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Amazon Might Owe You Money for Unauthorized In-App Purchases

Parental controls are a perennial app store problem that has dogged Apple, Google, and now Amazon.
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Amazon In-App Purchases

Amazon is offering refunds for parents whose kids made in-app purchases between November 2011 and May 2016. If you're eligible, you should've already received an email.

Think you might qualify? You can check here to see if that's the case. You have until May 28, 2018 to submit your request for a refund.

No Password Needed

Amazon's apps are often free to download, but can include in-game perks that cost as little as 99 cents or as much as $100. Last year, a court ruled Amazon was responsible for kids making in-app purchases without parents' permission.

Children didn't need a password to complete the transactions, and parents weren't asked to provide any kind of confirmation.

The court found that Amazon didn't provide enough disclosures for these apps. Children didn't need a password to complete the transactions, and parents weren't asked to provide any kind of confirmation.

This Is a Common Problem

Amazon's settlement is similar to others Apple and Google have made with the Federal Trade Commission for their own app stores. Apple refunded $32.5 million to customers for a comparable situation in early 2014. And later that year, Google found itself in the same boat and agreed to refund $19 million.

SEE ALSO: 8 Things You Need to Know About Amazon's New Echo Show

Amazon's troubles began three years ago, when it was sued by the FTC. Parents had been collectively billed over $70 million for in-app purchases they allegedly never authorized. Even though Amazon disputed the claim, and swore its parental controls were sufficient, the company has now agreed to refund qualifying purchases.

Readers, have you ever requested a refund for an in-app purchase? Did you receive your money back? Let us know in the comments below!


Staff Writer

Julie joined DealNews in 2015, after many years of becoming well-versed in technology issues as a communications professional for a software company. She first entered journalism in college, reporting on issues facing frugal students for CollegeCandy.com. Julie lives in DealNews' hometown of Huntsville, AL.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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2 comments
Retireekettering
Amazon is out of bounds here. I received a CC charge for a Starz subscription through Amazon. It turns out if you accidentally click the wrong movie, you are subscribed. I called, disputed the charge, and canceled the card number. Very inconvenient. Called Amazon, told to add 2 step verification. I did. A week later, same thing with HBO. Called. Was told 2 step verification doesn't work with videos. No permission needed. No notice given. Advised to place a PG pin stopping charges. Makes it so inconvenient, I no longer log in to Prime video. I deleted my on file credit cards on Amazon. Between that, and 2 step verification, it really slows down my ordering, Amazon is no longer my go to vendor. Have been with Amazon well over 10 years. They are no longer the place for bargains. They are more interested in pushing third parties. Big commissions, less investment.
jmarty23
This crap happens all the time with videos from amazon "prime" on my smart tv. They can't only have the app show prime stuff by default so people keep picking paid items and even though I have a pin on my account it never asks for one. I've had to ask for about 6 or 7 refunds so far.