A California appellate court has ruled that Tinder’s variable pricing for Tinder Plus, which charges more for users over 30, is discriminatory as it makes an “arbitrary, class-based generalization” about users’ incomes, as reported by Quartz.
The case against Tinder was brought forth by Allen Candelore, who argued that the company’s age-based pricing is a violation of California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Unfair Competition Law. Tinder Plus charges $9.99 per month for users under 30, and $19.99 per month for users over 30, defending the model by saying that those who are younger have less disposable incomes.
While a lower trial court initially agreed with Tinder, the appeals court has reversed the decision, saying that no matter what the company’s market research has found, “some individuals will not fit the mold. Some older consumers will be ‘more budget constrained’ and less willing to pay than some in the younger group.” Per the appeal ruling document:
We conclude the discriminatory pricing model, as alleged, violates the Unruh Act and the UCL to the extent it employs an arbitrary, class-based, generalization about older users’ incomes as a basis for charging them more than younger users. Because nothing in the complaint suggests there is a strong public policy that justifies the alleged discriminatory pricing, the trial court erred in sustaining the demurrer. Accordingly, we swipe left, and reverse.
And yes, that’s a Tinder joke.