April 13th, 2015
A class-action lawsuit against Tinder alleges that the online dating app falsely advertises its matching service as “free” when, in reality, users have to pay a monthly fee if they want the freedom to swipe right on their smartphones whenever they see the favorable profile of another user.
This cap on “likes” is new to Tinder, and the lawsuit alleges that requiring users who signed up before it was introduced in March to now pay for unlimited likes for uninterrupted usage is all part of “a widespread and systematic ruse” perpetuated by the popular dating app from the start.
The lawsuit dubs it “classic bait and switch,” and further states:
[Tinder] offered these free services with the goal in mind of enlisting a user base of tens or hundreds of millions of users, with the ultimate goal of later changing the rules of participation and deceptively and forcibly migrating a substantially (sic) percentage of its user based (sic) to a paid subscription model.
Unlimited right swiping is “a necessary requirement” given the prevalence of spam users on which likes are often wasted, the lawsuit states.
As of March, only Tinder Plus subscribers paying either $9.99 or $19.99 per month can swipe right with total abandon (though the Florida man bringing the class action claims he was upsold Tinder Plus for $2.99 per month, see image above). Non-paying users, on the other hand, are at the mercy of a new algorithm that, according to the Tinder Blog, “intelligently limits the number of likes a user can make in a consecutive 12 hour period.”
TINA.org reached out to Tinder for comment but the company has yet to respond. However, the Tinder Blog states that the decision to limit likes for non-paying users was in response to a few fun-sucking Tinderites that only swipe right to see who likes them back.
“Charging for [Tinder Plus] simultaneously curbs excessive right swiping, making the ecosystem better for everyone … and gives users that hit the like limit an elective option to swipe more if they value that very strongly,” the blog said.
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