What the hell, Tinder?! Blatant Ageism Towards People Over Thirty in the Online Dating Sphere

Tinder recently introduced a form of “surge pricing” for its famous dating app. They’re now charging American singles 30+ years of age twice what those under 30 will pay. The app will be $9.99 for those under 30, and $19.99 for those 30 and older.

In the UK, Tinder will charge the 28 and older single crowd more than FOUR times the cost for younger generations. Converted from pounds, this comes out to around $23 compared to around $6!

The price change comes as Tinder introduces it’s new Premium upgrade, Tinder Plus. If you use the free version of Tinder, it will still be free…for now.

Tinder can get away with charging whatever the heck it feels like because it’s owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, which controls 27 percent of of the $2.2 billion dating-services industry. Included in IAC’s portfolio are Match.com and OkCupid. Heard of them?

Although I’ve personally never used Tinder (well, I’ve swiped through on a friend’s app), this price surging strikes me as blatant ageism. It’s discrimination pure and simple! Isn’t it difficult enough to be over 30 and single? Does there really need to be a dating app pointing out that you’re too old and therefore not as valuable to the online dating scene? There’s already a shameful age bias to being single over thirty – does Tinder really need to add to it?

Although it’s TINDER afterall, and you might expect them to pull a dick move like this, it’s still making a pretty awful statement. Tinder’s singling out older daters…just because it can. Even TechCrunch wrote an article titled New Tinder Charges Whatever It Wants. They say, “older users, who theoretically have less supply and offer less demand, pay a greater amount for extra dating tools.” Tinder’s excuse is basically that it’s courting the younger crowd, who “are more budget constrained, and need a lower price to pull the trigger.

I get the idea of this excuse (younger people are poorer), but the policy still sends a crappy message to quite a large group of “older” singles (who aren’t old at all). Plus, people in their 20’s aren’t necessarily poorer than people in their 30’s anyway. And the excuse just seems like a blatant marketing lie. Wired magazine says, in their article titled Yes, Tinder’s New Pricing is Ageist Pure And Simple, “why not just be honest: Tinder is charging us more because it thinks we are desperate. Desperate to find our last chance at love and willing to pay whatever it takes.”

I’m hoping that singles over 30 boycott the Premium Tinder until this price difference is adjusted. Possibly, we should boycott Tinder altogether for making such a biased statement. Hopefully Tinder gets the message and comes up with a middle ground price that’s equal for all ages.

Do I think this is likely? Nope. Do I think dating in your 30’s is fair? Nope. But one can dream.

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Throw Money at the Problem

Right now I’m working an auto show in Detroit.

The day I left to fly to Detroit, I woke up later than I’d wanted to. I’d packed the night before and was mildly exhausted.  After I’d already walked 3 blocks away from my apartment towards the bus to the airport, dragging two heavy suitcases behind me, I realized I’d forgotten my Global Entry card and had to drag the suitcases all the way back home. I live a 15 minute bus ride away from LaGuardia airport, but because of all my delays, I ended up just getting an Uber (these are cabs called from an app, in case you’re unfamiliar with Uber in your city).

I felt sort of guilty about spending $17 on an Uber cab instead of $2.50 on a bus, but the cost of being late and missing the flight would have been much much more. The time, stress, and possibly money spent on a new flight would have been much costlier than just throwing money at the lateness problem.

A much as I love saving money, I’m a big fan of picking your battles and using money when you need to. We have money in order to make our lives easier. Sometimes you need to take that hard earned money and throw it at problems that’ll quickly go away when hit.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m not at all rich…not yet 🙂 If you read some of my other articles you’d know I’m still paying off my student loan debt and definitely am not swimming in money. But a little bit of saving goes a long way toward solving some small problems. Now that I’m thirty, I’ve had a few good years of not desperately eating ramen noodles every day…and I have a slight bit more money to put into my ‘throw money at the problem’ account…which is basically my normal checking account.

Jane touched upon this in her post How Much of Your Life Do You Outsource? She was mentioning how much she hated doing laundry at a laundromat when she had to carry heavy bags. Before I lived in a building that had washers and dryers, I used to pay extra for drop off service at the laundromat a few blocks away. I’d just have the people who worked there clean and fold it. I hated having to go back and forth multiple times to the laundromat…I just wanted to drop my laundry off and pick it up all finished. I used this laundry drop off solution for years- it was worth it to me. I saved money elsewhere…like on taking buses to and from airports mostly. I spent my extra money on laundry problems. And I had no regrets.

Recently, I used another paid service Jane mentioned in her same post– this service is a food delivery program called Blue Apron. Blue Apron basically delivers 3 meals a week to your doorstep- only it doesn’t deliver them cooked and put together. The meals are in the form of ingredients and recipes and you cook the meals yourself. Blue Apron is pretty brilliant in a lot of ways. For one, it basically teaches you how to cook. Secondly, the time consuming act of buying ingredients is out of the picture. Thirdly, you know exactly what’s going into your (fancy) meals.

photo 2 (4)I actually managed to finagle a week of Blue Apron for free. A friend of mine ordered it for herself and loved it. She invited me to try a week of it as a free trial (a special promotion Blue Apron offers which I recommend you look around for 🙂 ). Everyone I know who’s tried Blue Apron loves it. In fact, all the married and engaged couples I met at a BBQ I mentioned in my How To Be A Third Wheel  post were buzzing about using it to cook for their significant others instead of ordering out all the time.

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I enjoyed the 3 meals I received from Blue Apron, and was super impressed with their beautiful delivery and presentation. I learned how to cook three new dishes, and the ingredients were delicious and fresh. However, the cost of 3 meals a week (with 2 servings each) would be $60 a week, which was a bit steep for my tastes. So I canceled the service before I had to pay for it. For me, cooking dinner every night is a problem I’d rather solve with time than money. I know I can cook 3 dinners a week for way less money than $60 and didn’t need to pay for Blue Apron’s services. Still, I think Blue Apron is a great and worthwhile service for certain types of people, the same way laundromat drop off was a great and worthwhile service for me.

Sometimes you just need to throw money at a problem….and sometimes you don’t. Know yourself and your budget. Then choose wisely which one it’ll be.

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