Apple Is Now Refunding People Whose Kids Bought IPhone Crap

It's a tale as old as the iPhone itself. Kid picks up parent's iPhone, kid plays game, kid accidentally buys a ton of in-app junk without their parent's knowledge. Parent goes bananas, complains to Apple.

Those complaints got too loud to ignore for Apple, so in February it agreed to a large settlement. That settlement is now live, via a special website Apple have launched, where parents making small claims can opt for either iTunes credit or, in cases where the amount claimed was over $US30, cash.

Apple aren't handing out money for nothing; parents will need to prove their kids made the purchases without their knowledge, and only games listed as "qualified" apps will be covered (though that list appears to cover all the main culprits, like Smurf's Village and Angry Birds).

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    This is good. This is progressive. Good to hear.

      Agreed, it's a real problem. Many like to blame the parents, and in some cases it is their fault, but it's about time that Apple owned up to their role in these virtual money scams.

        Yeah I agree. Also the car manufacturers should own up to their role in speeding, drunk driving and hit and runs.

          If this was a true parallel then we'd be assuming they have the power to either prevent these problem from ever happening, or completely repair all of the damages after the fact. So no.

            Mate, you can't fix stupid.
            Would you turn on 'one click buying' with amazon, then go get your kid and let him loose?
            How is it different on an idevice?

        This is nonsense. If parents are stupid enough to let their kids play games they don't know about themselves on iDevices linked to their credit cards or iTunes accounts, it's their fault, not Apple's. Apple has put restrictions in place including locking in-app purchases across the board and in individual apps, and warnings in the iTunes descriptions for the apps. It comes down to ignorance, of either parents or children, and Apple can't be blamed for either of those things.

    How would a parent possibly 'prove' that the child made the purchase without their knowledge, and it was not themselves?
    From the apple stores point of view, isn't a 'click to purchase!' just a click to purchase?
    Isn't it like porn sites with their 'click here to say you are over 18'? Obviously it has no way of detecting the age of the actual user. (shifty glance left and right) I mean I *never* clicked that button while I was like 15-16...

    Last edited 25/06/13 3:18 pm

      The requirement is: that you "not have knowingly entered your iTunes password to authorize any such purchases or given your password to the minor to make any such purchases". It's not really a matter of 'proof' but really just saying honestly that you didn't authorise it.

        Plus there's the fact that alot of the time, you don't need to actually enter your password, as a lot of the programs store this detail itself. Some don't but some do.

    The simple solution is to require a password whenever you make a purchase. Apple should build that into their products.

      That, or just not leave things lying around that you don't want your little one to get their hands on.

      They more or less did that when this court case was first lodged a few years ago. Originally the password had a large expiry on it, so if a parent authorised a single payment, the authorisation persisted for about 20 minutes more IIRC in case you were making successive purchases and didn't want to have to put your password in each time. Once the court case came about though, Apple shortened that period significantly.

    I wonder how many people who bought these legitimately and who have kids will lodge a claim?

    heres an idea, dont give your phone to spoilt brats. Then there will be no need to refund the crap they bought

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