Source: Digital Trends
The Federal Trade Commission has reached an agreement with Amazon regarding the issue of unauthorized in-app purchases by children. Children are prone to browsing Amazon’s app store which led to an increase of accidental app purchases (i.e. gaming apps). FTC discovered that Amazon failed to gather parental consent to those charges incurred by children and pushed for an injunction that would have increased parental controls on Amazon’s app. However, the FTC and Amazon, instead, opted to end the litigation which will allow for Amazon to speed up the refund process.
“This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies — you must get customers’ consent before you charge them… Consumers affected by Amazon’s practices can now be compensated for charges they didn’t expect or authorize.”
- Thomas B. Pahl, Acting Director of FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection
Over $70 million in-app charges between November 2011 and May 2016 may qualify for refunds. Amazon will be announcing more information on their refund program soon.
According to Reuters, Amazon’s previously requested to refund customers via Amazon gift card but this notion was turned down by the US district judge. We can expect Amazon to provide refunds to affected shoppers via debit card, credit card or checks.