Apple Will Refund Parents Whose Kids Splurged On Apps

Company will pay out at least $32.5 million to parents with app-happy kids

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Itsuo Inouye / Associated Press

Apple will pay out at least $32.5 million to parents whose children bought apps without their consent, after reaching a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. 

The settlement requires the gadget giant to provide full refunds to people who were billed for app store charges incurred by children, as well as for charges that were either accidental or unauthorized, the FTC said in a statement. As part of the agreement, Apple will have to change its billing practices by getting informed consent from consumers before charging them for mobile apps. 

The FTC said in its original complaint that one consumer’s daughter spent $2,600 in the app “Tap Pet Hotel.” Other surprised parents found charges of more than $500 for in-app purchases on “Dragon Story and “Tiny Zoo Friends.”

4 comments
MattDills
MattDills

The in-app charges couldn't be more straight forward. If you are in an app and it says "do you want to buy a bag of coins/jewels/whatever?" If you tap yes it will ask for your password then it will prompt "are you sure you want to spend $2.99?" You can either tap yes or no. I don't see what else Apple can do about that other than getting rid of in-app purchases all together.


If Apple has to refund for this then it sets a bad precedent. Now people are going to be saying "hey, i didn't authorize these charges on Amazon either". Once you have the password on Amazon you can then purchase items and have them shipped as long as you use the same address that was authorized before. 



Lulu.27
Lulu.27

How is this Apple's Fault?? Parents need to keep their eyes on their children, perhaps?? 

GaryRMcCray
GaryRMcCray

Tablets and apps are actually becoming an excellent early way of getting your kids both familiar with the electronic world they are going to be living in and providing them with improved interactive educational experiences.


But clearly the app system needs to be better oriented towards not allowing the kids themselves to be spending their parents money either knowingly or not.


And many of the titles like those listed are clearly intended to exploit children's unfamiliarity with the consequences of their actions.


This is equivalent to the old cigarette vending machines or turning the kids loose in a candy store and saying take what you want then billing the parents.

db4490
db4490

Rewarding bad parenting.  Great.  What's next?  This is what happens when you shove a connected device in your kids face and tell 'em to go play vs. doing something better and together with them.