Mozilla Foundation: ‘Tinder’s Opaque, Unfair Pricing Algorithm Can Charge Users Up to Five-Times More for Same Service’

Mozilla, in a report issued three weeks ago:

Tinder Plus users around the world must engage with an opaque and unfair personalized pricing algorithm, according to new research by Mozilla and Consumers International.

The research — which spanned five continents — reveals that within a single country, consumers can be quoted up to 31 unique price points for a Tinder Plus subscription. Further, some people are charged up to five times more for the exact same service: In the Netherlands, prices ranged from $4.45 to $25.95. In the U.S., they ranged from $4.99 to $26.99.

Consumers International and Mozilla also determined that Tinder’s personalized pricing algorithm can charge older users more money. On average across the six countries investigated, 30-49 year-olds were charged 65.3% more than 18-29 year-olds. This is occurring even after Tinder faced a $24 million lawsuit for unfair pricing based on age in California.

Florian Mueller, writing at FOSS Patents:

Who is hurting consumers more:

  1. a dating-app maker that clandestinely charges some of its users up to five times more for the same service than it charges others; or

  2. a smartphone operating system maker that transparently and consistently imposes a 30% tax on payments in dating apps (and roughly the same for out-of-app payments)?

Sorry to say so: even a vocal App Store critic like me can’t possibly answer the question with “Apple.”

Tuesday, 1 March 2022