Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The dating app Tinder Plus can't charge more money for membership to older subscribers, a California appellate court has ruled.
The mobile application, an upgrade of the free Tinder dating program, has charged customers over the age of 30 a higher subscription fee of $19.99 -- while charging those under 30 fees of $9.99 or $14.99.
Tinder's rationale for the practice, affirmed by a lower court and mentioned in Monday's appellate court ruling, is that market research indicates younger users are "more budget constrained" and need a price break on a subscription.
California's Second Appellate District overruled the lower court's decision after plaintiff Allen Candelore, in a class action lawsuit, sued Tinder on grounds the policy violated the state's Unruh Law -- which broadly bans discrimination by age, sex, race and other factors.
Writing the unanimous decision, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brian Curry noted the Tinder procedure of offering customers photos of prospective dates. The customer can then "swipe right to express approval or swipe left to express disapproval."
"We conclude the discriminatory pricing model, as alleged, violates the Unruh Act and the UCL [Unfair Competition Law] to the extent it employs an arbitrary, class-based, generalization about older users' incomes as a basis for charging them more than younger users. Accordingly, we swipe left, and reverse," Currey wrote in the 26-page decision.