Apple tricks kids into spending parents’ money; gets sued

judge unimpressed

Kids are like, the worst. Apple knows this, and they profit from it. Unfortunately they’re also based in the most hilariously litigious place in the world, and now a class-action lawsuit formed by angry parents against the company is proceeding to trial.

The suit concerns Apple’s “tricking” of various children into making a ton of in-app purchases on their parent’s accounts. Games that are listed as free-to-play offered kids a ton of in-game pay-options, and gave them a 15 minute window in which to sneak these purchases in under their parents’ noses, no password required. This 15-minute window was later removed, and kids the world over were forced to play outside.

This resulted in confused parents discovering iTunes bills in excess of ONE BILL- err, 100 dollars. Of course like any group of reasonable American adults, they decided to try and sue the pants off Apple.

Last year a federal judge in California consolidated a bunch of these class-action lawsuits, and Apple promptly filed to have them dismissed. This however was unsuccessful, and last week U.S. District Judge Edward Davilia upheld the original claims. Speculation that he is a father/PC user abounds.

The judge stated, “Contrary to Apple’s argument, Plaintiffs have alleged with specificity which misrepresentations they were exposed to, their reliance on those misrepresentations, and the resulting harm. Plaintiffs pled specific facts that Apple “actively advertis[ed], market[ed] and promot[ed] its bait Apps as ‘free’ or nominal,”

The ball is now in Apple’s court to dispute these claims, and is expected to be filing a defense on May 24th. Meanwhile, the rest of the world watches with amusement.

Source: GamesIndustry
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  • Pannekoek

    “and kids the world over were forced to play outside.”
    thank you for providing my Sunday morning lols.

  • Lol I think there’s a worm in your “apple”

  • AfricanJedi

    How is it poor parenting when the app says free? I’ve seen many “free” apps on google play and Istore that have built in purchases with no check in place to prevent undue purchases…

  • PanthisZA

    The app itself is free, but just like many other free games there is a micro transaction model implemented that is PURELY OPTIONAL!!! Its not apples fault if the kids chose to click on the link… and its not apples fault that parents are letting their kids be baby sat by technology…

    Its also not apples fault that americans are stupid :/

  • Sean Amos

    Applications with in-app purchases are labelled as “Free+”, apps without in-app purchases are labelled as “Free”.

    In-app purchases do require your Apple ID password, there is no “Remember my login and password” type checkbox, you always have to enter it when making any purchase.

    What is very concerning here is these 15 minute windows where a password was NOT required, VERY BAD and you have legal ground in this case, also very damaging to Apple’s reputation. This bring up the question of who exactly is at fault here? Was Apple at fault for deliberately creating mechanism where in-app purchases can be made without a password, or was the game developer at fault for finding a security hole and exploiting it to allow in-app purchases to be made without a password.

  • The 15 minute window is pretty sketchy. But suing the pants off Apple because your kid downloaded some Apps on your account is just hilarious.

Apple tricks kids into spending parents’ money; gets sued

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