If Your Kids Racked Up A Huge Bill In In-App Purchases, Apple Is Ready To Make Amends

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Are you a parent who nearly lost his or her mind and committed an act of infanticide when you discovered that your happy little sprog, in the space of five minutes playing unsupervised with your iPhone, somehow amassed an iTunes bill of over $1,000 in frickin’ Smurfberries? Well, Apple’s ready to help you, but even if you were only burnt for less than $30 because of the way in-app purchases used to work, Apple is ready to fork over a $5 iTunes gift card as a way o make amends… and settle a class-action lawsuit.

Apple has begun to notify parents of children who racked up large in-app purchase bills (and who are one of 23 million people who registered in a class-action lawsuit over the way in-app purchases worked) that they have up until January 13, 2014 to claim a $5 iTunes gift card for charges under $30. They are also letting parents hit with far larger bills to apply for restitution.

As you might recall, back in 2011, there was quite a commotion over the way in-app purchasing worked. Back then, after a parent downloaded a free or paid title using their password, any parent who handed off their iPhone to their kid could find themselves suddenly going bankrupt paying for Smurfberries and other virtual goods, because iOS didn’t demand the iTunes password for a set period of time after it had been entered, even for in-app purchases.

Apple soon changed the behavior of the way in-app purchases worked, but not before a number of parents got hit with bills they weren’t execting.

To apply for a settlement, check out the official page here.

  • joewaylo

    Those are some expensive damn smurfberries.

  • technochick

    Not as simple as it sounds. Apps rated for adults are excluded even if your kid was playing it, you are excluded if you already got a refund and likely even if it was different purchases as they were reminding folks of the presence of restrictions. And a few other rules.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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