MANHATTAN BEACH, CA – Ah, the woes of modern online dating. It seems the older users get, the harder it is to score a hot date on apps like Tinder – in the eyes of young 20-somethings, a 34-year-old can seem ancient. In fact, it actually was harder to score dates thanks to Tinder’s pricing model for their premium services, which charged double for those 30-years-old and up.
Tinder Plus, the app’s premium service, was introduced in March 2015 and guaranteed users unlimited swipes. It also let them change their location, undo their most recent swipe, and “Super Like” multiple potential matches a day, according to Quartz Media. In the United States, Tinder Plus cost $9.99 for users younger than 30, and $19.99 for their 30-and-up dinosaur counterparts. The rationale? Older users could afford to pay more. They could also be a little more desperate, Quartz suggests.
On Jan. 29, a California appellate court ruled that Tinder Plus used a discriminatory pricing model that made an “arbitrary, class-based generalization” about the incomes of older users. The decision reversed an earlier ruling from a Los Angeles trial court which found that Tinder’s age-based pricing wasn’t discriminatory because it was based on market research that showed younger users were “more budget constrained,” according to Quartz Media.
“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 appellate court wrote. “Some older consumers will be ‘more budget constrained’ and less willing to pay than some in the younger group… Accordingly, we swipe left, and reverse.”