Consumer watchdog Which? has slammed Tinder, the dating app, for charging young lesbian and gay users more than straight people for access to their premium service, possibly in contravention of The Equality Act (2010).
As part of their investigation, Tinderasked 200 people to create genuine profiles and to record the prices quoted for Tinder Plus, which offers enhanced features such as unlimited “likes” and an “undo” facility. Once all 200 profiles had been created, researchers noted that some people who has specified their sexuality as gay or lesbian were hit with a premium of around 10% more than 10% of bisexual users and over 8% of the prices quoted to heterosexual users.
The difference was all the more stark with people under 30, with gay and lesbian users aged 18 to 29 being quoted a massive 37% more than straight people and 30% more than bisexual users under 30.
Over 30s, were also hot hard, with 30 to 49-year-olds being charged 48% more and over 50s having to stump up an additional 46% on a year’s subscription to Tinder Plus.
Across the 200 mystery shopper profiles, Tinder quoted 20 different prices for Tinder Plus, ranging from £26.09 to £116.99.
Which? has reported its finding to the Information Commissioner and to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, requesting an investigation into whether the dating giant is in breach of UK law. It is illegal in the UK to charge people of different sexual orientations different prices for the same product and, while discrimination based on age is permitted under certain circumstances (for example student discounts or low-cost cinema tickets for pensioners) it does not appear that there is any legal justification for Tinder’s pricing policy.
A spokesperson for Tinder told Which?, “Tinder is free to use and the vast majority of our members enjoy our app without upgrading to the paid experience.
“However, we do offer a variety of subscription options to help our members stand out and match with new people more efficiently.”