Apple Settles FTC In-App Purchase Complaint For $32.5 Million

Apple Settles FTC In-App Purchase Complaint For $32.5 Million

Apple logo

Apple has agreed to pay at least $32.5 million in refunds to settle an FTC complaint over unauthorized in-app purchases.

Apple's long, dark in-app purchase nightmare is on the verge of finally coming to an end, as the company has reached an agreement with the FTC that will see it spend a minimum of $32.5 million in refunds to customers who fell victim to unauthorized purchases made within iOS apps.

The trouble arose as result of Apple's policy of allowing unlimited in-app purchases for 15 minutes after an authorized purchase was made, a policy it failed to make parents aware of. Thus you had incidents like the $1400 smurfberry blowout from 2011, leaving parents with unexpected and eye-popping bills.

"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," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize."

Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement that the 15-minute window was originally intended to make the App Store easier to use, but acknowledged that "some younger customers discovered that it also allowed them to make in-app purchases without a parent's consent." The settlement gives Apple until March 31 to begin requiring consent for all in-app purchases, and until the end of the year to pay a minimum of $32.5 million to customers seeking refunds. If that minimum isn't paid out by the deadline, the balance will be go to the FTC.

Source: International Business Times

Permalink

...the balance will be... what? Hey... wake up.

Apple loses 32 million.

Still has 120 billion in moolah and owes nothin' to nobody.

That was the small change they happened to have in their wallet at the time.

"I don't want to take responsibility for my child, that's Apple's job! They were the babysitter!"

Galen Marek:
"I don't want to take responsibility for my child, that's Apple's job! They were the babysitter!"

Babysitting has nothing to do with it. The problem was the 15-minutes of unchecked spending authorized after every purchase, which as clearly stated was NOT something the customers were aware of. Parneting isn't even a good argument, since you'd have to hover over their shoulder every minute they use the device to avoid spending sprees like this. Does someone really deserve to lose $1400 because they let their child used an Ipad?

secretkeeper12:

Galen Marek:
"I don't want to take responsibility for my child, that's Apple's job! They were the babysitter!"

Babysitting has nothing to do with it. The problem was the 15-minutes of unchecked spending authorized after every purchase, which as clearly stated was NOT something the customers were aware of. Parneting isn't even a good argument, since you'd have to hover over their shoulder every minute they use the device to avoid spending sprees like this. Does someone really deserve to lose $1400 because they let their child used an Ipad?

i pretty much agree with you there, i can see a parent reluctantly agreeing to let their child buy one small item and then being hit with that huge ass bill because of that

secretkeeper12:

Galen Marek:
"I don't want to take responsibility for my child, that's Apple's job! They were the babysitter!"

Babysitting has nothing to do with it. The problem was the 15-minutes of unchecked spending authorized after every purchase, which as clearly stated was NOT something the customers were aware of. Parneting isn't even a good argument, since you'd have to hover over their shoulder every minute they use the device to avoid spending sprees like this. Does someone really deserve to lose $1400 because they let their child used an Ipad?

I agree with this. If draining the credit card is so easy that kids can do it in just a few unsupervised minutes there's something wrong. Technology is becoming increasingly important over the years and we can't keep kids away from it simply because it's getting too easy to purchase things without the consent of the parents. Even parents need to use the bathroom at times.

Now I don't have any experience with inn app purchases so I don't know how this works, but personally I am quite annoyed with how I am being asked to identify myself for things that are free. Downloading the Netflix app means I need an Apple ID and I need to fill in my password. Heck, even updating my Netflix app requires my password. This is the main reason I don't update my apps that often. I wish they would differentiate just a tad, but I guess it's better than to be hit up with an enormous bill.

This is why I don't use email apps(uhhgg that word needs to die) and deleting any links a to my credit card when I bought the one single thing I was willing to pay money for on the Android store. (Torque, get the free version and $20 Bluetooth ODBII reader online and you can see everything your car's computer sees.) There are just too many little details hidden in either system that makes me not trust any financial transactions taking place on a small device I take to public places, can get lost, can have its signal intercepted, and could be picked up by someone who doesn't understand that downloading things on it could cost real world money. That 15 minutes of spending authorization deal just makes it even more ridiculous. Why would you let that happen unless you wanted to nickle and dime someone. Apple should have to pay a bigger fine and refund whatever was spent by the little tykes. They already make a killing on that 30% they get for every item.

kanetsb:
...the balance will be... what? Hey... wake up.

A self-serving government agency? Inconceivable!

Mortuorum:

kanetsb:
...the balance will be... what? Hey... wake up.

A self-serving government agency? Inconceivable!

No, but... the last sentence in the article:
"If that minimum isn't paid out by the deadline, the balance will be go to the FTC."

- will be go to the FTC? Wat?

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here