I thought that I would share what my experience has been like so far on Match.com. I had a similar experience on Plenty of Fish (POF) and okcupid, but I thought I'd pay special attention to Match.com because I paid money for the service.
I signed up for Match.com about a week ago. I am an above average looking guy in my early thirties. So far I sent out 278 messages and received 3 responses (!). No girl initiated an email with me; the emails I received did so in response to my email, and they made no effort to continue the conversation. In other words they did not ask me a question is response. I received 4 "winks," which are methods that non-subscribers can use to contact others (in addition subscribers can use "winks" to communicate with members). And 3 of those winks turned out to be from from Nigerian scammers! I did get 1 notification letting me know someone "likes" me, but it was from an unattractive obese woman.
Here is one screenshot (notice the ads):
Here is another screenshot after scrolling down:
I deleted a couple "winks" and that's why it says 1 next to received winks above. Notice all the winks I sent, and all the emails, and the number 445 by their turn.
Why does this phenomenon exist on match.com (and other similar sites)? It exists because there are likely a lot more men than women on this site, and attractive women gets tons and tons of emails from guys who will initiate communication with dozens of women a day. Guys are lucky to get one email from a woman (who actually initiated the conversation). Also I believe that there are a lot of fake profiles on this site, and on top of this there is no way to know whether or not the person you are contacting is a paying subscriber or not! On Match.com, only paying subscribers can send emails. So on this site you will spend time emailing people who will not be able to respond to your email! This also explains my experience; many, many members I emailed did not respond because they were not members. Match.com has no problem with people like me wasting my time though, because from a marketing perspective they use subscribers to recruit non-subscribers so Match.com can make more money.
Just recently (about a week after being a member) I talked with Match.com customer service and asked for a refund. I signed up for a 3 month agreement. They said no, and basically I wasted $71.97 on this site.
Another complaint I have, besides the ads (why are there ads on a pay site?), is that there is a lot of marketing to encourage the user to go to costly "stir" events put on by Match.com,
In sum, buyer beware!