According to a recent California lawsuit, Tinder charging $5 to $10 more dollars from users who are above 30 years old is a discrimination against age that breaks the state’s civil laws.
This lawsuit was filed on behalf of a large group of Tinder Plus users who are above the age of 30. Reportedly, Tinder’s premium level, which permits users to “unswipe” regrettably approved profiles, charges subscribers who are 30 and above $19.99, but a mere $9.99 or $14.99 per month for those under the age of 30.
This age-based fee, says plaintiffs, violates the state’s Unfair Competition law and Unruh Civil Rights Act. Apparently, controversy surrounding the fee isn’t new – when Tinder Plus was first launched by the company a few years ago, the difference in charges brought criticism.
At the time Tinder’s VP of corporate communications, Rosette Pambakian, told ABC that the fee is because younger users are more financially constrained and therefore need a lesser price as an incentive to subscribe.
A writer for WIRED, Dani Burleson, said in 2015 that although she enjoyed the use of Tinder, forcing users who are above the age of 30 to pay double than younger users to reverse a swipe is a lot to ask when the app doesn’t show full profiles or give ratings for compatibility. She added that she believed Tinder’s pricing logic relied on slightly older people like her having higher incomes and therefore more freedom in spending.
During the same year, social media consultant and adjunct professor, Jeff Gibbard, wrote his own tidbit for WIRED, but this one was to argue that Tinder wasn’t discriminating against age. In the piece, Gibbard said that while he didn’t consider it a good policy, the company was merely acting like any other free-market entity, using differentiations to make money.
A lawsuit had been previously filed against Tinder for the matter of discrimination, but at the time the case was grounded while being left with an open end. The ruling given then had agreed with the reasoning done by VP of corporate communications Rosette Pambakian, saying that the difference in charges seemed to make sense with the market testing.
In the current case, however, attorneys are trying to prove that although this may seem accurate, users who are age 30 and above aren’t always in a higher income bracket and therefore may find the extra fee prohibitive.