About Zoosk

Established in 2007 and based out of San Francisco, CA, Zoosk is an online dating service that helps millions of individuals find their most compatible matches based on similar interests, passions, goals, and more. A highly funded company that is backed by a variety of big-name ventures, Zoosk caters to all demographics, regardless of age and/or sexual orientation. While Zoosk is available internationally and in 25 different languages, the bulk of their services are primarily geared for a U.S.-based dating audience.

Zoosk Features

Getting started with Zoosk is fairly straightforward, and completely free. First, you’ll need to fill out your personal details (e.g. height, ethnicity, current relationship status, religion, educational level, etc.), and answer a few questions (e.g. favorite music/books/movies, your ideal dating experience, etc.). Then, after confirming your email address, you’ll be able to immediately start browsing profiles and pictures of other singles, as well as view additional information such as their interests, stories, relationship status, and more.

When searching for other singles, you can narrow results within a certain distance of your location, and can also filter by religion, body type, children, etc. One of the unique features about Zoosk is their “compatibility” feature, which works by listing your compatibility level with another single based on your answers to a certain set of questions, such as: “How important is physical appearance to you?” or “How important is it to keep your word?” You can change your answers to these questions in order to fine-tune the results, but only once every 24 hours.

Also, members can play the Zoosk Carousel game, which is where random individuals in your area are displayed, and you’re then given the opportunity to specify whether you’re interested in meeting with them. If so, you can notify them of your interest directly through the site, and will receive a confirmation should the other user be interested in meeting you. Once this occurs, the only way you’ll be able to view their contact information is to “unlock the Mutual Match” at a cost of 20 Zoosk coins, which we’ll discuss in more detail in the following section. On the other hand, if an individual plays the Carousel game and lands on your information, they can also send you a connection request.

Additional Zoosk features include the ability to send and receive “winks” and “flirts” to other individuals, to send virtual gifts, and to receive notifications every time someone views your profile. Perhaps the biggest benefit of using Zoosk is their Scientific Matchmaking Service (ZSMS), which is a patent-pending technology that evaluates compatibility between members. From our experience, the ZSMS is fairly effective, and works by learning your “yes” and “no” votes to better match you with other users.

Other minor Zoosk properties include the ability to gift Coins, a proprietary text and video messenger system that allows you to communicate directly with other members, as well as Facebook and mobile apps.

Zoosk Pricing, and What You Get for Your Money

As we mentioned at the beginning, joining Zoosk, starting a profile, and viewing other members’ profiles is completely free. However, any additional options are severely limited—so much so, that effectively using the site without paying money is next to impossible. With this said, almost every feature on the site uses Zoosk Coins as a form of currency, which can be purchased in bundles:

  • 180 Coins = $19.95
  • 480 Coins = $49.95
  • 1800 Coins = $99.95

In other words, the more Coins you purchase at one time, the more money you’ll save. Also, you’ll likely want to sign up for a subscription, which is required to make full use of Zoosk and connect to other users, including sending messages and winks, chatting with other members, seeing who’s viewed your profile, and fully capable ZSMS. Subscription pricing is as follows:

  • Month-to-month = $29.95 per month
  • Three months = $19.98 per month (one payment of $59.95)
  • Six months = $12.49 per month (one payment of $74.95)

In more specific terms, you’ll save 58% by signing up for the six-month plan, versus paying month-to-month for the same period of time.

Here are a few of the benefits you’ll gain access to after purchasing a Zoosk membership and/or Coins:

  1. The ability to send unlimited messages to other users, as well as to view the messages other users have sent to you. Without a membership, you can send one message to an individual, but will be required to purchase a membership in order to send additional messages.
  2. Without a subscription, once another user views your profile, you’ll be able to see their name, age, city, and one picture. However, in order to view their full profile and make a connection, you’ll need a subscription.
  3. After playing the Carousel game, you’ll need 20 Zoosk Coins in order to view the profiles of individuals who have viewed yours, as well as to make a connection with someone who wants to meet you.
  4. Using Zoosk Coins, you can boost your popularity to the point where your information appears at the top of the search panel, which will significantly increase the chances that others will view your profile.
  5. The ability to send virtual gifts.
  6. The opportunity to send messages in a Special Delivery format, which notifies the recipient that they have a special message from you.
  7. Message delivery confirmation, which also provides notification when the recipient reads your message.

Depending on your plan, you will automatically be billed unless you cancel in advance. It’s also important to note that Zoosk will refund your money only if you cancel your subscription with three days of making your purchase. Otherwise, you will lose the ability to get your money back.

Is Zoosk a Scam?

Zoosk is a big, reputable company, and is backed by numerous major venture capital firms. However, it’s strategically designed so that users will willingly choose to pay more and more money in order to capitalize on its full set of features. Here’s why:

If you’re a guy (just for the sake of conversation), and an attractive, young blonde woman based in Beverly Hills sends you a flirt, direct message, or even just views your profile, you’ll be instantly mesmerized. As a result, you’ll likely want to see her full profile, connect with her and engage in conversation, and see where it leads. But in order to satisfy these desires, you’ll have to purchase Coins or a subscription. From a stark business perspective, the Zoosk dating service would not be as effective if they didn’t allow users to first become “hooked” on the free service, and then want to pay more money to fulfill their emotions.

But here’s where the red flags are raised: Remember the beautiful blonde from Beverly Hills? Well, there have been numerous complaints that “overly-attractive” model-like women have contacted users under false pretenses, which were only discovered after users spent money to contact them. There have even been some accusations that some of these fake accounts belonged to Zoosk staff, though there is no evidence of this.

After signing up for the service, you’ll almost certainly be approached with “traditional” scamming methods, such as another user requesting money to get back to the U.S. after being stranded abroad. In fact, we experienced this within only a couple hours after signing up for an “undercover” Zoosk account. In addition, you may also run across several accounts that are really just fronts for adult services providers. So while Zoosk itself is not a scam, there are plenty of individuals out there willing to take your money if you’re not careful.

If you decide to sign up with Zoosk, we recommend that you take caution, and not be too hasty in giving out personal information such as email addresses and phone numbers. If you’ve sent a couple messages and/or chatted with someone on a few occasions, and they’re also taking their time, this is usually a good indication that they’re legitimately searching for someone, just like you are.

See also: Watch Out for These 6 Red Flags When Dating Online

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43 Consumer Reviews for Zoosk

Average Consumer Rating: 1.4
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 2 3 star: 1 2 star: 6 1 star:  33
Bottom Line: 9% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 43
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  • Total crap

    • Hiawassee, GA,
    • Nov 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was offered a free trial that doesn't exist! Even when paying customers answer your ad, you still have to pay to read them. Even the very dangerous Craigslist is better than this site.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Disappointed. Scam maybe?

    • Florida,
    • Oct 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    After four months of service and over a hundred monologues, only three responses and one not acceptable. WHEN someone actually wants to meet you, their message gets lost conveniently with no way to respond and answer. This is a foolish, wasted site of your time and money. Go to a reputable site like Eharmony or P.O.F. maybe.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Can I choose zero stars?

    • Washington,
    • Sep 21, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This dating site is an unethical business. Once you pay to sign up, you have to buy coins to communicate with members or buy emojis and pay to see if someone read your message. Also, you pay to have your profile boosted. It is totally a scam.

    I called to cancel the account. The service representative was unfriendly and only offered me a partial refund after I brought up that I would complain to the BBB.

    Do yourself a favor and do not sign up for this one.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money

    • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada,
    • Sep 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    This has to be the worst dating site I have ever been on! I would say that unfortunately there are no regulations on these online dating sites on how they can scam and get away with ripping the public off.

    I can definitely say that Zoosk had a lot of phony member profiles that turned out to be just a way to lure you in.

    I signed up but wanted to check the site out first before paying money to communicate with others. I got many phony email messages saying interested members liked me and wanted to chat. So I signed up for only a month luckily, and replied to all emails and not one reply. Coincidence? I don't think because as my account was ready to lapse because I didn't want to renew, I got hit with a bunch more emails and some from the same earlier ones saying they wanted to meet. These emails were all scripted and sounded the same with bad writing skills!

    I think the reviews are fully a scam also where it said Zoosk was one of the best with 4 out of 5 stars! Don't waste your money honestly. You would be better off with plenty of fish where at least you get responses!

    No government legislation on these sites means they can scam your money with phony memberships. I don't know how they get away with it!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Nothing but bad

    This site is all about the money. Everything you may want to do requires you to purchase a new feature. The site is full of bots and scammers. In a month, I chatted with one, yes ONE actual human and that was about how we both dislike the site we were using. DO NOT spend money on this site.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Worst dating website I've used

    • Lexington, KY,
    • Sep 8, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Zoosk asks you for the maximum distance you want your matches to be within, but then COMPLETELY ignores what you tell them. I specified for my searches that I wanted 100 miles or less. In one of my search sessions, I went through 95 consecutive "matches" and 84% of them were more than 100 miles away. This means you will waste 84% of your time on this site looking through profiles of no value to you.

    There are other issues too. Like there's no way to go back and find someone you've found in a search unless they've sent you something, they've viewed your profile, or you've sent them a message of some kind.

    It is the worst-designed dating website I've ever tried to use. I have no idea how they get all the high ratings they supposedly have. Those websites giving those ratings are probably either owned by Zoosk or they're doing reviews without actually trying them out.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Feel like an idiot.

    • Tijeras, NM,
    • Aug 31, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I sent a nice girl a "smile," unaware of the auto reply feature. Anyway, she supposedly messaged back, so I took a chance and paid the $30 only to find out it was an auto reply. Even if I knew about auto replies before hand, I couldn't tell if it was a real message or not without paying a fee. I got suckered for being new and learned from it, but this site just sucks.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Over 90 percent of profiles are probably old accounts

    • South Yorkshire, England,
    • Aug 31, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been on other sites and averaged one response/reply in every three or four emails. But on Zoosk I have sent 57 emails so far and had zero reply! I've also put a lot of thought into my messages too. What a waste of time!

    They also send daily matches who they think might suit you, but they often live over 70 km away! I'm not interested in anyone over 35 km away! Why can't I edit this?

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 4 out 4 people found this review helpful

    Zoosk is disappointing

    To begin free, to look, now then begin to look: upgrade needed. Want to write a message, if you want: upgrade needed. Read your message: upgrade needed. View message: upgrade needed. Buy this and then you can see who viewed you or messaged back: upgrade needed for this. Now they have charged plenty of money and you can't see anything without your upgrade. It cost me a great deal of money for zero results. I am very disappointed for spending a very big waste of time to write messages and no one ever getting them without money. I would like my money back since it's my first time on any dating site. What a fraud, what a scam.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Dishonest

    • Fort Collins, CO,
    • Aug 24, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I've been on Zoosk for two weeks and am unsubscribing, deleting my profile (or trying to anyway), and asking them for a refund (haven't heard back, not too optimistic from all the other comments). The other comments about "fake" profile views are absolutely true.

    Today I noticed that my profile had been viewed by a lady that I had viewed and was interested in. On a hunch, I messaged her and asked if she had viewed me at a such-and-such time today. She wrote back and said that she had never looked at my profile before. So essentially, Zoosk is lying to me when they tell me someone has viewed me. If this is a lie, what else is? Trust is gone, period. This is my first foray into online dating and may be my last.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 3 out 3 people found this review helpful

    Talking to myself

    • United Kingdom,
    • Aug 16, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    After two weeks of "winking" and messaging, and even sending messages asking the supposed recipients to indicate if they had received the message I sent, not a dicky bird.

    I am no Brad Pitt, but I have never had a problem with my looks and ability to attract the opposite sex. But two weeks on Zoosk and you would be forgiven for thinking I was the ugliest bloke on the planet, so I decided to test the system and what I found was for my £25, I have been talking and "winking" at myself for two weeks and to add insult to injury, Zoosk even limits me to how many times I can wink and talk to myself in any one day.

    My experience and advice steer well clear. It's a racket. You pay your subscription, and you set off with a spring in your step and a sting in their tail. I am offered a BOOST membership, I am offered tokens to see if my messages have been read, and of course, it's all extra.

    Mega scam!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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