Apple will refund $32.5 million to thousands of families who's children purchased items through mobile apps without their parents' consent. On Jan. 16, The Associated Press reported that Apple has agreed to refund the money and that they will be changing their policies to ensure that spending extra (real) money while playing a game isn't as easy as clicking a button while you continue to play.
"Too often, the FTC said, parents were caught unaware that in-app purchases were being made and Apple didn't do enough to make it clear children were buying gems, coins, or treats for their virtual pets. Parents also were not told that entering their password for a single-app purchase started a 15-minute clock during which kids could make unlimited purchases without any further action by an adult, the agency said" (via The Associated Press).
The Apple refund will go to thousands of credit card companies, some of which saw charges of $600 that kids had no idea was legit "real money." Families called their credit card companies wondering where the charges came from and soon learned that their kids were buying "lives" for Candy Crush and/or "coins" or "gems" that actually cost money and charged a linked account every time the child clicked "OK."
Many kids didn't realize that they were racking up huge bills and Apple seems to understand how that it possible. The $32.5 million payout is a minimum amount given in the case. The number could easily exceed that amount as Apple has agreed to pay back every dime spent without parental consent.
More on the Apple refund in the video above.
© Effie Orfanides 2014