Skip to main content
  1. Tech
  2. Gadgets & Tech
  3. Tech Gear

Apple Inc. must pay $32.5 million in refunds for purchases made without consent

See also

Apple Inc. will be providing refunds to consumers who had purchases made without parental consent. A release from the Federal Trade Commision on Jan. 15 states that Apple has agreed to a settlement and will end up paying, at minimum, $32.5 million.

The FTC complaint was that the company was billing customers millions of dollars for purchases made by children or otherwise without their consent. Along with the settlement, Apple will change its billing practices to ensure that parents will have to demonstrate informed consent before Apple can issue a charge.

The source of the issue comes down to the password. The FTC says that Apple violated the FTC Act by not stating that a password was serving as their consent and Apple could finalize a purchase. Once a password was entered, a purchase could be approved. However, any purchase made within 15 minutes of the first purchase would also be approved with no further password needed.

Purchases weren’t only for apps; many were in-app purchases, such as for virtual currency used inside a game. These charges ranged from $.99 to $99.99 per charge.

FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez commented, “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 authorize.”

The changes Apple will make must be finalized no later than March, 31 of this year. Apple must now get full consent for in-app purchases and allow consumers to withdraw their consent from future charges.

In issuing refunds, Apple must make it expressly clear how to obtain a refund. If Apple issues less than the stated $32.5 million in refunds, the leftover money will be given to the FTC.


Don't Miss

  • Massive
    Ubisoft Massive exclusive: 'The Division', PS4 & Xbox One, Activision to Ubisoft & more
    Games Exclusive
  • iPhone
    Get your wallet ready: The next iPhone could cost $100 more than your last one
    Tech Buzz
  • Civ
    Need to catch up on 'Sid Meier's Civilization'? Here is everything you need to know
    Games Feature
  • Google Glass
    See how Google Glass is letting sick kids go to the zoo without leaving the hospital
    Tech News
  • Upcoming
    These are 2014's biggest PS4, Xbox One and Wii U games
    Games Feature
  • Google
    Google has filed for a patent to develop contact lenses capable of taking photos

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!