California Second District Court of Appeal Jude Brian Currey ruled earlier this week that Tinder "employs an arbitrary, class-based, generalization about older users' incomes as a basis for charging them more than younger users."
NPR first reported back in 2015 that user pay $9.99 for Tinder Plus if you are under 30. If you are 30 or older, you paid $10 more. Tinder did the same in the U.K.
Tinder said its market researching found that younger users were less likely to pay for premium services and "need a lower price to pull the trigger."
As NPR explains, the lawsuit was first filed in February 2016, by Tinder user Allan Candelore. He said the policy violated a 1959 California law called Unruh Civil Rights Act, which "secures equal access to public accommodations and prohibits discrimination by business establishments."
The court also found that Tinder's plan violated the Unfair Competition Law, which "prohibits, and provides civil remedies for, 'unfair competition,' which includes 'any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice.'"
The appellate court judge agreed, and dismissed Tinder's "market research," arguing that there are people who will not fit their assumptions.
"Some older consumers will be 'more budget constrained' and less willing to pay than some in the younger group," Currey wrote. Currey also referenced Tinder's most famous feature in his ruling.
"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," the ruling reads. "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."
Tinder is a dating app, where users swipe right if they want to chat with the person. If both people swipe right, the conversation begins.
While Tinder lost this court battle, it is trying out a partnership with the ASPCA and Animal Planet. While watching the Puppy Bowl Sunday, users can swipe right to go to the ASCPA site to help shelter animals find homes.