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Apple adds in-app purchase warning to the App Store

Posted: , by Alan F.

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Apple adds in-app purchase warning to the App Store
In order to prevent underage children from purchasing in-app extras while playing freemium games downloaded from the Apple App Store, Apple has added a warning underneath the purchase/download button. For most adults, this is not a big deal, but for parents of young children, the four words (and a hyphen) that could save them big bucks is "Offers in-app purchases." We have passed along to you stories of some young kids who have spent from hundreds to thousands to purchase extra lives, gold coins, and other in-app extras. Apple has generally settled with the parents in these cases by eating the charge.

Apple only put the warning on the web version of the App Store

Apple only put the warning on the web version of the App Store

One solution offered by a parent whose son spent $200 to keep the virtual fish alive in the game TapFish, is for Apple to require different passwords to buy an app and to make an in-app purchase. Apple's solution is to put the warning up for those apps that offer in-app purchases, hoping that by seeing it in writing, parents will be more vigilant about letting their kids have access to their password.

But this is only a half-assed solution to the problem as the warning only appears on the web version of the App Store. Since most purchases are made using the mobile version of the app store, the warning might not stop underage in-app purchases at all. The bottom line is that if Apple continues to let parents off the hook in these situations, it will end up having to shell out more money to prevent what looks like a public relations issue. Sure, Apple has all the money in the world right now, but it should save some for a rainy day and coming up with a stronger answer to this problem would help. Apple recently settled a Class-Action suit filed by parents of children who made in-app purchases. Members of the Class received a $5 iTunes Gift card up to a $30 gift card depending on the amount of the claim. Those who could proved that their child spent more than $30 to make an in-app purchase received cash.

source: TheGuardian via electronista

13 Comments
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posted on 22 Mar 2013, 20:14

1. RohanM (Posts: 129; Member since: 15 Jan 2013)


:p first

posted on 22 Mar 2013, 21:30 1

5. xperiaDROID (Posts: 5258; Member since: 08 Mar 2013)


....to get banned :P

posted on 22 Mar 2013, 20:34 3

2. wolverinexmen9 (Posts: 77; Member since: 31 Mar 2011)


My question is "why do parents buy at $500 plus tablet and give it to their children to break and spend in app purchases. You just spent more money on in app purchases and getting it replaced than you did on the device it's self. This problem has been going on for along time and they are now finally addressing it!?

posted on 22 Mar 2013, 20:37

3. bustervic (Posts: 22; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)


How about not allowing these second rate games to have in-app purchases of more than $5? Cause if you ask me an in-app purchase on a game for 5yr olds of $20/$50/$100 dollars is a scam.

posted on 22 Mar 2013, 21:00 4

4. vincelongman (Posts: 1058; Member since: 10 Feb 2013)


Why not make a child mode where purchases are disabled

posted on 22 Mar 2013, 22:06

6. pixelado (Posts: 130; Member since: 16 Feb 2013)


There are 3rd party apps that do exactly that... well, kinda.

posted on 23 Mar 2013, 03:25

8. kirholstov (Posts: 135; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


it is called 'password'

posted on 23 Mar 2013, 09:22

10. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Google Play Store has it where you can set a pin for anything requiring a credit card purchase. Even in app purchases.

I just tried it.....it sent me to the Play Store. It didnt all happen in game.

Some ppl try to knock any and everything Google does....but they do get some things right.

Amazon App store also has the pin, and you can disable in app purchases...Seems like Apple needs to step it up with their app store....

posted on 22 Mar 2013, 22:26 2

7. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3336; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Why should Apple eat the charge of parents' irresponsibility of monitoring their children? There's several ways to prevent IAPs from being accessed so there's no excuse for the parents' ignorance.

posted on 23 Mar 2013, 16:45

12. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Myx...this is one of the few times I will agree with you...lol

posted on 25 Mar 2013, 18:20

14. brd8951 (Posts: 23; Member since: 23 Nov 2011)


You don't have kids, do you? Your statement is absolutely correct, but not that simple. Those with kids know that it's not that b&w. Just sayin.

posted on 23 Mar 2013, 04:14

9. khaledmhawesh (Posts: 38; Member since: 14 Mar 2013)


Just install iap cracker :p

posted on 23 Mar 2013, 12:20 1

11. dragonstkdgirl (Posts: 144; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)


Don't hand a $600 tablet to a child not mature enough to understand that purchases cost real money.....

....oooh wait I just solved the problem!

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