Apple Settles Lawsuit Over Children Making In-App Purchases with Gift Cards and Refunds
Apple recently agreed to settle a lawsuit which was leveled by a group of parents who sued the Cupertino California company after their children spent large amounts of money on in-app purchases, with the company planning to dole out $5 iTunes gift cards, the same amount in cash, or a full refund if the initial charge was over $30.
This settlement brings an end to the suit which was originally filed in April of 2011which alleged Apple’s process of in-app purchases of being too easy for children to accrue fees on their parent’s credit cards. The plaintiffs in the case claimed their kids were buying game currencies without even realizing they were spending hundreds of dollars of real-world money. Most claims will end up receiving a $5 iTunes gift card or cash equivalent as noted by GigaOm
The main cause of the issue were so-called “bait apps,” otherwise known as “freemium” apps, which can be downloaded at no cost and provide for in-app upgrades sometimes priced at over $100. Apple was dragged into the case for its implementation of iTunes account passwords, which allowed for a certain amount of time to pass before a user was prompted for a password. For its part, Apple noted that parents have the ability to stop their children from purchasing the digital goodies, which was an argument that fell deaf to parents’ ears.
Once the preliminary assessment of the settlement is approved by a federal judge and all claims are filed, the Cupertino California company will likely start handing out payments as early as the end of 2013.