A California appellate court ruled Monday that the dating app Tinder is discriminating against older people by requiring them to pay more for its services.
While Tinder’s primary product is free of cost, there is a higher level available for purchase that provides users with more features and resources for matchmaking. That upgrade costs users younger than 30 $9.99 per month, while users older than that have to pay $19.99, almost double the rate.
The Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles decided that Tinder is violating civil rights state laws through this pricing scheme. The judges unanimously voted 3-0 in its ruling, which was written by Brian Currey, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge. Currey argued that customers must be treated as individuals, not as groups based on superficial factors like age or gender, according to SFGate.
“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,” reads the court document outlining its conclusion. “Some older consumers will be ‘more budget constrained’ and less willing to pay than some in the younger group.”
“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,” the ruling continues, with a cheeky jab at Tinder’s proprietary configuration.
The court’s decision is reminiscent of prior ones made by other courts, including the ruling over “Ladies’ Night” discounts, which have been deemed unlawful and lawful in separate cases decades apart.
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