FTC: Amazon Refunding Kids' In-App Purchases

Alicia Cross
June 1, 2017

In 2014, Apple and Google refunded customers whose children made purchases from their mobile app stores and the companies were forced to be more explicit about in-app purchases.

This is the second refund mailing related to this FTC case. The case involved millions of dollars in refunds to parents. As the Court held, "Many of Amazon's arguments improperly assume a familiarity with in-app purchases on the part of consumers".

In the court documents, it was revealed: "a child may be prompted to use or acquire seemingly fictitious currency, including a 'boatload of doughnuts, a can of stars and bars of gold, ' but in reality the child is making an in-app purchase using real money".

After almost three years of litigation, Amazon finally agreed to refund consumers an estimated $70 million on Tuesday-fees incurred after the users' children made thousands of in-app purchases without their parents' permission.

Now parents whose kids made in-app purchases on Amazon without their permission can get a refund from the company.

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Purchases must have been made between November 2011 and May 2016.

What we're talking about is an FTC lawsuit against Amazon that was recently settled.

The refund process is simple. Amazon has emailed consumers it believes are eligible for the refunds. You can also check if you're owed a refund by clicking this Amazon link for "in-app refunds". You also don't need to call or send anything to Amazon by mail. Affected users have a full year to file a request with the company.

Officials say the charges were incurred because Amazon didn't require a password for purchases made in apps, allowing children to buy upgrades that were otherwise free.

Meanwhile, Amazon is now a proud member of the exclusive Wall Street group of companies that have shares valued at $1,000.

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