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Apple to Pay Back Parents $100M From Kids’ Unauthorized In-App Spending

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

Apple is responsible for paying $100 million to parents whose children made unauthorized purchases in game apps, under the terms of a class-action settlement that was originally filed in 2011, according to ABC News.

There have since been multiple stories of children going on buying sprees on their parents’ iPhone and iPad applications where they are purchasing imaginary goods and services offered by some game apps. In one instance, an 8-year-old girl bought $1,400 worth of “Smurfberries” in the Smurf Village game app.

This issue was brought to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. Parents protested that the children playing these games may not be aware that the virtual coins or tokens used to buy imaginary goods through apps must be paid for by their parents with real money. Apple has since made changes to it’s policy that makes it more difficult for kids to charge their parents’ iTunes accounts without parental consent.

As a result of the settlement, parents may submit a claim through a special “Apple In-App Purchase Litigation” website prior to August 30, 2013. Claims from parents whose children accrued unauthorized charges of $30 or less will result in compensation for the parent in the form of $5 in iTunes Store credit or $5 cash if they no longer have an account. For claims exceeding $30, parents must also submit the date and amount of each purchase. Any U.S. citizen is eligible for compensation if the charge was accrued by a minor acting without the parent’s consent through a qualified app prior to May 2, 2013.

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