June 23, 2017

Amazon to pay out $70 million in refunds over unauthorized in-app purchases


Amazon has agreed to pay $70 million in refunds as a result of unauthorized in-app purchases made between November 2011 and May 2016. The news arrives after years of legal battles from parents whose children racked up significant bills in mobile payments.

The US Federal Trades Commission (FTC) announced yesterday that those involved should have started receiving emails from Amazon regarding the refunds, and that anybody who thinks they could be eligible should visit the dedicated Amazon refund page here.

The FTC began the suit in 2014, accusing Amazon of failing to acquire parental consent for purchases made in apps and games available at its store (at the time, a password for payments wasn’t required). Both Google and Apple have previously settled with the FTC to the tune of millions of dollars for the same offence.

“This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies — you must get customers’ consent before you charge them,” said Thomas B. Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection when the settlement was announced in April. “Consumers affected by Amazon’s practices can now be compensated for charges they didn’t expect or authorize.”

This is great news for those customers who fell foul to this in the first place and for consumers at large — it’s thankfully no longer so easy to drop 100 bucks on an in-app purchase (though it is still possible).

Hit the source link below for more information on the refund process from the FTC.

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