Amazon to refund up to $75m in-app purchases by kids

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The Federal Trade Commission and Amazon Inc. have agreed to end appeals related to last year’s court findings that the company billed consumers for unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children. The deal means that Amazon will start refunding parents for their children’s clicks in games which incurred fees.

More than $70 million in in-app charges made between November 2011 and May 2016 may be eligible for refunds. Details on the refund program, which Amazon will operate, will be announced shortly.

“This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies — you must get customers’ consent before you charge them. Consumers affected by Amazon’s practices can now be compensated for charges they didn’t expect or authorize.”
– Thomas B. Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

I have to say that whilst parents may have been ignorant of the charges, they did after all buy the devices, sign into their accounts and then hand them over to their kids to play with. I wouldn’t like to suggest that the parents acted stupidly as many games have upgrades or extra lifes which are charged for, but at the end of the day “free” games are rarely free and are either ad support or tempt you into buying upgrades. There is a very simple solution – if you don’t want your kids making in app purchases don’t give them a logged in device to play with.

Of you could complain to the company – Amazon or otherwise, and hope they’ll look kindly on your case and give you your money back.

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