Apple Wants To Refund Parents For All Those Smurfberries

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Has your child bankrupted you in Smurfberries? Had a child who maxed out your credit card on in-app purchases? Good news. Apple is now writing to some iTunes account holders, telling them they may be liable for a refund.

Here is the email that Apple is sending out to some customers:

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.

Please follow the steps 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.

Apple has consistently tried to make it more difficult for kids let alone with their parents’ iPhone to make in-app purchases without their guardians’ consent. In iOS 7.1, after a user enters their password to make an in-app purchase, the operating system warns uses that additional purchases can be made in any app for the next 15 minutes without a password, unless they change a setting.

What do you think? Has Apple gone far enough? Let us know in the comments.

  • Ron Hawkins

    Liable? or eligible?

  • Scott

    Buy the kid their own device. It’s worth your bank balance.

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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