by Brent Dirks
March 25, 2014
Apple recently sent an email to some iTunes account holders informing them that some in-app purchases made by minors might be subject to a refund. The email is one of a number of steps the company is taking to help prevent kids from wracking up an exorbitant amount of purchases on their parent's iOS devices. Here’s the complete email:
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.In-app purchases by young children have continued to be an issue for Apple. After settling a class-action lawsuit in 2013, the company signed a consent decree with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission regarding the same issue earlier this year. And in the recently released iOS 7.1, Apple goes a step further than previous efforts. After a user enters their password to make an in-app purchase, a pop-up says that they “can now make additional purchases in any app for the next 15 minutes without re-entering your password." It also informs users that the setting can be changed in the Restrictions section of the Settings menu. For other news today, see: Apple Says 85 Percent Of Devices Are Running iOS 7, Apple Is Adding NPR To iTunes Radio, and Tax Changes Could Actually See App Prices Decrease In Britain, Not Increase.