Sunday, December 20, 2009

Support Grindr X - An old way to rip off unsuspecting gays



I recently signed up to Grindr X. I have the free version of Grindr, and have been using it for quite a while. I've been wanting to purchase the X version for quite some time, because I assumed (wrongly) that it allowed things that the free version doesn't. Things like putting x-rated pictures (X meaning X-rated in my mind) on profiles, and using language not normally allowed on the free version (fuck, cock, blowjobs, etc.). I thought it allowed a place for all of us seeking hook ups, and not just friendship or relationships, a place to hang out and get screwed, blown or whatever our fancy, while wandering around with our iPhones.

I discovered immediately that I was wrong. When I looked more carefully at the specifications, the only difference is that we get 100 more guys on our list. That might be a benefit, except that I live in an area where there aren't 200 gay iPhone users. So I get an additional 100 Grindrs who live too far away from me to hook up with, or even have a relationship/friendship with. Right now I'm in a small town visiting family and friends for the holidays, and I get men showing up who are 140 km away minimum, to 2611.1 km away. What good is that to me, unless I have unlimited airmiles, an unlimited budget or I'm an inflight attendant?

It's the 'Brand Name' that made me assume all of these fabulous benefits of signing up for Grindr X. "X" in the dating world clearly suggests X-rated. Naked pictures of men, cock, asses, chests. Maybe even a couple going at it with each other. I doubt I'm the only person who's been let down and misled by the name. I had hoped I could change my profile to read, "Looking to fuck now" when the urge hit me.

What really irritates me is that Grindr states, "The cost of the download only covers usage for one month. After 30 days you will be asked if you want to continue your subscription to Grindr X for an additional fee. That fee will not exceed the cost of the download. Each subsequent month you will be given the option to renew your subscription - you will never be charged authomatically."

The fact that I'm paying for this version of the application at all is bad enough, but requiring that I pay for it once a month if I wish to continue using it is heresy.

So I don't have to look at advertising with Grindr X - is this really a benefit? I actually really enjoy the advertising on Grindr. It's highly relevant - it often shows apps I am interested in, and it is directed to a gay audience - me. I have clicked on the advertising dozens of times while on the free version of Grindr, and even purchased apps as a result of their advertising. And being very web experienced, like all iPhone users, I can tune out advertising without any effort when I choose to.

Finally, the download link states, "Grindr X - support Grindr." Support Grindr... Why? They are a for-profit company, not a non-profit organization offering important social programs to the GLBT company. In fact, I doubt they would even allow transsexuals to put profiles on the site.

This marketing tactic that suggests "I will be supporting Grindr by paying for useless new features, because it is equivalent to a non-profit GLBT organization that promotes social causes" is what makes me think it is a clever, but not new way to rip off naive gay men, whose pockets actually have limits.

I put the URL of my blog up on the site, to see just how long they will allow me to advertise my opinions. I'll give it two days. So far, it's been up just one. I'll keep you posted.