Bumble, How do I hate thee, let me recount the ways
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Upon sign-up, bumble silently discarded all the photos I uploaded (except for one) then gave me grief for failing the photo verification routine.
I had to dig through their site just to find the link to actually contact customer support — it was not easy to find.
I had to fight with customer service to get verified and I learned that bumbles customer support messages carry this self-congratulatory message at the end that says something like
> we feel we have done a great job of solving your problem…
Ironically enough, this was sent by a bot that cannot feel, and it is sent without any person making a judgment or determination as to whether or not the matter was actually fixed or even addressed at all. Their bot had not solved my problem even a little bit and was simply a generic canned response that ignored completely the issue I was attempting to raise. At this point I am wondering how in the world their user experience person thought that this was a good idea. I found it unbelievable and infuriating to have them 1. respond with a bot at all instead of taking the time to actually address my issue 2. the response completely ignored my issue and just re-presented me with copy-pasted material and 3. It roundly congratulates itself for doing such a great job after having issued an automated copy-paste response.
I eventually managed to sign-up. Doing so was already very unpleasant. It wasn’t until after I completed sign-up and verification that I realized it had discarded all of the pictures that I attempted to upload, which is why I had such difficulty during the photo verification step. One failure compounding into another, and technically I hadn’t even used the platform yet.
Broken scrolling on the contact/support page
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I do not use bumble on a phone or the app. I use the website on a laptop.
When I go to the contact page: https://us1.bumble.com/help-search?q=contact#contact-us , there simply are no scroll bars and no built-in way to scroll on the page. If I wasn’t technically savvy enough to know that I could use the pageup/pagedown (or arrow) keys to scroll then I would be unable to actually initiate a support request because my browser does not display the form properly or allow me to fill it out. Considering how hard it is to find this form in the first place, and how difficult it is to use it, it’s almost as if Bumble is intentionally trying to keep users from finding and using the contact form. Coupled with the self-congratulatory bot message, this is easily the worst support experience I can imagine. If someone was trying to hide the form and make it unusable they could not have done a better job.
This is an exceptionally poor place for this error to occur. If I didn’t know about the pageup/pagedown keys, I would be unable to initiate a support request. If, for example, that support request was necessary to sign-up for the platform at all (because it discarded all my pictures and failed me on the photo verification step) then this combination of errors means that a user would be unable to sign up for the service or receive any support. I trust I do not need to explain further why this is a Bad Thing.
Pointless women-must-message-first feature
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This feature would have been a great idea if it wasn’t obligatory for both parties to match on each other in the first place before any communication can be had.
At this point the woman has already taken initiative to demonstrate some level of approval of the other party.
Presumably no one matches on people they are uninterested in hearing from.
This feature is redundant and provides no value to the users.
I posit it serves exclusively as an excuse to allow Bumble to say that they are empowering women/changing the dating scene.
If that is the case, then they are basically just exploiting the trend of empowering women (without actually doing so) in order to bolster their product’s image.
For the record, I am a woman and do not feel that this feature benefits me in any way. As a woman, I am not content with superficial actions that have no actual effect on the dating process being considered “empowerment”. It feels very superficial and since it actually has no effect it leaves people believing that women have been empowered when they have not — which in my unsolicited opinion is worse than being “un-empowered”, because it makes people believe the problem has been solved (or at least helped) when it has not.
No room to explain anything about yourself
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Bumble technologically enforces and pretty much guarantees that all matches will be based exclusively on pictures and physical appearance rather than substance of character.
How am I supposed to get the vaguest idea of who someone really is when they are allotted less than a single paragraph to explain everything about who they are?
Why Bumble would place arbitrary limitations on the length of your content is beyond me — my best guess is that someone on the user interface team made a stink and said it has to be this way to it display correctly on the phone app. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that there *must* exist some limit — you don’t want someone uploading gigabytes to his “about me” section and crashing the app. But 350 characters? That’s barely a single paragraph. This does have an effect in practice; People have to communicate with emojis because they do not have the space to try and explain who they are in English. At first when I saw people whose profiles consisted of mostly emojis I did not care for it, but then I realized it wasn’t their fault and that they were simply trying to work around the shortcomings of the platform.
Basic functionality does not work
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When I first got on Bumble I set my preference to show me woman and men.
Eventually I changed my preference setting to women, but Bumble simply does not care and continues to show me men.
And just to be sure, when men pop up I go and check my settings. Yes, it really is set to only show me women.
And no, I am not confusing androgynous women, non-binary people, etc. Yes I realize that some people have a gender identity that is not implied by their physical appearance.
However, I’m not stupid or uninitiated in the world of gender queerness, and I know a man when I see one. And I know a whole bunch of men when I see them.
I am genuinely unsure of how someone on the bumble team thought this would be a good idea or how they otherwise failed to implement such basic functionality.
A dating site where the preference selector for whether you want to see men/women doesn’t work? When I set it to show me only women, how is it not clear that I want to see only women? Why is Bumble blatantly ignoring my preference and making this decision for me?
When you couple this with the sites claim about “empowering women” it’s just shameful. The platform claims to empower women while refusing to respect my decision to date women and not men?
“Show me women and men”
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“Show me women and men” apparently means “show me men 90% of the time and women 10% of the time”.
The obvious imbalance here leads to a consequence that bisexual women are almost guaranteed to never match with other bisexual women, at least not without swiping through hundreds of men first.
Speaking of “empowering women”… (“Moves making impact”)
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Women (and only women) are *obligated* to associate themselves with and promote an organization, and what these organizations actually *do* is never seriously explained. Sure, they all *sound like* good things, but the name or even stated goal of the organization means nothing with regard to what do they actually do.
Because nothing says “empowering women” better than forcing women to do things, even more so when it is something that men aren’t obligated to do.
In fact, this appears to be commoditizing the presence of women on the platform.
More women means more money goes to these “causes”.
Then remember all the rhetoric about empowering women. Ridiculous.
“Come back or you’ll never see them again”
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Are you a man that matched with a girl that really made your heart sing, only to be “ignored” by her and lose her forever because she wasn’t addicted to the platform and dared to go longer than 24 hours without using it? Are you a woman that feels like you’re obligated to use the platform every day just to make sure you don’t miss who you might have matched with yesterday? The 24-hours-to-engage-a-conversation-before-they-disappear-forever is an addiction mechanism that only benefits the platform and not the users. It serves to ensure that the users have to come back to the platform every single day unless they want to miss out on someone it matched them with a while ago. Take a poll among the users and ask them how well this feature has served to make them happy, and how often it has served to crush their soul. I sincerely doubt this feature is creating happiness in the world or enabling relationships. Intentionally making something addictive is, shall we say, uncool.
It shows people that are nearby… Not people that live nearby
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As far as I can tell, Bumble does not show you people that live nearby. It shows you people whose physical presence happens to be nearby.
What’s the difference? I live within the range of a major airport.
I get a lot of potential “matches” with people waiting for a plane at the airport that actually live hundreds or thousands of miles away.
If you’re just looking for a casual evening then maybe that might be ok. Maybe in the one or two days that this person will be present you can meet with them and do your thing.
However, I am specifically not looking for something casual, and if you do not live nearby then you cannot help me. And my profile says that I’m not looking for something casual.
It is not helpful or advantageous for Bumble to show me people that merely are nearby rather than people that actually live nearby.
It is counter-productive and wastes my time (and the limited number of matches you are allocated per day) with people that I for sure will not be with.
There is no option to express a preference for people that happen to be nearby versus people that live nearby.
The only option is the distance slider, which as demonstrated only controls how far away someone happens to be rather than where they live.
Oh, and to top it off, Bumble does not respect your distance preference anyways.
I routinely see people who are clearly beyond the maximum distance that I set. More basic functionality that simply does not work.
You are not allowed to set your location
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If you physically relocate, the only way to update your location is to give bumble permission to access your devices location.
You are not allowed to simply enter your location into the field.
Some people specifically do not want bumble to have permission to interrogate their devices location, and this “feature” is an attempt to subvert that attempt at preserving ones privacy.
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A platform that:
- lacks basic functionality
- consciously attempts to addict its users
- pretends to empower women in order to bolster their own image
- technologically reinforces instead of solving known problems with online dating
all while claiming to be a revolution in dating?
Bumble is supposed to be the ultimate dating platform… If this is really as good as it gets then that would explain the hopeless despair that I felt when using it.
A Final Note
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**If there are no women on your dating platform, then you don’t have a dating platform**.
I cannot continue to use Bumble.
Technical issues (or excuses) aside, I do not want to contribute to the success of this platform. The way bumble preaches about empowering women while taking advantage of them is just too appalling. The refusal to allow me to set my own location was the last straw.