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Apple follows through on kids' games settlement
Apple follows through on kids' games settlement
June 24, 2013 | By Mike Rose

June 24, 2013 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    13 comments
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing



Back in February, Apple agreed to pay out a large settlement to parents whose children had accidentally bought in-app purchases in kids' games on iOS. Now the company has followed through, and provided a means for claiming compensation.

Angry parents previously claimed that their children were able to buy in-game items without a password for the first 15 minutes after downloading the app, giving young children the chance to buy hundreds of dollars worth of content without their parent's approval.

As part of a settlement, Apple has launched a dedicated website where parents can claim either a $5 iTunes Store credit, or iTunes credit equal to the amount of in-app purchases made with a 45-day period.

If a parent's claim is more than $30, or if they no longer own an active iTunes account, a cash refund can be claimed instead. Of course, parents will need to be able to prove that they did not knowingly authorize the specific in-app purchases.

Hundreds of iOS games qualify as apps which can be claimed against -- a "Qualified App Search" page allows parents to find those games which are part of the settlement.

The list includes Angry Birds, Clash of Clans and Smurfs' Village, the latter of which urged children to buy virtual currency to expand their in-game town. The game's download page now includes a prominent disclaimer to inform parents of its business model.


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Comments


Bram Stolk
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The qualified app search is actually faulty.
I found out that my apps are listed in it (the little crane that could e.g) but one of my games use in-game-currency. I only used iap for unlocking levels.

From the webpage:
>The Qualified Apps that are the subject of this Settlement consist of all apps in the games category with an age rating of 4+, 9+, or 12+ that offer in-app purchases of consumable game currency.

Yet, apps that do not have consumable iap still show up.
This DB search looks like a big fail.

Bram Stolk
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'One of my games' should be 'none of my games'.

John Trauger
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In true Ferrengi fashion, customers don't get their money back if it can be helped.

I expected better from Apple.

Maurício Gomes
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I am very happy that I am so against IAP for children that none of my apps has anything resembling it (the free apps that I have, are truly free, have no IAP and no ads)

Ramin Shokrizade
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So here even if children were able to make purchases without a password, the parent still has to "prove" they did not authorize it? Even then they only get refunds under certain conditions? This is worse than what I was thinking the current prevailing attitude was concerning children making purchases on iOS in my first paper this week.

In my opinion the parent should be able to get a full refund even if the child knew the password to their iDevice, if the parent alerts Apple that the purchase was unauthorized. There should be no need for "proof", especially if there was no attempt to authenticate the parent's involvement at time of purchase.

This makes it appear that Apple is complicit with the methods I am attempting to raise awareness of this week.

Maurício Gomes
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Ramin, I like reading your comments, and papers, and I admire your intelligence and work.

But your constant mentions of your papers are making you look like a obnoxious attention wanting lunatic of sorts.

Please tone it down :) Do not stop commenting, I like your comments, but you do not need to shove in every comment (or even several times in the same comment) the word "paper"

Ramin Shokrizade
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Mauricio, that seems a bit harsh, but I will follow your advice.

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Ramin Shokrizade
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Ronny I very much appreciate your kind words. I realize these are difficult times as we all want to make money and be successful and there are so many conflicting messages flying around. I understand if my attempts to be a gadfly on some issues can rub some people the wrong way. Since children have no say themselves in this space, I feel that we have the responsibility to consider them when deciding trends and these messages always seem to get drowned out as we go about trying to figure out how to be personally successful.

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