Apple refunding parents for un-authorized in-app purchases

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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Apple refunding parents for un-authorized in-app purchases




Good news to parents with children after a federal case involving purchases kids made within apps without permission. The government came to a settlement and on Wednesday announced that Apple will refund at least $32.5 million to consumers.

Apple had received thousands of complaints about unauthorized charges from parents prior to this. They are now being told to change the billing procedures and make it more obvious that an actual purchase is taking place during the course of the game or app. Apple will have until March 31st to complete this requirement.

Edith Ramirez, the agency's head, said the settlement involves mobile apps and charges racked up when kids bought things such as virtual currency or ‘dragon food.’ In some cases, Ramirez said, charges ran into the hundreds and even thousands of dollars.

Some games are very sneaky too. While it’s free to download and play, it involves in-app purchases where kids have to buy items in order to accomplish certain tasks within the game.


Parents were not told, the FTC said, that entering their password opened a 15-minute window in which kids could make unlimited purchases without any further action by an adult.  The $32.5 million payout is a minimum. As part of the settlement, Apple must pay full refunds to consumers for kids' unauthorized purchases, so that figure could climb. If it doesn't rise to $32.5 million, the difference would be paid to the FTC, Ramirez said.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 15 January 2014 )
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