For a long time we have been hearing on the news that parents were upset with Apple over charges that their beloved children racked up in their Apple store accounts due to those purchases being made without the need to enter a password. And the problem is that innocent kids do not know the difference between buying something with real money, and buying something with pretend money while playing their favorite game.
After several complaints and a court case last year, Apple made improvements to app store purchases which would timeout the logged in account and/or require a password for purchases. Before the changes, kids would not see the dialog pictured above, so they were just happily buying goodies. Earlier this year the FTC decided that Apple did need to pay parents back for those accidental purchases.
A couple of days ago, I received this email:
Dear iTunes account owner,
Apple is committed to providing parents and kids with a great experience on the App Store. We review all app content before allowing it on our store, provide a wide range of age-appropriate content, and include parental controls in iOS to make it easy for parents to restrict or disable access to content.
We’ve heard from some customers that it was too easy for their kids to make in-app purchases. As a result, we’ve improved controls for parents so they can better manage their children’s purchases, or restrict them entirely. Additionally, we are offering refunds in certain cases.
Our records show that you made some in-app purchases, and if any of these were unauthorized purchases by a minor, you might be eligible for a refund from Apple.
Please follow the steps below to submit a refund request:
•Find your in-app purchase records. Check your email for iTunes receipts or use a computer to sign in to your iTunes account and view your Purchase History.
•Use this link to submit your refund request to Apple.
•Provide the requested information and enter “Refund for In-App Purchases made by a minor”
in the Details section.
Apple will review your request and contact you via email about your refund status. All refund requests must be submitted no later than April 15, 2015.
If you have any questions or need further assistance with your refund request, please contact Apple.
To learn more about parental controls in iOS, please see this article.
Luckily I don’t have any in-app purchases to worry about since my kids don’t touch my iPad. Have you experienced any in-app or app store purchases by your kids? Follow the directions above to put in a claim for your refund.