An investigation revealed that Tinder charges young lesbian and gay users up to 48% more than its premium service for people older than 30.
Which consumer group? According to Which?, the findings of its research suggest discrimination and possible breach of UK law by popular dating app.
Tinder claimed that Tinder pricing structures discriminate based upon sexual preference was categorically false.
While it would be difficult to explain why Tinder Plus charges different fees than a single fee for each person, it did acknowledge that there are some exceptions.
This price differential was claimed by the dating app It was a ‘discount for younger users’ but Which? This isn’t made explicit to users of the app, Which?
The EHRC, Britain’s equality regulator, said it was looking into the issue and called the findings ‘concerning’.
Tinder is charging gay and lesbian young users as well as people aged over 30 upto 48% for the premium service. An investigation has shown this.
Which? found that gay and lesbian people in the 18 to 29 age bracket paid £60.15 on average. This was 37 per cent more than heterosexual users aged under 30 (who paid £44.06 on average) and 30 per cent more than bisexual users under 30 (£46.09)
Nearly 200 mystery shoppers were interviewed by the group and asked to make real profiles. Then, they took down prices for Tinder Plus. It is a premium package that includes unlimited ‘Likes and ‘Rewinds’ as well as the possibility to undo accidentally made selections.
The research showed some gay and lesbian users were paying more, with an average premium of more than 10 per cent (£6.74) compared to bisexual users, and more than 8 per cent (£5.28) compared to heterosexual users.
This was driven by the younger age group.
Which? found that gay and lesbian people in the 18 to 29 age bracket paid £60.15 on average.
This was 37 per cent more than heterosexual users aged under 30 (who paid £44.06 on average) and 30 per cent more than bisexual users under 30 (£46.09).
The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation, unless it is clearly justified.
When it came to age, those in the 30-49 age bracket paid 48 per cent more (£24 difference) and over 50s paid 46 per cent more (£23.19 difference) on average, for a 12-month Tinder Plus subscription.
Which? found that the full extent of how personalised pricing is applied is not clear on Tinder’s app — with no explanation to customers that their personal data could be exploited in this way.
If there are legitimate reasons, age-based pricing variations can sometimes be justified under UK law.
Age was a factor. Those aged 30-49 were paid 48% and older people paid 46 percent more for an average 12-month Tinder Plus subscription. (stock image).
It was unclear, however, why the over-30s paid more in this particular instance, which? said.
According to the investigation, Tinder’s algorithm is unpredictable and opaque.
Across the entire mystery shopping exercise, quotes for a year’s access to Tinder Plus ranged wildly from £26.09 to £116.99, with 20 different prices quoted in total.
Instead, the app uses data about individuals to “deliver and enhance” its services as well as (among others) to “help keep.” [users]Safe, reliable and affordable [users]Advertising that might be of interest to you
Which? said that Tinder should not be using personal data to determine what prices it charges users.
The consumer group stated that if it is, then users won’t be giving explicit consent for this processing. This could lead to a breach of UK data privacy law.
Tinder, which is owned by the Texas-based Match Group, made $1.4billion (£1million) in global revenue in 2020.
Tinder spokesperson stated that Tinder is completely free to use, and members can enjoy the app for as long as they want without having to upgrade to paid.
“We do have a range of subscription options that will help you stand out from the crowd and connect with people better.
Tinder is a worldwide business. In some countries, Tinder offers discounted subscriptions for younger members. In addition, we frequently offer promotional rates — which can vary based on factors like location or length of subscription.
Our pricing system does not consider any other demographic data.
The authors added, “It is absolutely false that our pricing system discriminates according to sexual preference.”
Rocio Concha of Which? director of policy advocacy said that he had discovered evidence suggesting that Tinder users could be unknowingly facing more charges due to their sexual orientation or age.
“This indicates possible illegal price discrimination on Tinder’s behalf, regardless of whether it’s intentional, as well as unlawful processing personal data.
“We demand that the EHRC (and the ICO) investigate further this matter.
“If Tinder’s personal pricing violates the law, then regulators must take strong action against the dating app giant.”
EHRC spokesperson said that the EHRC is Britain’s equality regulator and has responsibility for enforcing equality laws. Reports of discrimination are taken very seriously.
“This Tinder discrimination report is troubling. We’ll be examining these findings from Which? These findings will be considered by Which?