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Amazon Will Refund Millions of Unauthorized In-App Purchases Made By Kids (techcrunch.com) 49

Amazon will refund millions of dollars worth of unauthorized in-app purchased made by kids, having dropped its appeal of last year's ruling by a federal judge who sided with the Federal Trade Commission in the agency's lawsuit against Amazon. "The FTC's original complaint said that Amazon should be liable for millions of dollars it charged customers, because of the way its Appstore software was designed -- that is, it allowed kids to spend unlimited amounts of money in games and other apps without requiring parental consent," reports TechCrunch. From the report: The issue had to do with the way the Amazon Appstore's in-app purchasing system worked. The Amazon Appstore is the store that comes preloaded on Amazon mobile devices, like Kindle Fire tablets, for example, though there is a way to load it onto other Android devices, too. In Amazon's Appstore, which launched back in 2011, the company didn't originally require passwords on in-app purchases. This allowed kids to buy coins and other items to their hearts' content. One particularly awful example involved a game called "Ice Age Village" that offered an in-app purchase of $99.99. Amazon introduced password-protected in-app purchases in March 2012, but then only on those where the purchase exceeded $20. In early 2013, it updated the system again to require passwords, but also allowed a 15-minute window afterwards where no password was required. The FTC said Amazon didn't obtain "informed consent" until July 2014. To make matters worse, parents complaining weren't told how to get a refund and Amazon had even suggested at times that refunds weren't possible, the FTC's complaint had said. More than $70 million in in-app charges made between November 2011 and May 2016 may be eligible for refunds, the FTC notes. It's not likely that all affected customers will take the time to make their requests, however.
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Amazon Will Refund Millions of Unauthorized In-App Purchases Made By Kids

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  • I just got this answer on 2014 - http://imgur.com/a/vDDD2 [imgur.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      As someone who has used both Android and Apple platforms, this is one of my main gripes about Google. Apple doesn't even blink when you request a refund -- it is processed quickly and without any pushback. No enforcement of cutoff windows or other nonsense.

      • by Anonymous Coward
        that has not been the experience of my sister who spent weeks with back and forth before they refunded what she says were fraudulent transactions.
        • Please remember that my case was on 2014. Maybe Google is faster now on giving refunds on complains, but I don't have a newer experience.
    • Did you contact the app developers like they said in that message? It would seem app developers would issue refunds -- if only to keep their star rating high in the google play store.

      • Hahaha, no they won't give money back. And I doubt they care about star ratings. Tricking kids into in app purchases is how fremiums work.

      • I sent an email to Rovio and they never replied. Since it wasn't too much I didn't pushed harder. So they won. Even that they told you to contact the developer, I think that the "store" should also have some responsibility when this happens.
  • What if your cat kept pressing the dash button?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is no accident. Does anyone think that? Do you really need to blame the user's behavior? I guess if you work for Amazon then you need to do that.

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