OFT kicks butt over in-app purchases

30 January 2014

The Office of Fair Trading has now waded into the in-app purchases row, by giving the online gaming industry two months to overhaul free apps and stop the problem of your kid accidentally paying £30 for a candy hammer.
in app

The OFT say that game producers must play by their rules or face strict action under consumer protection law.

This comes after Apple had to refund millions of dollars to distraught parents after they complained of being out of pocket when their kids sticky fingers wrongly landed on a BUY button in a free app.

Apple has updated their App store after being inundated with requests for refunds, and Google have also updated their rules about in-app purchases.

But before you blankly hand little Jimmy your iPad and slope off back to bed, parents still have to be aware that if your settings allow you to buy an extra life/20 magic gems/an Angry Birds Mighty Eagle, then accidents can still happen unless you adjust them.

The OFT said that game producers must be upfront about in-game costs and advised parents to check the payment options in their settings. They also said that parents should be aware that any updates might have an effect on their payment settings. But it looks like they're not pulling any punches. Their new guidelines state:

‘In-game payments are not authorised and should not be taken unless the payment account holder, such as a parent, has given his or her express, informed consent.’

TOPICS:   Technology   Mobile   Consumer Advice   Games


  • Merkin G.
    Get the Trolley updated then people might read this drivel.
  • vinny
    It is lazy, irresponsible parents who should have their butts kicked over this, not anyone else.
  • Merkin G.
    Is no-one else incensed by the lack of updating of the Feral Trolley of the WEEK, or is no-one else here?
  • Gerkin M.
    Well I know I am (here)
  • Captain K.
    Well I can't even fecking post anything!
  • Red M.
  • Swagged J.
    I'm going to be here even more.
  • Captain K.
    Ha - they ban you by your email address.
  • hypocrite j.
    Feral trolley you are shit
  • wonka
    Flight mode?
  • Ali B.
    flex wit da erb
  • Trolley B.
    WTF is dis trolley real
  • Bogbrush
    I have a fantastic pic of a feral trolley, but I'm not sending it to them. Instead, I'm setting up my own feral trolley website. Take that, Bitterwallet!

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