Classmates.com: The TV Series

Fox Television has collaborated with alumni directory Classmates.com to form a new reality series, where long-lost friends reunite through the website.

If you haven’t tried it, Classmates.com is extremely sneaky about how they acquired their massive alumni database. Originally a free service, Classmates.com now requires you to “complete your free registration to view your classmates.” After entering in your name, e-mail address and graduating class information, they let you browse lists of your old friends and classmates without any identifying information. To contact your friends, you’re forced to pay a $36 subscription fee.

Of course, they don’t disclose any of these caveats before you choose to add yourself to their database. Of Classmates.com’s reported 35 million members, only a mere fraction are paying subscribers. Everyone else was exploited for their personal information. Can anyone recommend a popular and free alternative to Classmates.com?

57 thoughts on “Classmates.com: The TV Series

  1. What crap. I hate classmates because they spam the crap out of me too. Argh.

    The bonus to it is that you may not remember EVERYONE in your graduating class, but you will after you see their name.

  2. When Classmates started charging to email people I emailed them and told them to remove my name from the site. I think it’s a crime how much they charge. 🙁

  3. alumni.net is a BAD BAD site, it installs all kind of crap on your machine and is affiliated with classmates.com

  4. I was able to sneak my email address into the description field as “account at machine dot host” and have had classmates contact me from that, so screw them and their $36.

  5. Yes i was contacted by them as well to verify my address and e-mail .. that was two years ago when they just started, at that time i tought it was pretty cool so i gave them the right info. Well, that was a mistake, no way to stop the spam.

  6. A good way to get yourself out of the classmates.com database is to change your first name from “Myname” to “[email protected]”. It lets you do that! No errors! They will remove you from the database within a couple days. No more emails. No more spam. Bliss.

  7. Exploited?

    Hmmm. I think you’re being a tad paranoid there.

    I remember when FriendsReunited was free. Then EVERYONE started using it and they needed to upgrade the server, buy more bandwidth, etc, so they started charging. Do you really think it’s fair for them to pay a fortune for hosting and bandwidth charges so that everyone else can use the services on their website, which they’ve spent a shedload of time creating, for free?

    Try living in the real world, dude. Stuff costs money.

  8. The difference is that Classmates wrongly suggests that you’ll be able to view your classmates’ information by supplying your own. (The registration page says, “Please complete your free registration to view your classmates from [your] High School.”) Instead, you can only get a list of other people who have been similarly tricked.

    There’s no mention of any membership fees until after you’ve given out your personal information. The entire sign-up process was very deliberate and, in my opinion, unnecessarily sneaky.

    I have no problem with Classmates trying to make money, but it’s the deceptive business practices that bother me.

  9. THANK YOU so much for Star Wars Kid!!! We LOVE him! I can’t believe anyone would dog him. Please don’t ever take him down!

    Thank you, Thank you!

    KJ

    p.s. Got any more?

  10. Man – most of the people I went to high school with are living in trailer parts. But I do too – so it’s not that weird, but mine’s actually pretty nice when you think about it.

    It always stirs my turds when people make fun of trailer parks.

    I know one that has a POOL.

  11. Considering a phrase like “stirs my turds” may be a good starting point for your investigation as to why that happens…

  12. I didn’t like classmates.com so I built my own, if you have Apache/Tomcat/MySQL shoot me an e-mail and I’ll get you a jar file to run your own.

  13. http://www.gradfinder.com

    Same idea as classmates, but they don’t bend you over just so you can e-mail some old buddies. And the last time I used it there was *more* advertising, but NOTHING like classmates. . .

    Go there. . .it’s great.

  14. I’ll tell you why friend finder shouldn’t charge… Becuase i don’t charge. I host sites for people and do favours all for free and the love of it.

    They didn’t charge to cover server or bandwidth costs they charged to make money and are now both millionaires. I know this because they were featured on the local news a month or so back.

  15. One slightly different website that works even better is http://www.everyonesconnected.com. Rather than finding old school friends, you invite your friends (i.e. the ones you actually LIKE) and they invite theirs. A bit of a shameless plug as I’m involved in it, but it is completely free and I can honestly say I’ve met far more interesting people than through Friends Reunited.

  16. I’ve read a report by a private eye that this site in particular is a popular info gathering source both for the private Dicks and for Bill collectors as well, that they may simply pose as the person on whom they need info and details of location, and then connect with old friends and colleagues of the delinquent.

    They then “milk” these old friends for all the offbeat info they can to gather clues on how to corner him/her.

  17. you would think they could make a killing if they charge $5 a year and get a high percentage of the 35 million visitors to join rather than just a few at $36 a year.

  18. classmates is great? cool? a good way to find old friends? hell, i can’t even get to the damn site anymore.

  19. classmates.com can suck my ass. gradfinder.com is fantastic. thank you all for posting – i am looking for someone from my high school and thanks to the tip-off about inserting my email instead of my name in the field, i think i might be able to get in contact with her.

    and phil, disable your norton internet protection thingy before you go to classmates.com (or just don’t go, which is better)

  20. The membership fees are a ripoff and the spam is rediculous…but I have to thank them for reuniting my friend and I after 9 years on their new tv show, Classmates.

  21. I wrote Classmates and complained that what once was a great idea has disintegrated into a heap of marketing crap. The questionaires are sold to marketing companies (64% of graduates from 1976 drive SUVs!), there is no incentive for members to post bio information or photos, and most can’t email each other since they won’t pay the 39 dollars. The site is cluttered with crappy animated gif ads for other loser companies like Ancestry.com (another nightmare)and special offers most people don’t care about. The site has no soul, just a business plan. Go to the bottom of the page and click on “Media Kit” and you’ll see what Classmates is all about (“Classmates has 37 million registered members that can be segmented based on your specific target demographics and psychographics.”) Read their press releases and see how keeping the members are referred to as “asset retention”. If membership was 10 bucks a year, and people who posted bios and photos were eligble for bonuses and trips, and people had incentives to contribute instead of recoil from Classmates, it would be a better world.

    My current war with them is I HAD to re-up my membership because I lost a crucial email address, so I signed up for a year. I get billed for two. I hope they burn in Hell.

  22. What ever happened to classmates.com? I can’t ever get to that site anymore. Anyone know the inside story?

  23. I just signed up for classmates.com, what a joke.

    I was able to remove my information (using the help link @ the bottom of the page).

  24. They will burn in hell… let us all find a free site that will replace them… Classmates is a scam. a poorly disguised scam now that they have changed there format.

  25. I don’t know what Andy Baio’s talking about, everytime I try Classmates.com ,nothing. I’ve tryed web settings galore,zippo,nadda.Deadlink .Oh well, it’s the shits anyhow.

  26. I can tell you that they have been off line since october of 2003….. can you imagine the money they have made off of everybody!!!!! myself included….. when i first joined, it was great, i went to two different schools in two different states, and hooked up with a few old friends,if it wasn’t for classmates i don’t know if i would have been so lucky…my computer is fine , my settings are accurate,my browser is browsing…….classmates is offline…so much for their slogan,over 500,000 members…their $$$$$ is off the charts and in their pockets, and I’m pissed..Isigned on for a year, and had access for half….who can you call to complain??? and also demand a refund, it’s not the money, it’s the principle.. IRRATE IN ALASKA

  27. Classmates.com is still working, just looded at it 9pm 22 Jun 04.

    The site is a scam, the fee is about double the worth. It is not the actual cost persay, its that only a scarce fee will pay the fee. That makes a very expensive outlay to get in touch with friends that you can orther wise fined on the net or in the telephone book.

    My daughter bought a membership, the entire family, in-laws and relatives use it. You do get get much out for the 39 bucks.

    If they, clasmates.com, charged $15 maybe 20 bucks tops, per year more people would join. This would make the site more valuable to each subscriber.

    To get off classmates.com simply edit your information and change the name. Then use your spam blocker to block the spam..

    tars

  28. I can tell you, the place (Classmates Online) is collapsing here. It’s the most political, back-stabbing environment you can imagine. The CEO is in total panic mode, and making some really really stupid decisions, canning good people, etc. Can’t believe he’s still here. Now just about everyone is out hunting for another job. We all hope to land something before he decides to blame us too, or before the company is sold at some cheapo price. Man, I gotta get outa here. Pretty sad situation.

  29. Post your e-mail address in your Bio it works.

    They do have a pretty large database.

    Set your spam filters to block their correspondence so that it either is dumped in your bulk mail bin or the trash bin & not your inbox.

    Bandwidth isn’t that expensive, I have 4 websites.

    They are just in it for the money, which they are raking in hand over fist. I agree with the folks that say lower the price, if it was $10 a year instead of the current $39 I would re-sign up.

    I think a lot of folks would.

  30. I recently joined classmates.com and today I got a message in my message center from a person I new 16 years ago. I tried to reply but Classmates informed me that “I was so close to contacting this person however I need to be a paying memeber”. What’s the point of allowing people to register if there is nothing they can use their service for? My advice is to search on Yellowpages.com or AOL, Google, Yahoo, then email them or look them up in the phonebook. If you think about it why pay for this service anyway when you’re alrady paying for an ISP??? I’m upset by Classmates letting me register and then ofering NO service what so ever unless I pay for something that should be free.

  31. just draw your email in text in paint, save as a jpeg and post it in your picture box on classmates.com for free. Let everyone contact you.

  32. I can’t log on to classmates.com at all. There is something about privacy, and if some one is on your compuper they will have access to my information. I have my password saved because it saves me time when logging on. I will be more that happy to enter my password if I have to. At this point I cant even log on. I paying for a service that im not getting. I have been a customer for almost 2 years. If you are going to make all these changes you need to let your customers know. I can cancel my subscription at any time.

  33. I just placed a photo on gradfinders dot com, a couple weeks ago. Today I’m unable to even find it,

    Address bounces. It’s address is not even in Google

    I haven’t heard anything about them going off the web. No notice posted.

    I have seen lots of Reunion websites come & go. I figured they would do like the rest & start charging a membership fee. Guess not.

    I still think it was the best HS reunion web site.

    I think I have been on them all.

    I still refuse to pay.

    JAS

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