The advertising practices of Tinder, Inc. (“Tinder”) are being called into question following the reinstatement of a class action lawsuit alleging that it engaged in various forms of deceptive business practices. The popular mobile dating application, known for its “swipe right” matching feature, is alleged to have deceived consumers into paying ever higher monthly fees in order to meaningfully use the service.
What is the nature of Tinder’s allegedly deceptive advertising practices?
The deceptive advertising allegations concern Tinder’s past representations that its mobile app was free to download and use. The plaintiff alleges that Tinder allowed its users to enjoy unlimited free swipes after downloading the app and had never previously indicated to customers that use of its service would require any form of payment. However, as alleged in the complaint, Tinder abruptly, and without notice, informed its consumers that they would no longer be able to enjoy unlimited swipes unless they signed up for a premium account that cost $2.99 per month. After such payment was made, Tinder is alleged to have once again subsequently increased the monthly fee for the service that included unlimited swipes without prior notice to consumers. The claim against Tinder is that a meaningful experience with the application’s dating service requires unlimited swipes and that consumers were deceived into downloading the app under pretenses that the unlimited swipes were free, only to be later charged increasing monthly fees, without prior notice, to maintain those unlimited swipes in violation of the law.
Best Practices to Avoid Deceptive Advertising-Related Liability
As we have previously written, class action plaintiffs, as well as state attorneys general and federal authorities alike, have been increasingly active in pursuing companies for deceptive advertising practices. Advertisers and their marketing partners face a constantly evolving range of regulatory and litigation risk when they engage in aggressive marketing and billing practices. In this legal climate, it is imperative to retain knowledgeable counsel to ensure that all advertising practices and procedures are compliant with applicable law and regulation.