If you have an iPod or an iPad and you have let your kids use it, you likely thought there was no way for them to purchase apps without you knowing it. Although most apps do require a password in order to make a purchase, many also offer in-game purchases that do not require entering the password.
This little trick led to many parents finding huge bills and big credit card charges that were racked up by toddlers and children who made these purchases without knowing or in some cases even caring about the consequences.
Most parents just paid the bill, punished their children accordingly and moved on, but others thought the charges weren’t fair and complained to Apple and the Federal Trade Commission. Apple got so many complaints that the FTC ordered them to refund parents who were victims of unknown charges.
Apple emailed customers that they thought may have been victims of the charges and can also be contacted by customers who want to receive refunds. Apple has been ordered to pay a total refund amount of $32.5 million by the FTC. If the customer refunds do not total this amount, Apple will pay the difference to the FTC.
"Whether you're doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize."
Even before the FTC demanded that Apple offer these refunds, the company had already fixed their password requirements and made sure that all purchases now require a password regardless of the type of app or amount of the purchase.
Apple also recently settled a class action lawsuit with the parents who accused the company of allowing their children to make purchases without their knowledge or consent.
Do you think it was fair for the FTC to order Apple to refund this money?
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