FAQs About Sparkology's Dating Experience for Young Professionals
How do I get invited to join?
While most members are referred in by existing members, you can easily apply for an invitation from a member of our team. When you click "Become a Member" on the home page, you'll submit your LinkedIn (preferred) or Facebook profile for review. We promise not to touch your profile or post on your wall... but we will dig around and decide whether you would add to the community. If you are approved, you'll receive an invitation within 2-5 days. Please make sure your profile is publicly visible.
Can you really determine a good candidate based on a Facebook profile?
Nope. That's why we often do additional background research on candidates and regularly reach out with follow up questions.
What is an invitation code like ABC-123 and how do I get one?
Our team meets people at events, dinners, and similar situations. When we meet someone remarkable, we hand them an invitation card. The invitation code on this card allows the bearer to skip the application process because we have already prescreened them in person.
Why did you limit the men to be graduates of top universities?
The top concern listed by women who had tried online dating services before was the lack of quality among male candidates found on those sites. The women on Sparkology are not looking for a one-night stand with a bus boy – they are looking for a real gentleman. While there are exceptions to every rule, men who attended prestigious universities typically possess some or all of the following traits:
- Good long-term values
- Good family/pedigree
While having a comfy salary is nice, money does not make a man. Creativity, ambition, and benevolence are much more defining.
Why is pricing different for men and women?
We know it’s shocking to some, but men and women are (gasp) different! They have different motivations, social norms, and qualms when it comes to dating. Our unique pricing structure exists to increase the quality of interactions between men and women. And while we encourage women to proactively message men, the majority of initial messages still originates with the guys.
Since every man ascribes a tangible value to each outgoing message, men are dissuaded from sending out a barrage of boilerplate messages. Instead, each message is crafted uniquely to the recipient. Because of our pricing structure, men have a higher response rate and women get more meaningful interactions.
Why are entry requirements different for men and women?
Our greatest concern is the user experience - it is not about being politically correct. The number one complaint we got from women who had used other dating sites was the dearth of quality male candidates. Let’s face it: on average, the motivations faced by men and women when looking for a relationship are slightly different. Yes, there are of course exceptions to every rule – there are plenty of successful women who are happy to have relationships with men regardless of their socioeconomic, intellectual, ambitious, or similar societal merits. But by and large, the sophisticated, trendy, successful, young, professional women on Sparkology have a higher standard for their dates.
What’s with the name "Sparkology"?
Sparkology is derived from (i) "sparks" that magically erupt when two people have the right chemistry and (ii) "ology" relating to the many months of analysis, development, and customer input that went into our platform unlike our run-of-the-mill competition. We are incredibly proud of our services and aim to deliver the best dating experience in the world.
How did you come up with the idea for Sparkology?
Alex had been toying with the idea of an elite dating venue since his days at Penn. Alex’s girl and guy friends continually grumbled about the meat-market atmosphere at bars/clubs and the discouraging experiences on existing dating sites. After years of listening to these complaints, he decided to put his education, experience, and ambition towards creating an elite community where the best, brightest, and most desirable young professionals can meet each other in a clean, classy environment.
Sparkology is also an avenue for him to promote his belief in the modern lady and gentleman. While most guys were doing keg stands, Alex was showing up with flowers and a bottle of wine. Sparkology is not a website, it is a classy community that promotes self-improvement, chivalry, and turning sparks of attraction into something meaningful.
Why doesn’t Sparkology allow filtering by more fields? Like interests, pets, body type, etc.?
Focus groups, feedback from customers, and industry research reveal some interesting themes:
- Chemistry is paramount. Beyond a few very intrinsic needs, there is little correlation between what people say they desire and the kind of person they actually date.
- For our smart user base, checkboxes make it too easy to game the system. Guys know that marking off "cooking", "dancing", and "romantic dinners" as interests are sure crowd favorites.
- Marking a checkbox prompt is too easy. For example, even if a person is only partially interested in tennis, they would check off that box. With Sparkology, this person would have to proactively write about their tennis game in their About Me section, thus indicating a much more authentic interest in that sport.
Why is there no personality test?
Ever wonder why no dating website will allow a neutral 3rd party to study the success rate of their algorithm versus a control group? Or why no dating site files a public patent to protect their "proven" formula? We legally can’t discredit them, but we’re highly suspicious of their success claims. If a true, uniform matchmaking algorithm existed, the whole world would be using it by now. We’d have "matchmaking clinics" where supercomputers would automatically match you with your ideal partner. However, we believe that you, our human client, are far too complex to be predicted by a personality test. In fact, our belief is that these sites use the unverified personality test only to support their high prices. Instead of taking away hours of your day to answer silly questions, we utilize a free market system that dynamically shows the best candidates for you in your city.
How does Sparkology’s matching algorithm work?
While we cannot reveal all of our secret sauce to protect our system from unsavory individuals attempting to game the system, we can say that we use a free market algorithm that dynamically displays the most highly-qualified candidates for you in your city. We studied how clients measure the success of a dating website and defined our algorithm around those metrics to ensure optimal member satisfaction. Don’t believe us? Log in and try for yourself! Hint: The more time you spend on the site, the better your results.
What is your refund policy? What if I am not satisfied with the service?
Nearly all dating websites have a strict no refund policy. We are NOT like other dating sites. Rather than luring in members and hoping to swipe their cards before they can get away, we actually believe in our product. Simply call or email customer service within 24 hours of placing an order for a full, no-hassle refund. Our only request is that you tell us why you are leaving the site, so that we can continually improve customer experiences because we are passionate about creating the best dating experience in the world and would love to know how we can improve our service.
How do you make money? What is your business model?
Sparkology’s primary revenue stream comes from female membership dues and male Spark Pack purchases. Additional future revenue will come from premium services, such as live events or professional photo services. We are sharing this with you because we believe in transparency. Try getting a straight answer from your free dating site regarding their use of your private data...
Who is Maddie Sparks?
Maddie is Sparkology’s official Maltese mascot. Normally quite hyper, Maddie struts like a proper lady when donning her Sparkology dress.
What future enhancements do you expect to your service?
We are incredibly proud of the many things we’re working on to improve your dating experience! More features and enhancements are added daily in response to your feedback – however, Sparkology will always maintain a clean and intuitive website so we typically err on the side of simplicity.
How do you expect to survive in such a crowded market?
How does Mercedes survive in such a crowded auto market? By delivering a quality product and focusing on customer service. Sure, there are thousands of swindlers claiming to run a dating service, but none have the same level of customer focus, ingenuity, and exclusivity to properly cater to young professionals in today’s metropolitan centers. We believe in our luxury positioning and want our customers to have the absolute best experiences that they can have.
I have a great guy friend who did not graduate from a top school. How can he join?
Please drop us a quick note to admissions@Sparkology.com with his name and email address and we’ll follow up with him. Our female members applaud our university-based screen, but we know that it’s not perfect. We are currently exploring additional options to let non-accredited men join the site, including allowing girls to vote on a man’s entry or enabling girls to vote on the admittance of additional schools.
How were you able to get so many amazing people on your website?
Well... nothing wrong with a shameless plug every once in a while... we couldn’t help ourselves :)
Do you perform background checks on your members?
While we continue to explore the legal and customer service issues surrounding background checks, we currently do not perform such automated inspections on our users. Based on our thorough research, we have concluded that the local databases containing criminal records are often stale and inaccurate. In addition, to do a complete background check we would need to gather highly sensitive information (including social security numbers, addresses over the last X years, etc.),which our members would not want to divulge.
Also, note that these databases will produce many false positives. In some municipalities, public urination is a sex offense – so that one time in college that you really had to go would forbid you from our site. There are also cases where common names (i.e., John Smith) get mistaken for sex offenders. Can you imagine the embarrassment of getting an email notifying you that you were rejected because you were a sex offender??
Finally, note that malicious people will always find a way around any background check by simply providing a false name/address/etc. In this case, the potential victim would have let his/her guard down because of the false sense of safety offered by background checks.
At the end of the day, only our members can guarantee their safety. Please be smart in your dating habits by meeting in public places and by not exchanging personal information early in the conversation. While we cater to a high-end, exclusive community, there may always be a rotten apple. If something doesn’t feel right, please contact the authorities immediately. And, of course, make sure to report any suspicious users via the Report Abuse button on the person’s profile or the Date Feedback button in the messaging area.
How can I speak to Alex?
The real question is: how can Alex speak to you? He loves speaking directly to customers! Just call our toll free customer service number and ask for him. If he is not immediately available, we promise he’ll get back to you quickly.
How can I book Alex for a speaking opportunity, panel discussion, or interview?
Alex’s public appearances and interviews are scheduled by our PR staff. Please email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org with your request and we’ll get back to you quickly. If urgent, you may also try our customer service line and ask to speak with him directly.
What do you offer besides introduction services?
We believe our members should be treated like royalty. Besides just pairing you up with a fantastic catch, we publish cool sample dating itineraries in your city. We also have fun blogs where members can get tips on topics ranging from personal grooming to opening a fine wine. In the near future, we’ll begin to offer professional profile photography, profile editing, and even a personal dating concierge. As we grow, we’ll work with local restaurants, nightclubs, casual sports venues, museums, and other date places to get members discounts. More than anything, we’ll evolve our set of services around the feedback we receive from our customers.
Does Sparkology serve the Gay/Lesbian community?
Sparkology fully supports the LGBT community (woooot NY!!!). At this moment we are unable to specifically offer services to the LGBT community, but look forward to doing so in the not too distant future