Apple hit with class-action suit over iPhone in-app game currency purchases

“A new class-action lawsuit takes issue with free iPhone games that feature in-app purchases, alleging that Apple’s App Store makes it easy for children to rack up credit card charges without realizing they are spending real-world money,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“Garen Meguerian of Phoenixville, Penn., filed the suit this week on behalf of himself and other parents and guardians who he believes incurred unauthorized charges for game-related content,” Hughes reports. “Those transactions came from children playing games on iOS devices like the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, and making in-app transactions to purchase virtual goods.”

Hughes reports, “The lawsuit notes that Apple has since addressed the issue by requiring a password for in-app purchases. Previously, once users entered their password to download an application, iOS offered a 15-minute window during which additional purchases could be made without entering the password. But Meguerian believes that Apple’s previous policy allowed the company to ‘pocket millions of dollars’ from unauthorized transactions. And even the revised password policy found in iOS 4.3 isn’t enough, he argued.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]

36 Comments

    1. More importantly, what is with American society, American Dream, American beliefs?

      Why there are 20x more lawyers per citizen in USA comparing to Japan, for example?

      When thing went wrong?

  1. Solution: stop being an idiot and police your kids’ devices. Don’t give them free access to your money (iTunes store account). And for fsck’s sake, turn off in-app purchases!

    I swear! Idiots like these screw everything up for the rest of us…

  2. Apple isn’t your babysitter. Try raising your kids instead.

    Where’s the necessity to give your kid an iPhone btw? Give them a crap phone that makes calls to just YOU and emergency numbers.. that’s all your kids need. When your children are on their own, they can buy that iPhone and incur charges and take responsibility for it.

    If you want to give your children an iPod touch or iPad, learn how to use the parental controls. I’m sure an Apple Store can help you out with this matter.

    Raise your own kids because no one wants to do it for ya. You popped these ignorant kids out so they’re your responsibility.

  3. Once again parents of retarded children cannot ever take responsibility for their own stupidity and blame Apple. Yes, the Evil Apple did all that on purpose. While Steve was laid up sick with Cancer, his satanic visions were to create these hell-bent tools and put them in the hands of kids to destroy the parents financially, racking in billion$ for hiself and his Dominion! Good f’n grief. Hey stupid parents who buy kids things ( things that kids dont exactly “need”… wake up and watch your kids. Your kid take a lighter or matches and burn someones house down?? Well, thats not poor parenting, thats the fult of matchmakers and store that sell the lighters, no one else! ( say that 10 times and not only will you believe it, it will come true)

  4. Yep, It’s ALWAYS somebody else’s fault.
    Yeah, blame Apple for your inability to police your own kids. And try to make them pay you for your lack of attention.

    Isn’t this why Apple puts parental controls on Macs and iOS?

  5. This is so stupid. Who sets their kid’s account up with a credit card payment method!?! Setup their account using the credit card = none option and then use the allowance option to give them the money they need to buy iTunes related stuff – Music, Apps, In-App-Purchaces, etc.

  6. There is NO iParent App…

    This is NOT an Apple problem. its an idiot parent problem.
    Turn off in app purchases, dont give your child the itunes password.
    simple.

    oh wait, you would rather not be a parent and have Apple, TV, Game console, school etc be the “parent” you should be and never have to take any responsibility yourself.

    If i racked up charges with 900 numbers or charged stuff on my parents CC as a kid… i’d know not to do that again.

    Last year i gave my old iPod touch to my niece after her iPod classic broke. she uses my Sister’s iTunes account, she knows the password. EVERY time she wants to install an app, even free…. she gets permission to use the password.
    they have netflix, she ASKED to install the netflix app so she could watch netflix on the iPod. She called my sister, and explained to her why she wanted the netflix app. I was impressed that she had the password… but felt she should explain why she wanted to use the password for a free app.
    she’s beyond responsible, cause my sister is an actual parent…

    1. iParent App, that’s the ticket. Sold with a $50 parent zapper wrist band (batteries included). Every time an in App purchase is made, the iOS device sends a signal to the wrist band and the parent gets zapped for not turning off in App purchases. Extra batteries can be ordered for teenaged parents.

  7. Loads of bollocks! 1st of all, one can deactivate in-app purchases, next would be to get a friggin prepaid card for your kids and third is to grow up and get a fscking life! YOU are responsible for YOUR kids, NOT Apple NOT the government or anyone else but YOU!
    I love how people like to point fingers and start lawsuits for something they have the sole responsibility of!

  8. This exact thing happened to me. I emailed iTunes help and they refunded all the charges to my account no questions asked. So where is the problem? If anything go after the shady developers that release free kids games with non-obvious in app purchases upwards of $100! And Apple should ban any developer that attempts in app trickery.

    1. The developers aren’t shady. The parent is stupid! Why did he give them access to an iTunes account tied to his credit card? Because the problem is the lack of parenting skills on the dads part!

  9. I’ll take this more seriously when the supposed plaintiffs here are pressing criminal charges against their own children. You know, the ones that actually perpetrated whatever fraud there might be here.

  10. It’s obvious to me that most of you who are posting are not parents. My kids, as well as all of my friends kids, are constantly grabbing their parents phones and playing games on them. In app purchases is on by default, so if you don’t investigate to learn how to shut it off, there could be issues. My kid bought a bunch of ‘fishbucks’ through tapfish, apparently during one of those 15-minute windows after installing a separate app. When I contacted Apple, there response was tough, the purchase was made on your phone, you are responsible.

    It’s very easy to say the parent should parent and be more careful, but I can see both sides. Is it really Apple’s fault? No way. Should Apple have taken more steps to make this less likely to happen, probably. Not sure it’s grounds for a lawsuit though.

    1. It’s obvious to me that you’re one of those parents who needs to keep better tabs on their children and/or who should’ve had to take a test to get a license to breed.

      Ever heard of PASSCODE LOCK? Set it to “immediate”. Don’t give your little shit the password. Problem solved.

  11. Well, I don’t know much about the games and the alleged unexpectedly high bills. However, I do believe Apple should revisit the in-app purchase protocol.

    For example, I subscribed the The Daily and I have not yet figured how to unsubscribe from it. And heaven knows I’d like to.

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