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Why should older people have to pay more?
If you’ve just turned 29 and hanging out on Tinder Plus, you might have noticed a sudden price bump. One California man says this is discrimination and is suing the app for making older users pay more.
California resident Allan Candelore filed a second lawsuit against Tinder on Monday after a judge agreed to listen to his case, reversing a previous ruling that left his suit stuck at court. Candelore argues that California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act and Unfair Competition law were both violated by Tinder when the service began charging users for Tinder Plus based on age in the state, which the suit considers age discrimination.
Tinder Plus works by offering different pricing structures to different ages, with payment plans ranging from $2.99 to $34.99, according to Lifehacker. Subscribers who are 28 or younger only have to pay $9.99 if they live in the U.S., but afterward, Tinder Plus’ pricing plan jumps up to $19.99 for users approaching their 30s. That means older Tinder users have to pay more just to receive the premium edition’s perks, like the “passport” feature and rewinding on swipes.
As for charging older users for the same service, Tinder argues younger users “are just as excited about Tinder Plus, but are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger,” Forbes reports. So technically, it’s not that older users pay more. Rather, younger users receive a “discount” on Tinder Plus until they age out of the youth demographic.
Originally, the court agreed that Tinder’s pricing structure was “reasonably based on market testing.” But the new lawsuit not just contests this, it also argues that socioeconomic experiences vary and that users in their 30s aren’t necessarily better off than ones in their 20s.
“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 lawsuit claims, Jezebel reports. “Some older consumers will be ‘more budget constrained’ and less willing to pay than some in the younger group.”
Meanwhile, Tinder isn’t financially suffering from all the $9.99 paying twenty-somethings; the company is reportedly making plenty of money off its elite premium option, Tinder Gold.
Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.