In-app purchases are fine if you know what you’re doing and what you’re buying. However children might not necessarily know that they are spending money, or might not think that purchasing something at $0.99 100 times will amount to a lot of money, which is why Apple was recently ordered by the FTC to reimburse parents whose kids made accidental in-app purchases, with the refund expected to sit at a minimum of $32.5 million.
For those who did not claim their refunds, the remainder of the $32.5 million will be going to the FTC. In a way we guess this makes sense as some parents believe that there wasn’t enough controls in place to prevent kids from overspending, but at the same time there are those who felt the ruling was unfair. One of them is actually part of the FTC, Commissioner Joshua D. Wright.
Wright sided with Apple’s Tim Cook in stating that Apple had since instituted refunds to those who have put in a claim, and have also changed the way in-app purchases behave on the app store. According to Wright, “When the problem arose in late 2010, press reports indicate that Apple developed a strategy for addressing the problem in a way that it believed made sense, and it also refunded customers that reported unintended purchases.”
Wright goes on to state that “commission has no foundation upon which to base a reasonable belief that consumers would be made better off if Apple modified its disclosures to confirm to the parameters of the consent order, the absence of such evidence, enforcement action here is neither warranted nor in consumers’ best interest.” What do you guys think? Did Apple deserve to be punished?