• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
  header logo


Parents sue Apple over their kids' accidental in-app purchases

The dark side of freemium content

Product: Apple news | Manufacturer: Apple
Apple news iPhone, thumbnail 1
A group of parents have won a small victory in their campaign to sue Apple over purchases rung up by their children via in-app purchases.

The parents contend that Apple lured children into making in-app purchases by hiding them in free-to-downloads games.

US District Judge Edward Davila indicated that their suit has merit and that they may continue the legal process, despite Apple’s argument that the case should be dismissed.

Apple’s argument is not without some merit: in-app purchases can be disabled on a device-by-device basis, but the charges that the case revolves around were rung up before the implementation of this feature.

In addition to the ability to disable in-app purchases, Apple has also added extra safeguards in the iOS software to require passwords to download updates and in-app puchases.

The cost of negligence

As an example of the sort of activity that could happen (although not part of the US suit) one UK mother told the BBC that her 10-year-old daughter spent £1,500 on Tap Pet Hotel’s in-app content.

Although she was finally able to convince Apple refund the money (which her daughter spent in a period of two hours) she did not appreciate how convoluted the refund process was.

Tap Pet Hotel, developed by Pocket Gems, is named in the lawsuit along with the rest of Pocket Gems' Tap series (Tappily Ever After, Tap Safari, etc.)

In an age when parents frequently use iPhones and iPads to placate unruly children, this lawsuit (regardless of its outcome) will serve as a cautionary reminder to parents that they must supervise young children when they are gaming.

Via: BBC

Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener 17 April 2012
Have your say! Related stories  
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Show: Latest | Oldest
Apr 2012
Post count:
Ajent | 20:37 - 19 April 2012
I don't see how the parents have a leg to stand on. If the children aren't mature enough to understand the context of what it is they are doing, the games they are playing and the costs involved, then they are obviously not old enough to play the games unsupervised.

I would imagine that these are the same parents who ignorantly buy Call of Duty for their 10yr olds because "everyone else in school is playing it" (the parents being completely unaware of the content in the game - dismissing it because it is a 'game' - despite the big red 18 mark on the cover).

Ignorance is not a valid excuse for screwing up.
Nov 2011
Post count:
Chivas77 | 19:33 - 17 April 2012
@RPGPro, that's all well and good, but with pretty much every single freemium game on the AppStore, potential costs are not immediately apparent. firstly if you ask the average person on the street to define "freemium", 9 times out of 10 you will get an incorrect answer, it's a relatively new way of selling content and not that many people actually understand it. Looking at Chaos Rings 2, it's an expensive game, but we see the price immediately on iTunes before we download the app, it's straight, you pay and you get the game, nothing confusing about that

On the other hand we have Gameloft's Ice Age Village as an example. It has "free app" in bold letters right at the top and you can just click this button and download the game, there's several paragraphs of blurb telling us how awesome the game is, at no point is there any mention of the game potentially costing a buttload of money. You then have to scroll down a little and in kind of greyed out text on the left hand side in very small letters there's a list of in app purchases ranging from
Jul 2011
Post count:
RPGpro | 17:36 - 17 April 2012
Firstly: all free games have to make money somehow, either through advertisements that drain your phone's battery life incredibly quickly or through premium content.
Secondly: online accounts (such as an apple iStore account) are desgned to be 1 account per person, each user of a device whether a computer, iPad, iPhone or anything else that requires an account to go online should have their own account, if the children mentioned in this article had their own accounts they wouldn't have been able to spend their parents money.

Feb 2012
Post count:
SRBian | 13:18 - 17 April 2012
My wife and I don't let our kids go on those freemium games for that very reason (even with the restrictions now in place) but it just shows that some parents don't really understand how the games worked and just downloaded them to keep the kids busy.

If they win it might change the freemium games content (i'm of the opinion everything should be available to all players but you can spend to speed things up/advance more quickly) or it may open the flood gates for other people to sue over the smallest thing in the app store/games that they don't have a great grasp of.