You get what you pay for with

I've never been a fan of It seems the service is more interested in making a quick buck than in really developing an online community of users. Yes, I posted a profile when Classmates first got started, but since then I've shunned the site because of the way it nickels and dimes.

Several months ago I received a notification that someone I knew in junior high school had sent me a message. Since I'm always interested in blasts from the past, I clicked over to read the message. But then Classmates told me I had to pay to read it. Pay to read a message? I'm sorry, (actually I'm not) but that's just ridiculous. I can understand having to pay to send a message (like buying a stamp) but I refuse to pay even $15 (the cheapest package available) simply to see what my friend had to say. So sadly, he lost out and even though I received several notices that the message was waiting for me, it remains unopened to this day. Then today I received another notice telling me someone had viewed my profile. Again, I tried clicking over to see who it was but again I was told I needed to upgrade to a paying member. I guess you do get what you pay for.

It's unfortunate that as one of the original social networking sites, Classmates charges for so many of its features. Web sites such as Friendster (poor forgotten Friendster), MySpace, and LinkedIn don't charge for those services, so why does Classmates? It just doesn't make sense, it's not customer friendly and it's wrong.

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