Tinder’s move to charge users over the age of 30 more to access premium features violates California law, the appeals court ruled.
Tinder faced accusations of ageism when it launched a premium tier that was more expensive for users older than 30, and now a California appeals court has deemed Tinder Plus pricing discriminatory and illegal.
Launched in 2015, Tinder Plus offers perks you won’t find in the free version, like the ability to scope out prospective hotties in a different city, undo your last swipe if you messed up, and like an unlimited amount of people. It costs $9.99 per month—unless you’re over the age of 30. Those who have been on this Earth for three decades or more are charged $19.99 per month.
Plaintiff Allan Candelore filed suit against the company for age discrimination, alleging its Tinder Plus pricing violates California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act and Unfair Competition Law. A lower court ruled that Tinder’s age-based Plus pricing did not constitute discrimination, since it was based on market research showing that younger users are more cash-strapped than older users.
The appeals court, however, disagreed.
“No matter what Tinder’s market research may have shown about the younger users’ relative income and willingness to pay for the service, as a group, as compared to the older cohort, some individuals will not fit the mold,” the court wrote in its ruling. “Some older consumers will be ‘more budget constrained’ and less willing to pay than some in the younger group.”
The Tinder Plus pricing model “employs an arbitrary, class-based, generalization about older users’ incomes as a basis for charging them more than younger users” – a violation of California law, the appeals court wrote. “Accordingly, we swipe left, and reverse.”
We reached out to Tinder for comment but have yet to hear back.