Tinder, a location-based dating app company, has settled a class action lawsuit for $17.3 million overcharging users 30 and older twice the standard fee for one of its subscription services. According to a report in The Verge, the premium tier service called Tinder Plus was introduced in 2015 and gave users benefits such as the ability to rewind swipes, more Super Likes and the option to swipe for people located in other countries.
Company Won’t Discriminate in California
Tinder was criticized when it charged users differently based on their age. It charged a monthly user fee of $9.99 for users under age 29 and $19.99 for those 30 and up. At the time, Tinder defended its pricing model and compared the tiers to Spotify’s discounted rates for students. A Tinder spokesperson said they learned during testing that younger users have budget constraints, but are still excited about Tinder Plus and could therefore use the incentive of a lower price to subscribe to the service.
The class action lawsuit was filed in a California court in April 2018 with plaintiff Lisa Kim filing on behalf of 230,000 class members. Tinder initially tried to block the case by citing an arbitration clause in its Terms of Service. But, Kim appealed that clause and the settlement was reached.
The company will pay class members a combined $11.5 million in compensation. For dropping the claims, class members will receive 50 Super Likes and an additional choice of a $25 check, 25 more Super Likes or a free Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold subscription. As part of this lawsuit, Tinder agreed to stop the discriminatory price tiers for its subscription services. However, it would do so only in California.
Why Class Action Lawsuits Work
This case is an example of how class-action lawsuits can help hold large corporations accountable. In this particular case, more than 200,000 people banded together against Tinder to point out their discriminatory pricing practice, which was unfair and unethical. While one plaintiff could not have accomplished this result against a large corporation, class members banding together as a group can help bring corporations to justice.
The biggest accomplishment of this lawsuit is forcing Tinder to price their product offerings in a fair manner in the future, at least in California. This is yet another case showing the amazing power of class action lawsuits to secure justice for the average American and hold large corporations accountable.