ios 7-1 in-app

Following numerous probes by government agencies and looming class action lawsuits the company is now facing around the world, Apple is finally reaching out to customers to inform them they may be entitled to refunds concerning unwanted in-app purchases made by minors due to weak iOS Restrictions at the time.

Last year, the iPhone maker reluctantly settled with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding in-app purchases, agreeing to compensate consumers and modify its in-app billing system by March 31 to make things a little clearer for its customers…

Apple’s email communiqué provides refund instructions and reads as follows:

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.

You can access your purchase history in iTunes for Mac or Windows by hitting the button with your Apple ID on it, choosing Account from a drop-down menu and then clicking the See All link under the Purchase History section.

iTunes Purchase History
Note: I’ve blacked out my iTunes username for security purposes.

You can request a refund by contacting Apple.

All requests must be submitted by April 15, 2015.

Following your request, Apple should get in touch with you via email.

As part of Apple’s understanding with the FTC, the firm has earmarked a total of $32.5 million for refunds. By the way, iOS 7.1 has brought out a minor refinement to the iOS In-App Purchase mechanism which now warns users of the 15-minute cut-off window for in-app purchase.

“You can now make additional purchase in any app for the next 15 minutes without reentering your password, reads the prompt.

That change is, however, purely cosmetic as Apple has yet to introduce necessary changes to how it handles in-app purchases ahead of the March 31 deadline.

On top of the FTC settlement, Apple is also dealing with a handful of class-action lawsuits from disgruntled parents, in one instance having issued individual refunds to parents of up to $6,000.

Parents can disable in-app purchases system-wide under Restrictions in iOS Settings.

Could have Apple handled this issue better before it blew up?

  • Tony

    Well this should be interesting.

  • Adithya Sairam

    How do you do this exactly?

  • CAS

    Kids “accidently” spend 6000 dollars in the app store, yeah right…

  • “Could have Apple handled this issue better before it blew up?”

    Definately; they could have simply disabled the nonsense IAP by default, but no, that’s saying no to profit from mindless kids…

    • Liam Mulcahy

      capitalism what do you expect?

      • Nothing less from a capitalist; one who puts money before morals. However, capitalism isn’t always the best practice…

  • diggitydang

    My first instinct was that they were doing like Android and allowing refunds of apps within 15 minutes… wish they’d do THAT… then, I’d be interested!!!

    • iWish…

      • Wilber Alexander Flores

        Lol I thought the same thing, would have been cool 🙂 , but nope. One can wish… 🙁

  • leart

    my brother yesterday brought without my permission shazam, twice one time ads free subcision, and thinking that the purchase was done clicked buy on shazam encore in appstore so we were charged two times and the amount was 14 dollars 🙂

    i had a refund from itunes customer care

  • Tom C

    Apple is bull crap I never liked them

    • Watch out kid, a flame war is coming your way…

      • …in 3…2…1…

      • Kevin Osborne

        TOM C YOU’RE BULL CRAP AND I NEVER LIKED YOU! HA! 😛

  • ENwill

    Brooks Whiffen Seale, you have obviously failed to comprehend the situation. Please educate yourself(even just read the text in the first image of this post) and try again as failure isn’t something that anybody wears particularly well.