Overview of Uniform Buddies
Uniformbuddies.net is a dating site for cops and firefighters. Any profession with a uniform is welcome, not just single cops. Many of the members are not LEO at all but are turned on by the badge or tool belt and want to date someone in a uniform. This site centers around chat and video chat, but also has local search features to find local dates or relationships.
One of my favorite features on UniformBuddies is the Smart Match technology used to make the search and site relevant for users. You can look for something as specific as “local single firefighters” or broaden your search to a profession, body type, age range, and more. The Smart Match Tool uses your search history on the site, your site activity, and the personal info you provide in your profile to show matches that are more compatible and in line with your preferences. This means that if you are really only want to date local hot EMTs, and you search versions of that, or click on profiles that match that, the site recognizes the pattern and continues to show you more of the same. You can still search for matches outside what you normally like by using the Search tools rather than the Matching tools. If your preferences change over time, so does what the site shows you. That is why this is my favorite feature – it makes it really easy to find what you want without digging through a ton of profiles that don’t interest you.
The biggest critique I have for this site is that it is not a fully free dating site – even if you buy a membership, you have to upgrade to a VIP membership to get full access to all the features. I also wish they would put up a Status Update feature or some kind of Chat Forum on the site to make the site more social. Some of my favorite dating sites have these kinds of social media integrations and I connect with a lot of people using those kinds of tools.
Features and Activities
UniformBuddies offers it’s members several ways to search, communicate, and play. This is a bigger deal than you might think – I don’t see a lot of sites getting both the tech and the social aspects right. It’s often one or the other, and sometimes neither. This site manages to bring together great tech (Smart Match) and active social features (Flirt and Video Chat) to make it productive and fun.
- Home – This is your default landing page. You will see this page every time you log in. It has all the features you’ll use when you’re onsite. This is where you’ll see Notifications, Messages, Chat alerts, Member requests, the New Members section, Flirts, and Matches. You can also access your dashboard for activities.
- Inbox – Your inbox will show a notification when you have a new message from the site or another member. It will also store the messages you’ve sent to other users.
- New Members – See who’s new on the site.
- Your New Matches – These are matches UniformBuddies suggests for you based on your preferences, previous searches, and site activity. This is where the Smart Match Tool I talked about in the Overview comes into play.
- Browse – Browse members by category or view people you’ve interacted with. Choose from the buttons to see people who are:
- New – Shows new site members.
- Online – Shows members who are Online Now and have not hidden themselves. You can choose to remain Offline if you prefer to browse the site privately.
- Matches – Shows people the site suggests as Matches.
- VIP – Shows VIP Members. You can view these members, but can only interact with them if you have Upgraded to a VIP Membership, in addition to Paid Membership. If you aren’t a VIP Member, consider this section a teaser to try to get you to Upgrade.
- Admirers – People who have Liked your profile.
- Favorites – People you have Liked and who have Liked you in return.
- Visitors – Members who have visited your full Profile to learn more about you.
- Blocked – Use the Block feature for any member who is harassing you or making you uncomfortable (or any other reason, you may want to block people you know if you are dating discreetly). This is a feature I really appreciate, and I like that I don’t have to dig for it. While I love online dating, there are definitely people I don’t want to interact with more than once… or ever. If you change your mind, you can Unblock.
- Profile – View your profile info and edit it as you see fit. The more you edit and update, the higher you’ll appear in Search. The details you give on your Profile help the site find you compatible Matches. Even if you’re just using the site to Video Chat or find a fast date, you should fill out the info so your Matches and Searches are more relevant.
- Chat – Chat or Video Chat with other members. You can only do this if you’ve paid for a membership, and even then, you can only Chat with VIP Members if you are one yourself. This is where they nail you down for the Gold Membership and VIP Addon – because not being able to chat makes the site virtually useless.
- Inbox – This is where your messages are stored (see above for more detail).
- Flirt – This feature suggests potential flirts based on your likes. The site keeps tabs on the Top Flirts of the Week. Those are members who have Flirted the most.
The free police dating site is really a myth. Not just on this site, but all over the web. Most dating sites offer free membership to get you on the site and then ask you to upgrade in order to chat or date. UniformBuddies is no different. The Standard Membership gives you access to the most basic features of the website, like search, browsing, and accepting incoming messages. If you want to use the better features of the site, you have to pay. The structure for upgrading on this website is a little more complicated than some others I have reviewed.
There are 3 Premium Upgrade Options:
1-month membership at $39.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $54.89
- Total due at signup = $54.89
3-month membership at $29.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $44.89
- Total due at signup = $134.67
- Saves $10/month or $30 total
6-month membership at $24.99/month
- Add VIP $14.90/month = $39.89
- Total due at sign-up = $239.34
- Saves $15/month or $90 total
If you plan to get a paid membership to the site, it’s best to just suck it up and buy the VIP add-on with the monthly. There are so many features on here that you can’t use if you don’t upgrade to a full VIP Membership that you’re wasting money by NOT buying it, as backward as that sounds.
The six-month plan is the best deal, and even adding the VIP plan makes it less per month than the monthly recurring plan. The flip side is that while it saves a substantial amount of money to pick the longer plans, they are also billed on sign-up for the whole package, so it is a higher upfront cost.
UniformBuddies.net is a good uniform dating site, with a high population and some great features. They have a good system for reviewing and validating profiles, good site security, and the members are active.
The winning features of this dating site are the Search Function and the Smart Match, hands down. The way they work together makes it easy to find compatible matches.
My least favorite thing about the site is the Membership Package + VIP Add-on headache. I don’t think the price is unfair – it is similar to what other sites are charging. It’s also not unique in offering the Add-On. I guess I’m just grumpy and prefer to have things as simple as possible, which for me would mean 2-3 straight membership choices, with the highest giving access to everything.
I do also think that adding more social media tools and activities would be great for the site. They give dating sites a community feels. You can get to know other members before checking out the profiles and interact through conversations and replies. I’d love to see them add that in the future. I think it’s especially important on niche dating sites where it’s nice to see if people can interact and chat normally before talking one on one.
Overall, UniformBuddies.net is well put together, isn’t scammy or glitchy, has a lot of members, great tech, and fun features. It is worth the cash for the membership if you purchase the add-on. If the VIP add-on is not in your budget, I’d suggest starting with a one-month membership to see if you like the site, even with the limited benefits.