Apple Sends Email to iTunes Users Offering Refunds for Unauthorized In-App Purchases

app_store_icon_ios_7As a part of its consent decree with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over in-app purchases in the App Store, Apple today sent out an email to some iTunes users, offering them a chance to obtain a refund by filling out a form through a special link.

Specifically, the email appears to be targeted toward users who have made recent in-app purchases, with Apple stating that unauthorized purchases "made by a minor" are eligible for a refund, with all requests required to be submitted by April 15.

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.

According to its agreement signed with the FTC in January, Apple will be required to provide full refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items, totaling $32 million in refunds. Apple also added a pop-up warning message in iOS 7.1 detailing a 15-minute window which allows users to make in-app purchases for 15 minutes without reentering a password.

Top Rated Comments

Renzatic Avatar
114 months ago
Ha! Stupid parents with their terrible parenting skills asking for a free handout from Apple because they're too stupid to know what their stupid kids are doing with their stupid iPads. LOOK AT ME! I'M BEING JUDGMENTAL ON THE INTERNET!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Renzatic Avatar
114 months ago
you seem...upset.

Would you like a hug?
hold me until the anger goes away!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nunyabinez Avatar
114 months ago
Didn't get one because I don't give my expensive equipment to children to use.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisCW11 Avatar
114 months ago
Sad

The problem with all this is not Apple or parents or children, its the "Freemium" model which has corrupted gaming. The idea of getting a free game which is simply made easier by, often, dumping hundreds of dollars into it has ruined gaming in general.

What Apple should do instead of placating parents who have fallen victim to the greedy freemium model is instead to turn against the app developers that are victimizing users with ridiculous schemes to make a game playable through what is essentially extortion.

But Apple is too prideful of their whole "millions and millions of Apps" tag line and so will never do anything to reduce the amount of greedy crapware that has plagued the App store and instead seem to want to protect the freemium model by ensuring that parents and children will fall victim to this scheme over and over again. Whatever millions Apple has to give back to parents pales in comparison to the billions Apple makes every year through in-app transactions.

Say what you will about Microsoft, but Microsoft did not create a market of greedy *******s developing trojan horses with a direct connection to people's credit cards. Hackers may have tried to exploit security holes in Windows to steal your identity or bank information, but Apple simply made this a prominent "feature" of gaming on an iDevice, and I think more people have been exploited by Freemium overall then anything Microsoft was at fault for doing.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
114 months ago
Kudos to Apple. I couldn't imagine another company even bothering.

Kudos for what? Compliance with the FTC?

from the original post: "According to its agreement signed with the FTC in January, Apple will be required to provide full refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items, totaling $32 million in refunds. Apple also added a pop-up warning message in iOS 7.1 detailing a 15-minute window which allows users to make in-app purchases for 15 minutes without reentering a password. "

You shouldn't mistake this for altruism.;)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alohamade Avatar
114 months ago
Did they really write...
'Use this link to submit your refund quest to Apple.'

Refund quest? They need a proofreader.

"Refund quest" doesn't sound like the most fun game in the world, doesn't it? That's a typo, the email is fine and I fixed it now! :)
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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