Apple Paying Back Parents Over App Misuse
The Apple store has to pay-out huge amounts to very angry parents whose little ones decided to buy things via the App Store without the parents consent. There has been countless cases of parents giving their children their iPhone or iPad just to keep the kids entertained, however when their children became emerged in the game they were offered extras to help them progress, but at a cost. The children agree and next thing you know the parents are being billed $200 because junior wanted to build the ultimate farm or needed that special gun to take down the terrorists. People could say that the parents were being irresponsible and should have kept an eye on their little ones however these parents have argued that it was “too easy” for children to order these costly extras that range from just under US$1 to around US$100.
Anyway, Apple have decided to stand up and take the bullet and are now paying US$32.5 million after a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Apple will also change the way it offers extras to ensure this problem is dealt with in an effective manner because many people feel cheated by Apple’s unfair way of billing. Apple says a password screen appeared that was needed to complete the purchase but on the other hand there was no text to say that the reason for entering their password was to finalize the purchase. Another issue was that once the password had been entered then further purchases could be made without the requirement of the password being entered.
This settlement only covers parents in the good old USA and therefore Apple users who had fallen victim in other countries would not be although Apple has before almost always refunded parents in the UK who have complained about bills from their children’s in-app purchases. Apple have taken this incident pretty well event though some one at the headquarters could be hanging out of the window with their insides disembowel. They even began to refund parents last year by e-mailing them and if the e-mails could not be sent then Apple sent them a postcard.
Is this fair on Apple or is it parents not keeping a closer eye on their new alternative baby sitter? Apple devices such as iPhones and iPads were designed to be used mostly by adults but now there are games aimed to be used by children, then they should realize that children use them.
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