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Customer Discussions > Video Games forum

Apple in legal trouble over apps that "trick" kids into making in-game purchases

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Showing 1-15 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 16, 2012, 3:18:32 PM PDT

A class-action suit against Apple over free-to-play apps that trick children into making in-app purchases is proceeding to trial

Last year, a federal judge in California consolidated a number of class-action lawsuits from parents who alleged that Apple incorrectly listed apps as free-to-play, only to have children rack up immense bills for digital purchases. These parents have found $100+ iTunes account bills due to these so-called "bait apps".

An Apple user normally has to enter a password to buy items in-game, but Apple previously allowed a 15-minute window after the initial purchase, during which players can make in-app purchases without entering a password. This window allowed children to rack up huge bills on their parents' iTunes accounts in a short period of time, prompting Apple to later remove the 15-minute window.

Apple filed to have the consolidated class-action suits dismissed, but last week U.S. District Judge Edward Davila upheld the original claims against Apple.

"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 ," Judge Davila stated.

Now Apple must dispute the claims, with the company expected to file its defense on May 24.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012, 3:19:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 16, 2012, 3:23:01 PM PDT
Beau says:
How about a lawsuit against parents that buy iPhones and iPads for their 3 year olds?

Seriously, this sounds like nothing more than parents being too lazy to parent and now trying to make a quick buck off Apple. I'm no Apple defender by any means, but come on people....you give an iPad to a kid that's 3 years old and what do you think is going to happen? He's just pressing buttons, he doesn't know any better.

As for the so-called "bait apps".....most of them pretty much spell out, in their descriptions, the fact that there'll be in-app purchases.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2012, 3:27:15 PM PDT
Ice King says:
This will probably just end with them removing that feature, which will be a pain in the ass when downloading a few apps at a time.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012, 4:00:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 16, 2012, 4:06:59 PM PDT
mattfixit says:
does this mean we can sue advertisers for ads since they're all baited hooks with barbs?

Posted on Apr 16, 2012, 4:11:09 PM PDT
Jon says:
Amazon has my information saved so that I can complete checkouts faster. Can I sue them if someone uses my computer to make a purchase?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2012, 4:13:02 PM PDT
GyozaSauce says:
Yes you can. Don't know about winning the case though..

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2012, 4:15:10 PM PDT
You can sue a ham sandwich. No guarantee of results.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012, 4:21:00 PM PDT
Jack Pacini says:
Your honor this ham sandwich is clearly too dry. Look at him sitting there expressionless! The look of a guilty sandwich if you as me. I rest my case.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2012, 4:24:00 PM PDT
Only if there is a DNA match.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2012, 4:25:34 PM PDT
Those ham sandwiches are too cunning for DNA tests.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012, 4:25:35 PM PDT
If stuff like this prompts companies to steer clear of the freemium model I'm all for it. Freemium makes me mad.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012, 4:25:53 PM PDT
John Lemon says:
Amazon requires you to log into your account to make a purchase, so how is that the same? Is reading a problem for some of you?

They clearly made apps with the idea that kids would make in app purchases. Apple is going to end up losing this, but only the lawyers will see any money.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 16, 2012, 4:36:30 PM PDT
Jon says:
Apple isn't making any of the apps. There is a small 15 minute gap from where you enter your password until you have to enter it again. In that time, any purchase you make you just have to confirm the purchase and not enter your password again. Someone said it earlier, kids that will make those kind of purchases and either knowingly or not-knowingly rack up $100 worth of bills should not have their own iDevice or be supervised while using a parents. Once again, parents pushing the blame onto someone else.

Posted on Apr 16, 2012, 4:44:19 PM PDT
Jack Pacini says:
Who in there right mind is letting their kids touch their overpriced Apple products? If I spent the kind of money they sell their products for, there is no way my kid is touching it!

Posted on Apr 16, 2012, 4:46:39 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 16, 2012, 4:47:12 PM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
Participants:  11
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Apr 16, 2012
Latest post:  Apr 16, 2012

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