Allan Candelore, had earlier sued the popular dating app Tinder, alleging that the app had discriminatory pricing for its premium service Tinder Plus.
Candelore and his lawyers argued that the charging $9.99 per month charge for a user below 30 versus the $19.99 per month charge for a user above 30 was unfair. According to them this was discrimination based on age which was in clear violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Unfair Competition Law ( both Californian laws).
The appeals court finally ruled in favor of Candelore saying, “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. Some older consumers will be “more budget constrained” and less willing to pay than some in the younger group. 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.”
Interestingly, a lower court had previously ruled in favor of Tinder. Tinder co-founder Sean Rad defended the pricing back in 2015 by saying, “Our intent is to provide a discount for our younger users.”
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