Apple has sent an email out to iTunes users informing them that if a child has made an unauthorized in-app purchase, the money may be refunded.
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. Our records show that you made some in-app purchases, and if any of these were unauthorized purchases by a minor, you might be eligible for a refund from Apple.
They go on to describe a process where you can look at your purchase history and mark any that you'd like a refund on if they were made by minors. The program will run until April 15, 2015.
This comes as a result of an agreement between Apple and the FTC earlier this year.
This won't fix the scam that the In-App purchases were turned into.
It's ridiculous that Apple/Goole/.. allow, and blood-eyed developers abuse the fact that no limits are set on buying virtual berries and candies.
The real solution would be simple: put a per app/per user limit on allowed In-App purchases. Once you pay let's say $50, the game becomes fully unlocked and you don't have to pay for anything. $50 is the price of a console AAA title, so it should be more than reasonable for a fully unlocked candy themed copy of a match three game.
There are too many restrictions.
But the restrictions are designed with one goal in mind: how to extract the most money from the users. In the name of magic. Or whatever.
Same as Dodd Frank for Wall Street. Restrictions, sold to you and me in the name of equality, but weirdly, it's making Wall Street richer and you and I poorer.
While I hate the idea of "Pay To Win" games, I don't see a reason to stop adults from purchasing what they want. Instead they should just require a password for every purchase by default. Changing that setting would require a password. It would prevent kids from buying stuff on their parents' devices. If you change the default to a timer, counter, or no-limit and your kids purchase $1000 dollars of digital items, it would be your fault for not having a modicum of forethought.
But the restrictions are designed with one goal in mind: how to extract the most money from the users.
In the holism sense of people spending more money in a more pleasant store or mall, yes. Take the ban on porn for example. If looking at the small picture, one might think that Apple lose transactions that they would have had from people buying porn. But by making the store family friendly and "safe for work", they will have more transactions overall.
And for that reason, I suspect that Apple will be adding more restrictions on in-app purchases. It has become something that's been more abused than used by developers, so needs stepping on. Personally I'd suggest that apps are limited to a single in-app purchase. That would support free-trial model. And also a basic/advanced model. Whilst there are genuine situations for which multiple in-app purchases are useful, I think they are outweighed by the scams and nickle-and-diming.
Safe? What's safe about your kid blowing $3600 on virtual berries?
Hook, line and sinker my friend. You just bought into the marketing bullshit.
Next thing you tell me, is that the iPads are great educational tools.
Read the 3rd paragraph of my post before commenting.
In the 2nd paragraph "safe" comment relates to the exclusion of porn. In the 3rd paragraph I point out that in order to keep the safe reputation, they need to restrict in-app purchases.
So had you read the full comment, you'd realise your response makes no sense.
Oh, and yes, iPads ARE great educational tools. There's a huge amount of educational software available, much of which simply wouldn't work in such an engaging way on a PC without a touchscreen. Direct manipulation of on-screen objects is good for education.
If you don't mind me saying so, your post comes across as one from an impatient hater. It's not really considered.
"If you don't mind me saying so, your post comes across as one from an impatient hater. It's not really considered."
Sorry, didn't mean to offend. I should've put a smiley face to indicate that is was meant to be a friendly jab.
"Oh, and yes, iPads ARE great educational tools."
No, they aren't. They are toys. For crushing candies. Entertainment devices. Show me _ONE_ kid who uses is for anything other than playing games.
Don't believe me? Ask any teacher at LA unified.
Smiley face - > ; )