The Bad Date Rescue App

August 2nd, 2012 by Andrea Bennett

Does it set a precedent for dishonesty?

Brought to you by Liberty Mutual's
The Responsibility Project

A new iPhone app by eHarmony allows you to program it to call with a fake “emergency” if you’re stuck on a bad date. The Bad Date Rescue app, according to eHarmony, allows you to excuse yourself while sparing the other person’s feelings. According to Gizmodo’s Andrew Liszewski, the app holds several technical advantages over existing “fake phone call” apps in that it allows you to choose precisely when the call arrives, and it lets you specify the emergency: “Like your mom calling to let you know your sister is in labor, or your neighbor informing you that a water pipe in your basement has burst,” Liszewski writes. The app even fakes a voice on the other end of the line, and if you find yourself flustered over what exactly to say to excuse yourself, you can even opt for a “repeat after me” option that talks you through a script to help you escape.

But is this avoidance app responsible in that it lets the other half of the date down easy, or does it just teach people that it’s okay to be dishonest? Arvind Mishra, eHarmony’s director of product management, told Reuters that the app allows people to be gracious and get out of a bad situation. You can even pre-program it so that a friend’s (or your mother’s) picture pops up on your phone when the call comes in. “There are all sorts of reasons for why people want tot get out of a date. We are helping them in a way that is fun and light and not abrupt,” he told Reuters.

But is it the most kind? Considering the fact that this option is now available to all eHarmony users, it might appear that even a legitimate emergency and departure was in fact, a blow off. Any takers for the old-fashioned “I don’t think this is working” approach? Weigh in.