Tinder says it will no longer charge older users more to use Tinder+, following a new report questioning the dating app’s practice of charging older users “substantially more.”
The report, from Mozilla and Consumers International, detailed just how much Tinder+ pricing can vary based on users’ age. The report relied on “mystery shoppers” in six countries — the United States, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Korea, India and Brazil — who signed up for Tinder+ and reported back how much the app charged for the subscription. According to the report, Tinder users between the ages of 30 and 49 were charged an average of 65.3 percent more than their younger counterparts in every country except Brazil.
Tinder’s age-based pricing for Tinder, which gives users access to premium features like unlimited likes, has long been a source of controversy for the dating app. When it launched, the company said it charged older users more because younger people were more “budget constrained.” Since then, the dating app has been hit with at least one class action lawsuit over the practice.
But though Tinder had pledged to end the practice in some areas, like California where the class action suit originated, the company continued to offer different rates in many countries. The latest report from Consumers International highlights just how much the dating app’s subscription pricing could vary. In New Zealand, where the mystery shoppers were quoted a total of25 different prices, the lowest quoted price was $4.95, while the highest was $24.54, according to the report. In the Netherlands, there were 31 different prices, with the lowest at $4.45 and the highest at $25.95.
Now, Tinder says it plans to abandon its age-based pricing altogether. In a blog post published Sunday, Tinder said younger users were offered subscriptions at different rates in order to “make Tinder affordable for those in school or early in their careers.” The company said it ended the practice in the US, Australia and UK, and that it plans on “eliminating age based pricing for all of our members in all markets by the end of Q2 this year.” The company says it never used other personal or demographic info to determine rates.
In a statement, a Tinder spokesperson said the report from Consumers International was “deeply flawed and contains completely false and outrageous allegations,” but didn’t specify what those were. The spokesperson added that the company’s internal pricing tests could have “impacted the findings,” and noted that prices are “typically” lower on Tinder’s website than in App Stores due to Apple and Google’s commission structure.
Going forward, Tinder says it plans to offer more “a la carte” features, rather than pricier subscriptions that bundle multiple capabilities. The app also recently introduced “coins” to allow users to make one-off in-app purchases.