Apple Refund: Company Paying Back $32.5 Million Because Kids Are Spending Real Money to Buy Fake Money in iPad Apps

Apparently parents had no idea that they were spending hundreds of dollars on iPad apps

By Jenna Mullins Jan 16, 2014 7:12 PMTags
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Hey, you gotta spend money to spend fake money to make money. Or something like that.

That's how a lot of iPad games work: In order to get more virtual money in your game, you have to spend real money. And when your iTunes account is linked to your bank account, spending your hard-earned cash hand over fist is way too easy. Well, apparently kids were spending hundreds(!) of dollars of their parents' money without consent, and mom and dad are pissed. Not just at the kids, though. Parents are going after Apple.

Apparently parents did not think that Apple made it clear to both them and their children that actual money is being spent to feed their virtual pets, grow their virtual crops or build their virtual cities. Not only that, but when entering their password for just a single in-app purchase starts a 15-minute window where kids can make as many purchases as they want without having to enter the password again. How many times can you press a button in 15 minutes? That's how much money was being spent.

The charges they discovered on their bills from Apple were in the $500range, and now the company has to pay up. Apple will refund all the purchases made without parental consent, totaling $32.5 million. 

"Today's agreement with the FTC extends our existing refund program for in-app purchases which may have been made without a parent's permission," the company said in a statement.

OK, parents. You got your money back. Now take the iPad away from the children and make them go outside. They have plenty of time to waste hours and hours on the iPad when they get older. Now if you'll excuse us, we have to go and buy more gems in Clash of Clans so we can open up a can of virtual whoop-ass when we attack other villages.

So, what iPad game have you spent the most money on? We'll start. Hay Day, for sure. Gotta fill those boat orders! Your turn.

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