Train2Game News: Apple paying compensation over in-app purchases

Apple LogoApple have proposed to pay compensation to several parents for not making some of it’s in-app purchases more secure after minors had charged costs to their parents accounts. A judge will consider the proposal on 1 March.

The legal action dates back to April 2011 and allegations made by a California-based man that his youngest daughter had racked up a series of charges without his knowledge. Garen Meguerian said his nine-year-old’s actions had cost him approximately $200 after she bought game currencies within apps including Zombie Cafe, Treasury Story and City Story.

His lawyer noted that some titles in Apple’s store allowed children to buy more than $100 worth of items in a single click without entering a password. Apple took a cut of each in-app sale. The case was later combined with other parents making similar claims.

The issue has since been address with Apple now ensuring that a password is entered before each and every in-app purchase.

Apple acknowledged it would need to tell more than 23 million iTunes account holders they might qualify. Affected users would receive an email offering at least $5 (£3.20) in credit if they confirmed a minor had charged their account without permission, and that they had not already had the fee deleted after making a complaint.

Apple’s proposal suggests affected parties can:

  • Email in their details to qualify for a $5 iTunes credit
  •  Request the $5 in cash if they no longer have an iTunes account
  • Provide full details of each in-app purchase to be reimbursed in full in credit or cash, for totals of at least $30

Apple indicates it will give claimants 180 days to submit their requests and will also award Mr Meguerian and four other named plaintiffs an additional $1,500 service award.

The plaintiffs have accepted the proposal and it is now set to be signed off by a judge in San Jose’s courthouse on Friday.

Apple declined to comment when asked whether it might consider offering a similar deal to users outside the US.