Dating app Tinder has been accused of age discrimination after an investigation found it charges older Australians five times more for premium services.
Industrial advocates believe the price differences could amount to unlawful age discrimination.
Consumer watchdog Choice has asked the ACCC to investigate if Tinder is also breaching consumer laws.
Tinder accused of age discrimination
Choice used 60 mystery shoppers to sign up to Tinder to conduct the research.
The dating app allows users to swipe another user’s photo left or right depending on whether they want to connect or not.
While the basic service is free, members can sign up for Tinder Plus which offers more features.
The results of the research found queer females aged under 30 are charged the least, at just $6.99 per month.
In comparison, city-based straight men over 50 are charged the most, at $34.37 a month.
Choice also found the price range for people under 30 is generally lower than for people over 30.
The under-30s are charged between $6.99 and $16.71 while the over-30s paid between $14.99 and $34.37.
It notes users are not told their personal data is used to set pricing.
Erin Turner from Choice said:
“Based on our mystery shop, we know that Tinder is using age to set different prices.
A Tinder spokesperson said most members use the app without paying.
However, the spokesperson also said pricing for Tinder Plus can vary due to a number of factors.
“We do offer a variety of subscription options and paid a la carte features designed to help our members stand out and match with new people more efficiently.”
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from Human Rights Claims says it is unlawful for a company to discriminate based on someone’s age.
“Age discrimination happens when someone is treated differently, or unfairly, because they are too old or too young,” he said.
“It seems Tinder might be guilty of age discrimination in this case because there is no good reason why someone over 30 is charged more for the same service.”
Last year, Tinder agreed to pay a $US17.3 million class action settlement for age discrimination in California.
Tinder user Lisa Kim filed the claim, accusing Tinder of charging her and other users twice as much because they were over the age of 29.
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