Thanks to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, Apple will now refund at a sum of at least $32.5 million to customers with unwanted in-app purchases. Good news for anyone whose kids have gotten a little carried away on freemium games.
The original complaint launched by the FTC concerned the millions of dollars being spent by children without parental consent. Along with the refunded money for affected families, Apple must also be sure to receive “express, informed consent” from users when a purchase is made. “The settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez in a statement. “You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize.”
The problem arises due to the fact that entering a password to approve in-app purchases also creates an additional 15-minute window during which purchases can be made without further authorization. According to the FTC, Apple had already received “tens of thousands” or complaints over the unfair nature of these purchases, which added up to millions of dollars.
The tech giant has until March 31 of this year to change its billing practices to reflect the agreement reached with the FTC.