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Parents Due $100M Back From Kids In-App Spending Sprees

usa apple class-action settlement unauthorized charges august 30 2013 deadline

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#1 Hum

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 13:19

Apple, under the terms of a class-action settlement, will pay $100 million to parents whose kids went on unauthorized buying sprees in game apps.

Parents who claim their kids ran up unauthorized charges of $30 or less will get $5 worth of iTunes Store credit or $5 cash (if they no longer have an iTunes account), according to the settlement's terms. Parents who claim unauthorized charges in excess of $30 must submit the date and amount of each purchase. All claims, regardless of amount, must be submitted through a special 'Apple In-App Purchase Litigation' website.

Parents' anger over such purchases first surfaced in 2011, after the Washington Post documented multiple instances of children using certain of their parents' iPhone and iPad applications to buy imaginary goods and services offered by such interactive games as Smurfs Village.

Parental protests ultimately got the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, whose then-chairman vowed to look closely into the marketing practices of such apps, especially as they related to children, who might not be aware that the tokens or virtual coins used to buy virtual game-related goods had to be paid for by their parents with real money.

In one highly-publicized example, an 8-year old girl managed to rack up a bill (payable by her parents) of $1,400 buying "Smurfberries" within the app Smurf Village.

Apple subsequently implemented policy changes designed to make it more difficult, if not impossible, for young users to accrue such charges without parental consent.

A class-action suit was filed in 2011, seeking restitution for parents who, before these changes, had incurred charges they had not approved.

Under the settlement, any U.S. citizen is eligible for award, provided that prior to May 2, 2013, they incurred, using a qualified app, a charge to their iTunes account made by a minor acting without their permission. Claims must be submitted on or prior to August 30, 2013.

Not only has Apple modified its iTunes store listings to make clear which apps contain features that require a to pay real money, but the company also has beefed up efforts to educate parents on what they can do to prevent their kids' making expenditures.

source




#2 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 13:25

So let's get this straight.  It's Apple's fault and not the irresponsible parents?  (Cue the "I don't want to live on this planet anymore" meme)



#3 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 13:25

As far as I am concerned this settlement is bogus, do not let your child play something like this un supervised and there is no issue. Theses issues are all the parents problem not Apple.



#4 LeGourmand

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 13:30

From what i understand the parental control was not working on certain apps. So kids were not suppose the be able to buy stuff..



#5 +_Alexander

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 13:38

Some people discovered a business model of charging double digit amounts for worthless digital items in kid's indie games, these people are called generally called *******s.



#6 Growled

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 13:43

Even though this is not Apple's fault it's a great gesture by them. 



#7 ZakO

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 13:47

Even though this is not Apple's fault it's a great gesture by them.


Great gesture by them? Unless I'm missing something they were sued and lost, Apple didn't have a choice in the matter. That said, I agree, it's a stupid lawsuit in the first place, parents should watch their own kids, not expect companies to babysit them.

#8 sc302

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 13:59

As far as I am concerned this settlement is bogus, do not let your child play something like this un supervised and there is no issue. Theses issues are all the parents problem not Apple.

 

No, any app that requires you to purchase anything should come up with a security prompt.  As a parent, we put games on to help keep the noise level down.  This isn't as simple as denying them access to the internet or doing some sort of blanket denial.  This is a game that was intended for children to play, there should also be safteys in there to protect the parents money if they are going to include in game purchases.  Until you deal with screaming children on a constant basis, you will never understand why these parents do these things.  I don't know every game that has the ability to purchase things in game, so I can't simply deny all games that have ingame purchases....if I could I would. 

 

A 5hr car ride with screaming children makes me want to kill, I was an hour with them yesterday going to the beach they screamed the whole way there no phones, no devices, tried different games like Ispy and the alphabet game as well as singing car tunes like 99 bottles of coke, and they went right into screaming and kicking each other within minutes....I have a 5hr car ride to Washington, DC tomorrow and I may be arriving with 2 or 3 less children tomorrow.  I may have to give in and give them an device like an ipad or our iphones, as much as I really don't want to.  Imagine, screaming, biting, crying, dealing with traffic and other people on the road for hours on end...just imagine that at the loudest possible decible to the point of you breaking and walking out of the car at 60mph in hopes someone runs you over...yea that much fun.



#9 ILikeTobacco

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 14:11

No, any app that requires you to purchase anything should come up with a security prompt.  As a parent, we put games on to help keep the noise level down.  This isn't as simple as denying them access to the internet or doing some sort of blanket denial.  This is a game that was intended for children to play, there should also be safteys in there to protect the parents money if they are going to include in game purchases.  Until you deal with screaming children on a constant basis, you will never understand why these parents do these things.  I don't know every game that has the ability to purchase things in game, so I can't simply deny all games that have ingame purchases....if I could I would. 

So, still bad parenting. I never let my child play any games that I have not yet tested myself for crap like this. It's pure laziness from the parents that led to this. If you want to be a terrible parent that doesn't care what your kid sees but don't want to risk this happening, get them a DS. Either way, still a terrible parent.



#10 xWhiplash

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 14:20

No, any app that requires you to purchase anything should come up with a security prompt.  As a parent, we put games on to help keep the noise level down.  This isn't as simple as denying them access to the internet or doing some sort of blanket denial.  This is a game that was intended for children to play, there should also be safteys in there to protect the parents money if they are going to include in game purchases.  Until you deal with screaming children on a constant basis, you will never understand why these parents do these things.  I don't know every game that has the ability to purchase things in game, so I can't simply deny all games that have ingame purchases....if I could I would. 

 

A 5hr car ride with screaming children makes me want to kill, I was an hour with them yesterday going to the beach they screamed the whole way there no phones, no devices, tried different games like Ispy and the alphabet game as well as singing car tunes like 99 bottles of coke, and they went right into screaming and kicking each other within minutes....I have a 5hr car ride to Washington, DC tomorrow and I may be arriving with 2 or 3 less children tomorrow.  I may have to give in and give them an device like an ipad or our iphones, as much as I really don't want to.  Imagine, screaming, biting, crying, dealing with traffic and other people on the road for hours on end...just imagine that at the loudest possible decible to the point of you breaking and walking out of the car at 60mph in hopes someone runs you over...yea that much fun.

 

Um...I thought it does ask you for a security prompt?  Everytime I get an in-app item/feature, it always asks me for my Apple ID password.  It is my iPhone using the stock settings and it always asks me.



#11 sc302

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 14:23

Go ahead test every game inside and out at every different level. I will hold my breath while you do and expect an extensive list as to when and where things happen. For the rest of us who have a life and other things to do like have a job to pay for things like this or any of the other millions of responsibilities we have, simply turning off the ability to access the Internet while the kids play will have to suffice.....but how long until they figure out how to turn on the Internet. Thankfully, the ipad doesn't have cell service on it and driving with it is easy and mindless. But that isn't the point, it isn't that it is good or bad parenting it is that these companies are greedy and giving kids the ability to buy in ge without parental consent is like giving a drunk keys to a car. Both are going to cause damage and are unknowing at the time that they will be causing damage.
It isn't as simple as denying them access to content you don't want them to see or have access to and if you do see it and want to deny it by deleting it they can reinstall it at any time without the consent of the owner, once it has been installed it will reinstall without authorization.

#12 xWhiplash

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 14:28

Go ahead test every game inside and out at every different level. I will hold my breath while you do and expect an extensive list as to when and where things happen. For the rest of us who have a life and other things to do like have a job to pay for things like this or any of the other millions of responsibilities we have, simply turning off the ability to access the Internet while the kids play will have to suffice.....but how long until they figure out how to turn on the Internet. Thankfully, the ipad doesn't have cell service on it and driving with it is easy and mindless. But that isn't the point, it isn't that it is good or bad parenting it is that these companies are greedy and giving kids the ability to buy in ge without parental consent is like giving a drunk keys to a car. Both are going to cause damage and are unknowing at the time that they will be causing damage.
It isn't as simple as denying them access to content you don't want them to see or have access to and if you do see it and want to deny it by deleting it they can reinstall it at any time without the consent of the owner, once it has been installed it will reinstall without authorization.

 

As I have said.  It has asked me EVERY SINGLE time I purchased something in game.  It also asks me EVERY TIME I buy something from the store.  I have played a lot of games and have done this to a lot of games.  Not one game gave did this without asking for my password first.  Maybe you did something to your phone's settings?    



#13 sc302

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 14:33

I am simply defending the fact that the court case is right, not the fact that currently you do have to enter your apple ID and password.

 

Currently, you can delete and reinstall and install free apps without the apple ID, this is as of IOS 6.x

http://www.padgadget...store-password/



#14 OilersFan

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 19:36

A 5hr car ride with screaming children makes me want to kill, I was an hour with them yesterday going to the beach they screamed the whole way there no phones, no devices, tried different games like Ispy and the alphabet game as well as singing car tunes like 99 bottles of coke, and they went right into screaming and kicking each other within minutes....I have a 5hr car ride to Washington, DC tomorrow and I may be arriving with 2 or 3 less children tomorrow.  I may have to give in and give them an device like an ipad or our iphones, as much as I really don't want to.  Imagine, screaming, biting, crying, dealing with traffic and other people on the road for hours on end...just imagine that at the loudest possible decible to the point of you breaking and walking out of the car at 60mph in hopes someone runs you over...yea that much fun.

 

 

Sounds like the kids need a good spanking. :/

 

Seriously, how did we survive without stupid ipads and iphones.  Can't kids entertain themselves anymore?



#15 Torolol

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 12:20

heh, i guess some parent never knew what freemium games is, probably because there no such thing in their younger days.

While i'm not opposed to freemium idea (as i sometimes utilized it myself),
i do objecting fremium on games that targeted for elementary grade or younger kids.

And since Apple has Siri, any games that using Freemium must spell it out loud,
instead of just displaying EULA to ask user would agree with it or not.



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