Amazon to refund up to $70 million of accidental in-app purchases made by children


Amazon has to refund as much as $70 million to some of its U.S. users, following the end of a year-long legal battle with the Federal Trade Commission. In April 2016, a federal court determined that the e-commerce site was guilty of illegally billing some of its users for unauthorized in-app purchases.

This Tuesday, the FTC reported that Amazon has decided to withdraw its appeals against the court's ruling, which states that the Seattle-based retailer was liable for in-app purchases made by children between November 2011 and May 2016 by failing to provide enough information and safeguarding methods to their parents.

The total amount for this 5 year period is estimated to be around the $70 million mark, and the FTC says that Amazon will start its reimbursement program "shortly". Refunds are expected to come in the form of paper checks or will be wired directly into the bank accounts of affected users.

Source: The Verge

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3 Comments

1. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Stuff like this is BS. How is it parents don't know how to set up apps to prevent kids from makign purchases? All phones have ways to prevent this. I don't think a company should ever be at fault when it simply takes an adult to simply take the time and child-proof a device. My kids has NEVER purchase anything without me knowing. He uses our iPad, but his fingerprint is not on it and he doesn't know the passcode. SIMPLE! If I was Amazon I';d tell the court to drop dead. I mean if I can't do business in the USA, the world is a big frikkin place. I would not ever grant a refund on a purchase that was 100% avoidable. Courts need to make adults be responsible.

2. Rampage_Taco

Posts: 1079; Member since: Jan 17, 2017

Exactly, It's the same as people that blame gun manufacturers for kids accidentally shooting themselves or others. People can't accept responsibility for their own mistakes anymore, everything that goes wrong has to have a scape goat

3. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The rule is simple. Only adults have credit cards. It is assume that if you added a credit card to an account, you are at least 18 years old and ist your card. Now to be fair, some devices are much betetr than others. But example, Apple to has refunded peopel who have had similar issues. Its nice if a company decides it will refund, but they don't have too. But in order to make purchases, passcodes of some type are usually required. Now again to be fair, some games I have played, have had terrible failsafes on preventing accidental purchases. If Amazon, or Apple or Samsung or any company doesn't prevent those apps from getting in the store, then yes I agree all responsible should be held accountable. If parents can't take 10 mins to set up a device to prevent such, then whatever bill gets created, they will pay it. I dont care what the court says. I would have told the Judge flat out, you wont get a dime from my company and I wont be refunding anyone. The only problem is, the Feds control the banks and if you have your money in a bank, you are at their mercy. This is why I use to only by Galaxy tablets because at least you can on some, create extra accounts and on my kid account he has access only to games. He cant purchase anything unless he earns in-game money. Even if blocking such is not immediately obvious, all products come with a Customer Service number. They will gladly walk you through making sure your kid cant do this. This is total BS letting parents off the hook.

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