Elena's Models - Review

Anyone who has been a reader of my site prior to August 2014 knows that I have always recommended Elena's Models very highly. They were simply the best service available in the industry and had the best reputation even among the harshest critics.

Elena's Models used to be the best on several fronts: (a) Anti-Scam, (b) size of database, (c) "realness" of the Russian women users, (d) site function/design/features, (e) price.

Many of these qualities may still exist, with the notable exception of "D" (site function/design/features). They had a major site "upgrade" released on June 1, 2014, and since this "upgrade" it has been downhill ever since.

My own experience with the site shows this, plus I hear from many others that data has been lost (messages, favorites), features don't work, pictures don't display correctly, members who had "Gold" membership status lost this status, some men have had their memberships auto-renew (charging their credit card again without notice), etc.

Everyone I've heard from has reported problems using the site and complains about how it now works. In short, NO ONE LIKES THE NEW SITE -- at least no one I have heard from.

And not only are there all these bugs related to the migration, but very valuable features have been dropped. For example, profiles used to say when that person last logged in ("Within 24 Hours", "Within 48 Hours", etc.). That way you could avoid wasting your time writing women who haven't logged into the system in for a long time.

Although this is just a small nuisance, now you must type your entire user name and password every time you log in. It used to just remember you forever as long as you were visiting from the same computer and browser. Almost every other website - dating and otherwise - allows a "Remember Me" option... at least for the user name.

Maybe all these issues will be worked out in the weeks, months, and years to come, but unfortunately I'm not optimistic. Whoever is managing and executing their I.T. operations just doesn't seem up to the task.

For now I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they are still an honest business, but their recent changes have definitely taken them out of position of industry leader.

Ownership Change?

I have heard speculation that ownership and/or management has changed. And I must say it made sense. I even suspected it myself. What else could explain such a dramatic drop in quality?

But on July 30, 2014 they sent an announcement to users denouncing rumors that the business was under new ownership and claiming that Elena (the founder and namesake of the Elena's Models) is still the "sole owner and contributing head".

Well, depending on what they mean by "contributing head" this may be true, but in October 2012 Elena sent an email to all Elena's Models users explaining her "new passion" for fashion. She talked about her history of involvement in the international dating arena and the founding of EM, and then after basically saying she had given the dating business enough of her life she said "but recently I have not been involved that much with the dating industry..."

So by her own explicit admission in late 2012 she stepped away from involvement in the dating industry (presumably including her dating website business).

I strongly believe it was her passion, vision, personality, drive, and intelligence that made Elena's Models the great success that it was. One only need to read her eBooks to get a good sense of these qualities. She is the "real deal". But all evidence - including her own admission - indicates that she moved on to other interests.

Sure, she may continue to "contribute", but probably not much.

But whether or not there is new ownership or new management doesn't really matter. And it doesn't matter whose fault it is that the site has become such a mess. What does matter is that the site was good, now it is a mess, and there's no end in sight.

That's a disappointment, but fortunately, until Elena's Models gets back on track (IF it ever gets back on track) the marketplace delivers an excellent alternative! In my opinion, Russian-Ukrainian-Women.com surpasses the "new" Elena's Models in almost every way (and actually even competes quite well with the old Elena's Models). You can click that link to read my full description.