Fresh Off The Block


Parents now allowed to claim compensation for in-app purchases targeted to their children

After a legal battle lasting several months, on Febuary last year Apple lost a landmark case filed by parents across the United States, which claimed iOS Apps targeted to younger children were often including downloadable content or extra features that required in-app purchases to unlock; for which the apps were actively encouraging the children to purchase the extra content without adequately explaining that they cost actual money. Many of the children were of too young age to understand the concept of in-app purchasing; and the claim by parents that Apple did not offer enough protections to prevent unauthorised purchases by the children of parents who owned iOS devices or explain that they were about to actually purchase items with real money was upheld in court.

As per the terms of the settlement, Apple were instructed to offer parents worldwide the ability to make claims as individuals for compensation as a result of the negligent practices. Today, Apple sent an email to the press announcing that they will now accept compensation claims made directly to the company from individual parents who have been affected by this case.

Parents can claim for the total cost of any string of in-app purchases made within 45 days of each other, up to the date where Apple implemented repeat password requests or disclaimers to counteract such activity. Of course, there IS a catch: Claims for under $30 will qualify only for a $5 iTunes Voucher as compensation; however, larger transactions may have the total of all valid disputed transactions refunded as cash. What's more, there's a deadline of January 13th, 2014 for at least some types of claim.

Were you affected by this case? Or do you have an opinion on Apple's compensation strategy? Leave your thoughts in our comments!