I read a few reviews giving this site a bum review IMO so I thought I would write why I think it's a good site all things considered. I am not affiliated at all with the site just a user.
I know it's costly to run a website so not sure what people using it would expect for free. They only allow non paying members 3 messages a day for free which I think is fair considering that they ALSO have messages at each profile where someone can leave a short comment there up to 10 messages a day for free.
While I can't remember the name of another similar site that only allowed one or two credits a day if you are lucky if you are a non paying member there but in addition to that if you were on the free part of that site you could not send any messages to someone there that was/is a paying member there. No messages at their profiles other than the one or two a day that non paying members are allowed to send. At PenPalWorld they do allow non paying members to send messages to paying members.
You always have to watch out for scammers on any site but it's pretty easy to tell when you get spam and they do have a report/block on each profile that non paying members have access to.
The only reason I don't give a 5 star review is because you can only see the last 3 messages that are sent to you and that you send others if you are a non paying member so that's inconvenient especially for people that can't stay signed on and be there frequently to get their messages However, if you go to someone's profile there it will let you know if you have sent them a message before which is really good if someone is like me and can't remember if they sent a message to someone or not. I can't remember if it also reads that they have sent you a message before if they have sent one to you before, too.
It also allows people to see if someone has read their messages which is another plus.
No site can be blamed when a person doesn't get replies to their messages. It is up to individuals to reply or not so the owner would have no control over that.
For starters there are too many restrictions placed on non paying members. It's the most ridiculous business model I've ever encountered. As a free member you're entitled to a profile and three messages and three profile comments a day. If you receive four messages in your inbox the fourth one is automatically deleted never to be read again. There are plenty of crazy pervert scammers, so your inbox will fill up quickly and unfortunately anyone genuine responding to your profile will likely get lost in the shuffle.
Plenty of people will try to use the comment section in your profile to carry on a conversation with you but if you've already exhausted your limits for the day it could take awhile to exchange emails and get the pen pal relationship up and off the site. That sucks, if you're going to have a social site then communication should come easily. Some users bypass this problem by including their email address in their profile, but that's not my scene, at least PPW is fairly good about dealing with scamming or abusive users, I wouldn't want to have to sort through all that spam in a throwaway inbox.
One of the most annoying things I've found with the site is that you can't even delete emails that you've already read! I guess that's for paying members only? How cheap is that? And what members? This site has very low user inventory. Not many people are ever online. Again, it's such a hassle to be a member on the site, if there weren't so many restrictions I'm sure more people would sign up creating greater user inventory. There are literally zero incentives to have a paying membership. You pay something like $10 USD a month to get emails from spammers and to wait and hope for a few more real people to sign up. The site even looks like it was made in the 90s, the user interface is horrible and not well organised, unlike Interpals, PenPalWorld has messages, users and friend requests hidden under various tabs. It's not intuitive at all, it's confusing. Even marking your marital status isn't in your profile (which would make sense) it's under your account information but it's visible on your profile when people search for you -figure that out!
Overall, I would never use or return to the site unless they dropped the paid membership and cleaned up their UI.
It is certainly better than other sites I joined in the past, but do not expect life long friendship with anyone! Scammers do exist on this site, in spite of good moderators: they really seem to care, unlike other penpal clubs around... But most of the times, especially if you are a female member, you will be contacted by men looking for romance and also perverts, continuously, even though you specify you are looking for friendship only. I joined a couple of times, I received messages from the same men members over and over again. And this club is not meant to be for dating. After a while, I was annoyed. I give it two stars as moderators are good, but pals will stop writing after a while.. nothing new... Same happens with people in real life...
When it comes to penpal sites, this is a fairly typical, bland site. Its use isn't intuitive enough for it to be worth using as often as Interpals, and while there are some features you can get if you're willing to pay for them, I don't see why anyone would want to hang around long enough to sign up for that stuff.
I know the free features might seem generous to an outside observer, but consider this. Pen Pal World is extremely strict with the number of messages you're allowed to send per day on a free account--that number is three. While there might be limits on the number of messages you can send on similar sites like Interpals, that limit is high enough that you probably won't ever reach it unless you're just carpet bombing everyone you see with messages (and I believe with Interpals specifically, the limit is based on the number of individual users you can contact in any given day rather than the number of overall messages you can send).
While you might be inclined to pay for an account, I don't think there's any real reason to do that. You can get similar kinds of services on different sites that do it better and won't charge you for it.
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