Apple hit with class-action suit over iPhone in-app game currency purchases

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  • Reply 61 of 127
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by catinthebox View Post


    I downloaded City Story for free and played a little - as I went along there were notifications when I earned fake game money for tasks I completed to spend on fake stuff in the game. Then one popped up and it was honestly completely unclear to me (as a grown adult with my own credit card!) whether it was asking for real money or pretend money.



    Lucky for me I did a quick google search and learned to disable that option but at the time it really felt like I almost got robbed. I gotta go with the Dad on this one. It's a scam. I could see idiots knowingly paying to speed up the progress in something like City Story but cmon - the Smurfs!?!?!



    I agree. It's a reasonable law suit but the target should be the game maker
  • Reply 62 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tjwal View Post


    I agree. It's a reasonable law suit but the target should be the game maker



    While morally yes the lawsuit should target the game maker, in reality lawyers would always try to grab the biggest pot of money by suing big companies like Apple. It's just how things work, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, but it's just hard to find good lawyers that's not greedy.
  • Reply 63 of 127
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Mine has my password but still have to ask.



    Only because you tell them they have to ask you. (good kids).

    However, if they have the password, the only thing that stops them from making purchases is their conscience.

    Quote:

    It would be too much of a pain to have to enter the password each time they want to download a free app.



    Really? They download that many apps?

    Quote:

    They both have purchased stuff accidentally (or so I choose to believe)



    So even you are not positive?

    Quote:

    It would be a very sensible move for Apple to offer the holder of an iTunes account the option of a secondary password for in app purchases.



    Why not simply give them their own iTunes account with no credit card linked?

    They can get all the free apps they want but with no CC linked, even accidental in-app purchases could not be made.
  • Reply 64 of 127
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post


    I do agree that free games should be free. I'm fine with them being a light version or filled with ads. I somewhat agree that it's slightly dishonest to offer a game for free and then make people pay with in the app to do anything with it.



    for 99.9% of these games, the add ons are just to speed up the game. You can play without them if you want.



    And no where did Jobs ban these kinds of add ons to free games. Because they are just add ons.



    In the end, this is about the parents doing their jobs. They didn't bother to look at the game or at the software to see what kinds of restrictions there are. Now they are being bit over it. In the end, they are not likely to really win anything. Especially considering that Apple has time and again given up their cut of the money to refund these folks. the most that might happen is that the courts tell Apple to require that the password must be entered every time you want to buy/download anything even if you just put in your password 30 seconds ago. And maybe to require the games to put a giant screaming "THIS APP HAS IN APP PURCHASE FEATURES THAT COST REAL MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!" on the App Store info page as well as on the top of the app and require the person to confirm that yes they really want to pay (perhaps even putting in some kind of secondary passcode like the last 4 of the credit card on file).





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bigdaddyguido View Post




    I do think apple should consider allowing "children's" accounts which don't require a credit card but do require a "parent" account to be registered.



    They already do. You can set up an 'allowance' account or set up an account by redeeming an itunes gift card. Both of which never have to see a credit card directly on the account (just on the account that is sending the allowance). ANd I believe you can still have the accounts linked so as the parent you can block the child from seeing explicit, rated r etc materials.
  • Reply 65 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    why are parents giving their kids a password that is tied to a credit card? You can't sue another company for your having such poor parenting skills. My kids have to come to me to make an app store purchase with my credit card.



    That's the first thing I thought of: This guy uses a Save Password option, hands the phone to his kid, then wants to sue somebody for HIS mistake. If "ignorance of the law is no excuse" should not aso ignorance of basic security precautions? I wouldn't be surprised if he fails to lock his phone with a passcode, either. Maybe he can sue Apple for that.
  • Reply 66 of 127
    Here's an idea. You want to give your kid the password to an itunes account. Get a PREPAID credit card. When it runs out it runs out.



    I once got a $20 prepaid visa and opened an itunes account. Due to apples "days later invoicing" i was able to purchase over $100 worth of content without even trying. I just figured they'd cut me off. Their loss. Thanks Apple
  • Reply 67 of 127
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    You don't need a credit card to maintain an iTunes Store account.



    Rather than using a prepaid credit card, you can buy iTunes/App Store gift cards and recharge your account that way. No setup fee like prepaid credit cards often have. It's pure cash.



    Even though I have a real credit card tied to my iTunes Store account, I actually prefer to use gift cards.



    A.) It acts as a budget of sorts, and B.) I don't have to deal with a ton of micro credit card charges in Quicken.
  • Reply 68 of 127
    tawilsontawilson Posts: 484member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I agree on all points. The false argument a game is 'free' when it has costs built in once bought is the key to this I think.



    Those games should not be included in the free games section. Apple could easily make a definition of a 'free' game or app that stated it may contain ads but no in app sales. Even an upgrade from a light to a full version should not be from within a 'free app' rather an ad would state it has to be 'purchased from the non-free section.



    I play Farmville on the iPad, if I had to buy it (so that they could do in-app purchases) I wouldn't, and neither would a ton of other people. I've also NEVER paid for any content within Farmville, as I don't have to.



    It's not REQUIRED to buy the full version or any in-app purchase to play, and it is FREE to download the app (seeing as it costs nothing) therefore it perfectly fits the description of free.



    Here are some other examples of alleged free, which can legally be called free:
    • In the UK "Freeview" television still requires that you PAY for a TV license.

    • Ad-supported apps, you pay with your personal information.

    • Facebook apps, again you pay with your personal information.

    • Free bus passes for the elderly (they're still paid for).

  • Reply 69 of 127
    The scary memory of the BBC TV programme "Jamie's School Dinners" stays with me now even after the passage of about 4 years. It was the bit where a mother turned to Jamie and the camera and uttered the immortal line "I suppose being a parent means sometime you have to say no".



    The whole in-app purchase aspect of this legal action is a diversion because if they could download extra trinkets that cost real money then they could download an app, a feature film or music too. Why the focus on in-app purchase alone?



    It's not yet a legal requirement that children need access to their parents' credit facilities. Somehow, I've managed to live over 50 years without once ever being permitted access to my parents' bank account. Funny that ...
  • Reply 70 of 127
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,617member
    Time to start a class action case to remove the participants of this class actions children from their care are they are obviously too stupid to teach them to be responsible for their actions and even be responsible for controlling mediums they make available to their kids.



    The fact that they are obviously too retarded to check their emails for receipts from Apple too.



    Investigating this further you will probably find that these parents are probably high school drop outs with a low IQ and feel that the world owes them a living. They, along with the lawyers should be rounded up and shot, targeted gene pool cleansing.
  • Reply 71 of 127
    esummersesummers Posts: 953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    why are parents giving their kids a password that is tied to a credit card? You can't sue another company for your having such poor parenting skills. My kids have to come to me to make an app store purchase with my credit card.



    I don't care for games where you need to buy virtual currency with real money, but there is no way this happens unless the parents are giving the kids their password and the kids confirm the purchase. Nothing misleading here. Nobody is preying on children. Sounds like just a frivolous suit that plays on peoples fear of preying on children.
  • Reply 72 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I agree on all points. The false argument a game is 'free' when it has costs built in once bought is the key to this I think.



    Those games should not be included in the free games section. Apple could easily make a definition of a 'free' game or app that stated it may contain ads but no in app sales. Even an upgrade from a light to a full version should not be from within a 'free app' rather an ad would state it has to be 'purchased from the non-free section.



    Those apps or games that use the business model 'give it for free' and 'make the money from add ons' is perfectly legitimate but it should not masquerade as free, especially when targeted at kids.



    Having said that parents still need to take responsibility here and not resort to suing Apple.



    But you can play these game for free. You don't have to make in app purchases to play those games. If you are stupid enough to give your child you itunes password then you should be liable for for the charges. With that password they can also download any number of paid apps. Even if they don't give their child their password and download the app without knowing what it does then that's your fault. This is another frivolous lawsuit. I truly believe that this country's court system is being abused and that the attorneys (yes attorneys) should have to not only pay the costs of the defendant, but also the costs of the court if the court finds the suit without merit.
  • Reply 73 of 127
    [QUOTE=cmf2;1848432]They could have just done this:





    This is the very first thing I did when I got my iPhone before I set-up e-mail or anything else. That way my son would not make any accidental purchases.



    The only reason Apple is being sued is because of their deep pockets, although I would think Capcom has some money.



    I can't see any outcome for this lawsuit other than an immediate dismissal. There maybe something in the EULA that stops it before we even get to questions of poor parenting.
  • Reply 74 of 127
    You know a person can contact customer service and ask for a refund if you downloaded an app by mistake. I know this because I had this happen with my iPad. I accidentally downloaded the MLB app for the iPhone instead of the iPad. In opening the app I realized the mistake and downloaded the iPad version. I then contacted their store support explaining my mistake and they promptly credited my account. Apple is not that unreasonable when it comes to mistakes--I would think even if you were stupid enough to give your kid your password.
  • Reply 75 of 127
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I agree on all points. The false argument a game is 'free' when it has costs built in once bought is the key to this I think.



    Those games should not be included in the free games section. Apple could easily make a definition of a 'free' game or app that stated it may contain ads but no in app sales. Even an upgrade from a light to a full version should not be from within a 'free app' rather an ad would state it has to be 'purchased from the non-free section.



    Those apps or games that use the business model 'give it for free' and 'make the money from add ons' is perfectly legitimate but it should not masquerade as free, especially when targeted at kids.



    As long as the base program doesn't require purchases to be useful, and the description says there are paid optional add-ons, I really don't see why the base app shouldn't be in the free section.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Celemourn View Post


    in app purchases are just a bad bad, evil idea. f*** zynga and all imitators.



    Because something can be misused doesn't make it bad or evil.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    I believe they try to group purchases together to minimize credit card transaction fees. If you buy 3 games and rent 2 movies over a 2 day span, they want to process that as a single transaction instead of 5. The credit card fee for a single 99 cent transaction is more than the percentage they keep of a given sale. Other vendors such as amazon already group your items together as a single sale.



    I don't want to lend weight to this part of the argument, but Amazon groups transactions, but I think the window is about an hour, and they send email notifications. I don't recall ever getting an emailed receipt for any purchase from iTunes. It might be an option somewhere. It's probably not something people think about until it's too late.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    I'm a parent. I never thought to even look, so thanks for the heads up. But as a parent I do have sympathy. I used not to but after a short while of parenthood I stopped blaming parents. The reality of parenthood is much different from the inside than the outside. My guess is that most parents, even tech savvy ones, would say, "The password is 'xyz'. Now get out of my hair", followed by "Only free apps, OK?", never even thinking there might be anything like in-app purchases. Not saying it warrants a class action lawsuit but all you people coming down hard on parents - do you have kids?



    Children to seem to take 10 miles if you give them an inch. A teen might ask if they can borrow the car to go to the grocery store and they might take the car to Ohio.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nervus View Post


    Is the Federal Trade Commision going to be investigating Facebook and Zynga next? There is really no difference with in "app" purchases.



    I don't think there is a credit card tied to a Facebook account.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post


    They could have just done this:



    The best part is that the restrictions access code can be different from both your unlock code and iTunes password. This lawsuit has no legs and the fact that Apple now requires a password for in app purchases (even though they already provided a means of disabling them) means that they are attentive to the needs of the their customers and not negligent like the lawsuit alleges.



    Nice, thanks for posting the picture.
  • Reply 76 of 127
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,228member
    Since apple fixed the 15 minutes rule that allowed to buy without asking for the password for 15 minutes after you enter your password for the first time, I dont see how Apple could be sued for this.



    On the other hand, why dont they sue the app dev instead of Apple?
  • Reply 77 of 127
    jacksonsjacksons Posts: 244member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jmmx View Post


    1-

    ...



    2-

    Apple is responsible for all the apps they post? OK So if you buy a phone from Amazon, and the telco overcharges you, then you should sue Amazon?



    3-

    So you give your Amazon account number to your kid and they go and buy $2000 in new toys. You want to sue Amazon? Gimme a break!



    There is a difference.



    Amazon doesn't claim that their store is differentiated from other stored bacause it is part of a nice friendly and safe ecosystem. They claim it is a safe online store like other safe online stores.



    Apple, on the other hand does differentiate itself from other stores. It advertizes that its ecosystem is better than other ecosystems because it overseen by Apple. And that Apple makes it friendly and safe for its users.



    Amazon doesn't advertize items as free and then as soon as you start using them, you are suprised that you can/need to pay more money. Well sometimes they do. But it very clear at the time of purchase that such and such is not included and that you will need to pay for it once you get the product.



    Also, at Amazon, you get an email confirmation immediately that a purchased happened. You can then cancel that purchase if you wanted to. You can also return your purchases unopened for a refund. All things you can't do with in-app purchases.



    Anyway, I don't think you can use Amazon in the way you stated as an example.
  • Reply 78 of 127
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by alandail View Post


    why are parents giving their kids a password that is tied to a credit card? You can't sue another company for your having such poor parenting skills. My kids have to come to me to make an app store purchase with my credit card.



    I do not mean this personally, but to everyone....





    Where the hell have you been, of course you can sue anyone or any company for your poor parenting skills. This has been going on for a long time, anytime a kid gets hurt or cost the parent money and god forbid the child dies you can pretty much guaranty a law suite is coming, especially when the parents did not act like a parent.



    The best example of this is when I lived in CA, I was at friends house and saw on the side of a kiddy pools a warning that said use only under "competent supervision" At the time I though it was kind of strange warning since those warning use to say use under "adult supervision" meaning do not let your kid play in the pool alone.



    Well a few years later a case came to court where something happen to a kid and the toy or what ever it was had the competent supervision warning. The company when sued went on to prove the person that allow something to happen to the kid was the one who was at fault since they were not competent to allow the kid to use the item.



    Well the judge went nuts on the company and said they are not allow to stand behind that warning since all they had to do to prove the person was incompetent was to show the they allow the kid to be injured.



    Again blame the courts for not holding parent accountable for their kids actions, I wish the competent supervision warning would have held up.
  • Reply 79 of 127
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jacksons View Post


    There is a difference.



    Amazon doesn't claim that their store is differentiated from other stored bacause it is part of a nice friendly and safe ecosystem. They claim it is a safe online store like other safe online stores.



    Apple, on the other hand does differentiate itself from other stores. It advertizes that its ecosystem is better than other ecosystems because it overseen by Apple. And that Apple makes it friendly and safe for its users.



    The App Store is "not safe"? How exactly is that? At least with Apple, I know who I'm buying from unlike Amazon where sometimes it's through them (so I get free shipping) and sometimes it's not and hope the 3rd party is reputable.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jacksons View Post


    Amazon doesn't advertize items as free and then as soon as you start using them, you are suprised that you can/need to pay more money. Well sometimes they do. But it very clear at the time of purchase that such and such is not included and that you will need to pay for it once you get the product.



    On any free App that does in-App purchasing, there is a bar at the top that read "Top In-App Purchases". Typically that's a tip-off. Like I've said before, no free App I've ever used has required me to do an in-App purchase unless it is a clearly marked a "Lite" version and then even still I can choose not to purchase it.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    I'm a parent. I never thought to even look, so thanks for the heads up. But as a parent I do have sympathy. I used not to but after a short while of parenthood I stopped blaming parents. The reality of parenthood is much different from the inside than the outside. My guess is that most parents, even tech savvy ones, would say, "The password is 'xyz'. Now get out of my hair", followed by "Only free apps, OK?", never even thinking there might be anything like in-app purchases. Not saying it warrants a class action lawsuit but all you people coming down hard on parents - do you have kids?



    Yes. Yes I do. Plus I'm "tech savvy" which is all the more reason why I would never give my kids a password that protects my credit card because I know the consequences. That's one of the problems with this country these days, parents don't have time to be parents. They just say "go sit in front of <insert some tech or activity> and stop bothering me".
  • Reply 80 of 127
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,729member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    Bullshit. I have 2 girls that are 3 and 5 1/2. The 3 year old may be too young to understand, but my oldest knows that if she is playing w/the iPad and there is something she wants, she has to ask us. She knows she isn't allowed to buy anything herself, in or out of game. Not explaining and enforcing rules on your children does not explain the need for a class action lawsuit. Some people need to take some fucking personal responsibility.



    Bullshit right back atcha, mr Perfect. Speak when your kids are close to or just past double digits. I never said it justified a lawsuit - I said as a parent myself I had grown out of coming across all high and fucking mighty. But I'm glad your kids are little tow-the-line angels, mine are anything but. Like I am sure I did when I was their age, they frequently drive their parents to distraction being, you know, fucking kids.
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