Apple has to pay up for kiddie 'bait' apps
It has agreed to make refunds to some parents whose kids racked up big bills on supposedly 'free' games. The catch? Most can expect just $5.
"Bait" apps for mobile devices have become the bane of many parents' lives, with kids inadvertently racking up bills -- sometimes as high as thousands of dollars -- by playing supposedly "free" games such as TapFish and Smurfs' Village.
But now, parents will get some relief, with news that Apple (AAPL) is settling a lawsuit over the games, which are downloaded for free but charge real money for buying in-game currency or virtual goods.
The catch? Apple will offer a relatively paltry sum: a $5 iTunes credit to parents who claim a child purchased in-game items without their knowledge or permission, reports GigaOm. The settlement states that the "significant majority" of purchases were for less than $5.
The agreement, which still requires preliminary approval from a federal judge, doesn't state how much Apple will pay up. But it could lead to major costs for Apple, which says it will alert about 23 million iTunes account holders who bought in-game currency. If each of those consumers requests a $5 refund, Apple could be looking at a $115 million bite taken out of its coffers.
If your child spent more than $5 on buying Smurfberries, don't fret. Apple is allowing some bigger refunds: either an iTunes credit up to $30, or cash in cases where children spent more than that. Cash refunds are available only for parents who haven't previously received a reimbursement.
Parents will be able to file for a refund after the settlement is approved and Apple starts notifying customers. Payments might not get doled out until early 2014, according to GigaOm.
But better news for parents might be Apple's other piece of the settlement: It will provide instructions on how to disable in-app purchases. No more Smurfberries, honey.
Just what the heck do mean whining ''where are the parents ?''
--- this is why it's Apple's fault !--------
The kid comes to mom and asks ''can I play this ?..it's free.''
and off they go merrily playing away....until......TOMORROW I'M BILLED IN MY E-MAIL !!!!
--------NEVER ONCE IN ALL HIS PLAYING DID IT SAY HE WAS SPENDING MY REAL MONEY !!! -----
A COMPLETE SHAM !
I'm not a fan of Apple at all, especially after working for them, but this is not their fault at all.
Why can it not be the parents faults for linking their info and allowing their children to use these apps, or any app at all, without supervision?
This responsibility should be solely on that of a parent, not on a company providing a service which is being taken advantage of by others.
Learn to take responsibility, it seems all we do is live in a time where all you do is shift responsibility because you're too lazy to deal with it.
Just bear in mind that the M in MSN stands for Microsoft...
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