Apple agrees to refund millions and millions for accidental app purchases

16 January 2014

apple_logo_rainbow_6_color In-app purchasing is a thing that doesn't look like going away regrettably, which means that parents the world over will worry about their offspring spending their money on things they shouldn't. Of course, most parents have worked out ways around it, but the problem persists, with articles appearing frequently about nasty surprises on the bank statement, thanks to little Chloe going mad on The Simpsons: Tapped Out.

Over in The States, the Federal Trade Commission said that Apple Inc. had agreed to refund at least $32.5 million to unsuspecting parents. “You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize,” said Edith Ramirez, the commission chairwoman.

Hopefully, this is a precedent that will roll out worldwide or at least, worth remembering should you find yourself in a similar jam.

After thousands of complaints, not only are Apple settling with consumers, but they've also been asked to change their billing practices in a bid to make purchases more obvious than they really are.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said they agreed with the FTC because the consent decree “does not require us to do anything we weren't already going to do, so we decided to accept it rather than take on a long and distracting legal fight.”

However, the FTC say that Apple haven't always made it clear that customers were buying something and that parents weren't aware that entering the password started a 15-minute clock during which kids could make as many purchases as they wanted without any further action by an adult.

Apple have 'til March 31 to come up with a new billing system and they'll have to pay out to customers that have been affected by unauthorised purchases, paying full refunds to customers.

TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile

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