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Thread: Apple Settles Lawsuit Over Children Making In-App Purchases with Gift Cards and Refunds

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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Akshay Masand's Avatar
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    Default 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.

    Source: GigaOm

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    I would call those parents ignorant and stupid. If you really want your kids to enjoy.. why not buy them thier own iDevices, create their own account and set Credit Card option to none. That's it! They wont even able to buy any paid app... let alone iAPs. iPad mini is only S$450 ($300USD?), right? Or if your are too poor to even give your kid an oppotunity to be in touch with latest technologies, don't buy yourself one just to play Angry Bird.

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    Green Apple mustangfrnk's Avatar
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    "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."

    Deaf to parents' ears?
    REALLY???
    Of course, parents not being fully aware or, observant when children find ways to purchase such products and when they get the bill shock, they pawn the responsibility on the company...
    Two words.. Parental Control.
    Last edited by mustangfrnk; 02-25-2013 at 11:15 PM.

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    I like how every single one of the children in the article about them stealing their parents' money (by accident or on purpose) is a minority. What attention to detail.

    *Eyeroll*

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    Green Apple
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    Damn barely early as late 2013???

    Google Play awarded my dad his refund in the matter of hours when my sister (who is 6) went crazy on those dumb freemium apps.

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    Livin the iPhone Life Sniper488's Avatar
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    I agree with this lawsuit, I even wrote apple about it before.
    It is unlawful to have a child's game and in the game there are in app purchases for $50, $100, ...
    I mean its hard to find that amount of money in an adult app let alone a kids game.
    Adult supervision? lol
    I can tell the comments on here are from kids who have no idea about parenthood but are experts on this subject.
    These companies know what they're doing. It should at least ask for a pass code, but it doesn't.

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me bmwraw8482's Avatar
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    In-app purchases set to off as soon as my 2yr old figured out slide to unlock. Not too difficult...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper488 View Post
    I can tell the comments on here are from kids who have no idea about parenthood but are experts on this subject.
    These companies know what they're doing. .
    Maybe if parents actually knew what their kids were doing this wouldn't be a problem.
    Last edited by bmwraw8482; 02-26-2013 at 04:06 AM.

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone Dranon's Avatar
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    Why would a parent give a kid their password? My kids come to me anytime they want an app or to buy iap stuff and I put the password in for them. THAT way I control WHAT they purchase. Those nanopods aren't cheap!

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    iPhoneaholic jasvncnt10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blueberry27 View Post
    I would call those parents ignorant and stupid. If you really want your kids to enjoy.. why not buy them thier own iDevices, create their own account and set Credit Card option to none. That's it! They wont even able to buy any paid app... let alone iAPs. iPad mini is only S$450 ($300USD?), right? Or if your are too poor to even give your kid an oppotunity to be in touch with latest technologies, don't buy yourself one just to play Angry Bird.
    Ignorant? So instead of some parents allowing their child to play on their device you think they should buy a device just for the kids? Cause what..its ONLY $300..right? Seriously? The comment in red is just stupid. Why would you think the parent bought themselves one...just to play Angry Bird's? And you talk about being ignorant....
    Last edited by jasvncnt10; 02-26-2013 at 11:28 AM.

  12. #10
    Livin the iPhone Life Sniper488's Avatar
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    Lol you're not going to get me into a keyboard power struggle, implying we don't know how to parent, LOL.
    My argument is it should not be legal to have games which were made for young children with the ability to in app purchase any kind of purchase without at least asking for a password.
    Example: Littlest Petshops which is the latest thing for children, they are little animals with bobble type heads. They now made a game for it and have options to purchase $100 upgrades. I have set all our devices with restrictions but not everyone knows this and could end up with a huge bill by just handing their little kid the iPad on the couch while mom vacuums and 10 minutes later, you have $250 on your bill.
    Just saying, it's not right.
    Last edited by Sniper488; 02-26-2013 at 06:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dranon View Post
    Why would a parent give a kid their password? My kids come to me anytime they want an app or to buy iap stuff and I put the password in for them. THAT way I control WHAT they purchase. Those nanopods aren't cheap!
    But that was the problem, they could go to their parents and ask for the first purchase, then a few minutes later it asks them to buy something else, but this time it doesn't need the password, because not enough time had passed between the first purchase and this one.

  14. #12
    szr
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper488 View Post
    Example: Littlest Petshops which is the latest thing for children, they are little animals with bobble type heads. They now made a game for it and have options to purchase $100 upgrades. I have set all our devices with restrictions but not everyone knows this and could end up with a huge bill by just handing their little kid the iPad on the couch while mom vacuums and 10 minutes later, you have $250 on your bill.
    Just saying, it's not right.
    Exactly, it's just like with the "smurf berries", these type of games appear to be targeted towards children, or at least made in a way that anyone with even a working shred of brain matter can see will attract children (bright & very colorful, like any other child-targeted video game of the past two decades or so), so it's obviously something the developers are banking on.

    This is like a new version of those 1-900 phone numbers from the 1980's for which there were dozens of ads for during television shows for children, which would claim to let you speak to your favorite animated character, while giving parents an exorbitantly hefty phone bill at the end of the month, which could easily be hundreds of dollars or more as Jr. sat there on the phone. Just like these kid-friendly iOS games, a parent or guardian may not always realize the cost until it's too late.

    They hear something as benign as a "smurf berry" and such, just like how in the 80's parents would hear that kids could speak to Barney the Dinosaur. Yes, parents should pay closer attention, but that doesn't absolve those who actually create these traps for their wrong doing, which in this case is the developers, and Apple to an extent for allowing this sort of this to propagate and fester like it has, much like how television stations bore some responsibility for running those ads in the first place.

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