It’s so easy to buy apps and then buy even more stuff within those apps, even a kid can do it. Which is exactly why a court has ordered Facebook to refund parents whose children made unapproved app purchases while using the social media network. [More]
There’s a time-tested rule that if someone gives a child an easy way to unwittingly spend your money, you will soon be looking at a thick bill containing a large number of tiny purchases. Today, a federal court ruled that Amazon failed to do enough to alert Kindle Fire owners — and users of Amazon’s Android appstore — that “Free” apps could still allow kids to make costly in-app transactions. [More]
While its competitors in mobile apps Apple and Google have reached settlements with the Federal Trade Commission, Amazon has decided that it will not roll over. No, the tech company is going to fight the FTC’s lawsuit against it rather than settle, and filed a brief last week making the case that this is all the darn parents’ fault. Sort of. [More]
Google may have made changes to prevent inadvertent in-app purchases within the Google Play store, but the company still has to answer for their previously lax controls that allowed children to run up huge bills on their parents’ accounts. [More]
Last week, Amazon made it clear to the Federal Trade Commission that it wasn’t going to fork over a ton of cash to close an investigation into the e-tailer’s in-app purchase policy. And today the FTC made it clear that it intends to pursue its complaint against Amazon, suing the company in federal court. [More]
While the folks at Apple have already settled civil and regulatory complaints about in-app purchase policies that allowed children to run up huge bills on their parents’ accounts, the Google Play store has only recently come under scrutiny for its allegedly lax controls. Now, a mom in New York has filed a potential class action against the Internet giant, claiming its policies encourage kids to waste their parents’ money. [More]
Though Apple has already settled a class-action lawsuit over all those in-app purchases unwittingly made by free-fingered kids on their parents’ and other adults’ iPhones and iPads, that deal didn’t mean the folks at the Federal Trade Commission were going to stop looking into the situation. Today, the FTC announced that it has reached a deal with the electronics giant to issue at least another $32.5 million in refunds to consumers. [More]
While adults have the ability to pause and reflect on whether or not a virtual pet is a necessity, a six-year-old is probably going to see that digital dog and immediately want it, and need to have it. Or a pair of twins that age managed to spend $1,600 of their parents’ money through in-app purchases while playing a game on an iPad. [More]
Another day, another story of a youngster racking up a massive bill on some unlucky adults’ iPad. This time, it’s an 8-year-old in England who tallied up £4,000 (around $6,100) on in-game purchases over the last few months — half of it in just a six-day period. The girl’s dad thought he’d have to sell his car to pay the bill, but Apple says it has decided to refund the money. [More]
Did Your Kid Make In-App Purchases On Your iPhone Without Asking? You Might Be Due Some Cash From Apple
A couple years back, Apple came under fire from parents and regulators after reports that kids were making in-app purchases, sometimes to the tune of four figures, on their folks’ iPhones and iPads. The company has since changed its policy to prevent children from draining their parents’ wallets in this fashion, but that didn’t stop the class-action lawsuit from the people who’d lost money before the policy change. [More]
Maybe you sneer at posts such at this one about a five-year-old who bought $2,500 worth of digital cars in mere minutes, or this one about a child who spent $1,400 on Smurfberries on her parents’ iPad. You’d never be so stupid as to hand a child a device with the password already entered and ready to go. Jamie might have said the same thing…until she did.
Apple has tinkered with its in-app subscription purchases policies, making things more flexible for publishers and possibly more difficult for consumers. Previously, Apple required publishers to charge their lowest prices for subscriptions purchased within apps, but now Apple has dropped pricing restrictions.
In the wake of that 8-year-old who racked up $1,400 in Smurfs Village purchases on her parents’ iPad, Apple recently instituted a policy that requires a user’s App Store password for making in-app purchases. But we’ve gotten some e-mails from parents who want to be able to share that password with their kids — for the purposes of downloading free content — while still preventing their children from amassing millions of useless Smurf berries.