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FTC charges Apple for smartphone in-app purchases
Scott Navratil

It is so easy to make in-app purchases. You may have just accidentally pressed “get more levels” without realizing it is going to charge you for it, or maybe you just tapped the wrong button accidentally and all the sudden have a bunch of extra lives in Candy Crush. And if it is that easy for adults to accidentally make in-app purchases, just imagine how easy it is for a kid who just wants to keep playing or get help through the level. Your child might not even know what he or she is doing when they ask for more lives or extra help. That is why the FTC is really upset with Apple.

Complaints of unauthorized in-app purchases

I know a lot of parents who are very careful about letting their kids play on their phones. One of the reasons may be that the sticky fingers may put dirt and grime on the phone that can never be cleaned off, but another reason is simply that they don’t want their kids making in-app purchases. With it being so easy to just press a button and buy things, kids are always willing to spend their parents’ money. Parents are always complaining about bills they’ve gotten associated with in-app purchases on games they have never played. But now, Apple is in trouble for it.

Lawsuit from FTC

The FTC believes it is unfair to charge parents for in-app purchases made by minors in mistake. There needs to be a better way of monitoring it. According to USA Today, the FTC has settled with Apple for $32.5 million and requires refunds on in-app purchases made by an unauthorized minor to customers. The suit also requires that there be changes made to the way in-app purchases work to where there is a more authorized way to ensure the purchase was not an accident. Consumers everywhere are excited about the win against Apple for this kind of behavior because it means they are being protected by the FTC.

Honesty with in-app purchases

Do you have an app for your company? And what do you do to protect your customers? This is something you should think about. Of course it’s kind of convenient when you get extra sales because someone’s kid bought something in your app. However, you should have as much protections as possible for your customers, so they will be happy with you. The problem is that if you start to be known as a dishonest company or a company that is unable to keep customers happy, then new customers will be very hesitant to download your app or try you out. By protecting your customers from the beginning and putting in safety features to prevent unauthorized in-app purchases in the first place, your customers will feel safe and as if they can trust you.

Mobile all the way

If you don’t already have a smartphone app available for your business or at least a mobile website, you should consider making these changes. Getting your mobile website up to speed could make all the difference in today’s world where technology and smartphones are taking over. Stay on top by using mobile.

Source: USA Today

Chantel Fullilove

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