Remember when you’d get collect calls where someone would call you but you had to shoulder the cost of that call? Seems like a pretty outdated concept, especially since online messaging is essentially free if you have an internet connection. But did you know that it’s a concept that some dating sites still use? In fact, it’s one of the most common queries we have about Ashley Madison. If you’re wondering what is an Ashley Madison Collect Message, this is the guide for you.
An Ashley Madison Collect Message is a useful feature that isn’t well explained in the Ashley Madison help guides. Yet, since there are several mentions of this feature in other online guides, it would make sense that you are confused.
In this article, you’ll discover what is a collect message on Ashley Madison, how it works and whether we recommend reading or sending them.
- See my full Ashley Madison review here
- Discover my most effective Ashley Madison tips and tricks
- What is an AM Pass on Ashley Madison?
What Is a Collect Message on Ashley Madison?
Ashley Madison runs a credits system, in which you need to buy and spend credits to start conversations with other users. In some cases, you’ll need to spend credits to continue an ongoing conversation too.
An Ashley Madison Collect Message is a feature that allows Guest members to message Full members for free, with the recipient picking up the cost. It’s no different to a Collect Call. In this case, the recipient wouldn’t be able to read what has been written in the Collect Message until they spend five credits to do so.
Male members do not have the option to send Collect Messages on Ashley Madison. This is because female members on Ashley Madison do not have credits that they need to use to open Collect Messages and respond. As such, it is not possible for communication to function in this way on their service.
Women can message men on Ashley Madison for free. So, they have no reason to pay for credits.
That’s why you might be confused about Ashley Madison Collect Messages since you’re likely to have heard about them (or even received some), yet there is no option for men to send their own. There is seemingly no explanation on the Ashley Madison site about this either.
Most likely, a man would come across as “cheap” for sending a collect message on an online dating site anyway. That’s not a great way to make a first impression. Indeed, it seems as if there isn’t a huge outcry for Ashley Madison to introduce this feature for men.
How Much Does The Ashley Madison Collect Message Cost?
It costs five credits to read an Ashley Madison Collect Message. That sounds reasonable enough unless your inbox is full of messages you want to read. Once you’ve read the Collect Message, it’ll still cost the same amount of credits for you to start or continue the conversation. That’s either nine or 14 credits to start the conversation - and up to five credits to continue an existing conversation (although continuing conversations is often free).
You can learn more about how the credit situation works in my full Ashley Madison review.
Is it worth the money to receive Ashley Madison Collect Messages?
I had a lengthy email conversation with the Ashley Madison customer service team about Collect Messages, since the information in their Help section is so unclear. Within this conversation, the staff member suggested that it might not be worth it to open Ashley Madison Collect Messages.
This was the advice given to me:
"Please do take into consideration that you do not have to accept every collect message sent to you by a female member. We have listed some alternative options that may assist you in preserving some of your credits:
- Before accepting the collect message, review the profile of the member who has contacted you. If her profile is blank or you are uninterested in her account, please consider if it is worth your credits to accept the message.
- If you have accepted the message and you find that the member is suspicious or fraudulent, please send an email to customer service to report the issue. We will investigate the matter and give you back any credits spent corresponding with that member if we find that she is violating our Terms and Conditions.
- If you are interested in the profile after viewing it but do not want to spend credits to accept the collect message, you may wish to delete the unread collect mail and instead just send the member a message of your own accord. This will only cost you nine credits to initiate contact (instead of five to read the message, then a further nine to reply)."
Are Ashley Madison Collect Messages a Scam?
There are also a lot of online complaints from frustrated male Ashley Madison users, who paid to receive collect messages only to be immediately ghosted afterwards. Ashley Madison has acknowledged that there are suspicious or fraudulent profiles on its platform, but that it’s doing everything in its power to limit and remove these.
The site will also refund your credits if you report a fraudulent profile that sent you a Collect Message.
Fake profiles are a problem that all dating sites have to contend with on some scale, but there is no evidence that Ashley Madison is deliberately encouraging fake profiles to send Collect Messages to waste men’s credits.
This wasn’t a problem I encountered while testing the site for my Ashley Madison review. In fact, I didn’t receive any Collect Messages throughout my several weeks of testing. There were few signs of Ashley Madison being an illegitimate site at all.
With that said, it would appear that the best strategy would be to never read a Collect Message. Instead, check the sender’s profile and send them a fresh message if it’s someone you’re interested in messaging. This will save you from needlessly wasting credits. You can always explain to the sender that you didn’t open their Collect Message and ask them what they sent.
How to Send Messages for Free on Ashley Madison
Is it possible to send messages for free on Ashley Madison without using Collect Messages?
If you’re a man, the answer is no.
However, there are a lot of strategies you can use to reduce the amount of Ashley Madison credits you spend when messaging women.
When you purchase a credits package, you’ll automatically be granted the following features for 30 days:
- Member Initiated Contact. With this feature, you can reply to women who message you first without spending any credits.
- Message Plus. With this feature, you’ll be able to continue existing conversations without spending any credits.
With both of these features enabled, you’ll be able to message women who reach out to you first as much as you like for 30 days without spending credits.
The thing is you’ll have to buy credits or pay for the features outright in the first place.
It’s therefore recommended to make full use of Ashley Madison for the 30 days after you’ve bought these features or a credits package, so you get the most bang for your buck.
How to inspire women to message you first on Ashley Madison
The best thing you can do to inspire women to message you first on Ashley Madison is to have a great profile. A lot of men like to remain anonymous on Ashley Madison since it’s primarily a site for organizing extramarital affairs. Thankfully we’ve recently found that it’s still a pretty good dating site if you just want the usual hookups. Ideally, though, you’ll be comfortable revealing your face or at least giving women something to get excited about, in your public photos.
Take your time to craft an honest bio explaining why you’re on the site, if you’re looking for an affair, and what you can bring to the relationship as well. This can go a long way to make your profile stand out as one worth messaging first.
It can be useful to experiment with winks and private requests to draw attention to your profile - and you can learn how to do that in my list of Ashley Madison tips and tricks
However, the truth is: it’s still rare for women to message you first on Ashley Madison, even if you follow all this advice.
As with most dating sites, it would appear that the most attractive women are overwhelmed with messages from men. Most have so many messages from men to contend with that they have no reason to reach out to anyone first. You may receive automated messages from female profiles. This is because female users have an option in their settings to “Contact Potential Matches For Me”. You shouldn’t regard this as a woman showing interest since they have done nothing to allow this message to be sent to you. However, you will be able to message these profiles for free.
Many are written in the third person and include the screen name. Here are a couple of examples of automated messages that I received during my review of Ashley Madison. You may receive some promotional emails suggesting you’ve “caught a member’s eye”. This simply means they viewed your profile though.
Ultimately, the best way to message Ashley Madison users for free is to swap contact details once you’ve built a connection on the site. It might be worth downloading the anonymous messaging app “Kik” for this purpose, as some women might be cagey about giving up their phone number very quickly.