Apple shelling out $32.5m to refund in-app purchases

Jamie Feltham
January 16, 2014

We’ve heard countless stories over the past few years about kids racking up huge bills for their parents thanks to in-app purchases. Now, Apple has agreed to refund some $32.5 million ( £19.9m) of that money to disgruntled customers.

The US Federal Trade Comission brought forth complaints that argued Apple had failed to tell parents that they were spending money when entering passwords in-app. For the following 15 minutes children would have access to unlimited purchases before the password was needed again. You can see how these things happen.

Edith Ramirez, chairman of the FTC, said: “This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing and a signal to the business community.

“Whether you’re doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply.

“You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorise.”

The refunds, which will be issues before the end of March, will be go to cases of accidental of unauthorised charges.

While this effects the US, we don’t know what kind of plans Apple has for other territories with similar issues. At the very least this case should raise awareness about how easy it is to fork other thousands in-app.

About the Author

Jamie Feltham

Videogamer, music listener, squash player, exerciser, technology journalister. Multimedia journalism graduate, writing for the What Mobile mag and website

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