If you're reading this blog, chances are that you've been in touch with / heard of / dealt with Shidduch organizations. Over the years it went from few and far between to a couple, to a whole lot. Some have websites, some have pamphlets, others have databases, videoconferencing, web-conferencing, forms to complete, email lists, etc.
The last time I approached a shidduch group, was when I 'refreshed' their knowledge that I was still around and single and updated my info (well, basically, my age..) with them. So much the money and form completing has done me with that group. Then, at their bequest, they asked me to come down and meet with the group, so I traveled to meet them (again!) at their new office, where they gave me the whole 21 questions and some. Some of the women took notes, one grabbed a digital camera, the same names came up, one updated the online profile and guess what? Still nothing.
But my most recent experience with a shidduch group was a bit more odd.
Again, this time, I had been part of the group for quite a while and called to 'refresh' them about me and the fact that I'm still around, searching for my bashert. Then came the email request to send them the updated resume, which I did. After that came the automatic email to complete forms and upload them to an online database. When I clicked to upload, it brought me to a website with visa/mastercard icons. I was horrified-I mean, ya, I know, everything is a business these days, but exploiting my status as a frum girl, who is at the hands of a 'shliach' who just might happen to be them and asking for a certain amount, was....well....disgusting. In any case, I scrolled down to read the terms and noticed some text about them not being responsible where the info would go to. That was just enough to NOT make me want to send my info. This is my personal, private info. If this organization is going to charge money, and in their eyes, be 'professional', then (a) get yourself a proper website and (b) MAKE SURE that people's private info doesn't get into the wrong hands.
A couple of weeks/months later, I received an automatic email from same said organization asking me, again to fill in the info, etc. This time, though it came with a whole long megillah disclaimer and the fact that should said organization make a shidduch, a lump sum of $$$$ be paid, as per their Rabbonim, etc. This bothered me even more. When people pay shadchanus, they should be able to give whatever they can afford and feel is right. I honestly, don't believe that a group of Rabbonim can put one exact figure on a shidduch which is the same figure for many people, of many different ages, backgrounds, hashkafos, financial levels, etc. So, I did, what anyone like me would do-I clicked on the check mark next to my email and smiled....as I clicked 'delete.