card with a pithy quote about not getting Herpes?

CEO Biderman explained:

We’ve developed a product where we’ll go back in time and remove photos and conversations that you’ve had. We feel it’s more than fair to charge a nominal fee to take that away.

I think he meant to say, “We figured out a way to get 16,000 cheaters to pay $19 a month to run a stored query that takes around .003 seconds to automatically run. We could have offered this for free, but cheaters are going to pay, one way or another and we want that money.”

Warning to singles, if you have to email, call, fax or pay a company to get deleted from a site, you’ve unfortunately picked the wrong company to do business with and you’re not gonna have a good time trying to get yourself removed. True.com used to pull that crap all the time, and look where that got them.

$350,000 a month to run a simple database query! Whatever you say about Ashley Madison, they’ve figured out a way to monetize cheating, I mean relationship-saving, to a degree that nobody else has been able to replicate.