View Full Version : Parents sue Apple over kids' microtransaction gaming bills

04-18-2012, 08:14 AM
Parents argue 'it's too easy for kids to rack up huge bills'.


A parent group has filed a lawsuit against Apple, over bills resulting on in-game microtransactions made by their children...

According to the BBC, Apple is being sued by a group of parents, who argue that it is too easy for children to rack up huge bills without an adult's consent. Apple asked for the case to be dismissed, but a Judge denied it...

The group said it was too easy for children to run up big bills without "authorisation of their parents".

Apple had called for the case to be dismissed, pointing out that in-app purchasing can now be disabled.

However, US District Judge Edward Davila said the hearing could now go ahead.

The group claims certain games have been developed “strategically to induce purchases of Game Currency”. Examples of these games are Smurfs' Village and Tap Pet Hotel.

Among them was Smurfs' Village, developed by Capcom. While the game itself is free, in-app purchases available in the "Smurfberry Shop" range from £2.99 to £69.99.

A warning message in the game's description states that Smurfs' Village "charges real money for additional in-app content".

It is possible to play the game without spending money. However, progress is typically far slower for the player.


In the UK, Niamh Bolton told the BBC she felt "physically sick" after learning her 10-year-old daughter had totted up a bill of more than £1,500 while playing Tap Pet Hotel.

The game, developed by San Francisco-based Pocket Gems, is part of a wider "Tap" series which was also referred to in Mr Meguerian's court filing.

Ms Bolton said the purchases, which were made before Apple added the in-app disabling feature, were made within two hours.

"It was more than our monthly mortgage repayment," she told the BBC.

Of course, Apple hasn't commented, and apparently in the latest iOS software, the company added extra steps in the in-app purchasing process, including the requirement to enter an additional password to buy items within apps. But for these group of parents, that wasn't enough! How this case will end?

NEWS SOURCE #1: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-17728039
NEWS SOURCE #2: http://www.vg247.com/2012/04/18/parents-sue-apple-over-kids-microtransaction-gaming-bills/

Our thanks to 'Gauss' for this news story

04-18-2012, 09:22 AM
no its not, unless your a fecking retarded parent that has set up the itunes account with your card information and then allowed your child to know the password so they can simply log into the app store and buy what ever they like.

i think most of these parents havent kept an eye on what their child is doing "bad parenting supervision if you ask me" and has now noticed the child has baught [email protected] loads and they have a big bill.

apple are not to blame if you fail as a parent to set parental controlls with your child.

04-18-2012, 10:48 AM
The reason why parents are suing Apple is because they are too ignorant to learn about the technology and prevent things like this from happening. They immediately hand off their "toys" to their kids, unlocked and unprotected, and then are surprised when young children are racking up the bills for in app purchases? Since the parents don't want to blame themselves for their idiocy, they have to find a scapegoat.

It's not Apple's fault that parents need to educate themselves when it comes to the use of purchases on the iOS devices.

If I was the judge, I would throw this out the window, telling the parents to lock their devices as it's clearly an option. Usually I don't care for Apple and their practices but this one is totally the parents' fault.

04-18-2012, 10:50 AM
I don't know about other people but my parents never gave me any sort of remote access to their credit/debit cards, cheques or anything that had to do with billing when I was a kid. Plus I just knew better.... money = always ask mom/dad.

Although a parent and child account system may work in theory... most people just have their one adult account and just give their iPad to their kids to play.
No body is going to take their time to familiarize & setup a separate account for their child and monitor it.

People are too busy in life and whatever little time they have to relax after work..... won't be spent on this kind of nonsense monitoring.

There are just too many things to deal with in life for a parent and just impossible to constantly be aware of every single dang thing that might or might not happen..... SORRY but bad parenting is the scapegoat of a bloated and over complicated system for the technologically ignorant/uneducated or just overwhelmed people.

For most parents... managing an Apple account is on the bottom of their priority list.

I'm very sure that other things like: Paying bills, Not loosing the house, Health care, Helping aging parents and feeding/clothing/educating their children is on the TOP of their PRIORITY LIST.

I wouldn't expect a parent to know about some DLC crap you can buy in some stupid smurf game. That's NOT reasonable.

APPLE = fail.

04-18-2012, 03:33 PM
lazy parenting at it's finest.

rather than expecting everyone else to take care of your kids/be a baby sitter - people need to take more interest in their kids lives and teach them, rather than expect everyone to do that job for them.

04-18-2012, 07:04 PM
lazy parenting at it's finest.

That such an typical ignorant statement, like when somebody farts in the room and everyone looks at the fat guy first

Read my prervious post.

04-19-2012, 08:02 AM
That such an typical ignorant statement, like when somebody farts in the room and everyone looks at the fat guy first

Read my prervious post.

Your previous post is the ignorant part, and the reason for people pointing the finger at lazy parenting. I have four kids and this **** not only wouldn't happen, it COULDN'T happen.

It IS lazy ass parenting, period. If you're letting your kids use a device, you don't save the password for purchasing on it. It's not the apps fault, it's not Apple's fault...it's YOUR fault.

04-19-2012, 09:32 AM
Well no crap parents should disable downloading for their kids..... but seriously...... lazy parents just because they overlooked something so stupid as a SMURF dlc pack.

Please don't insult hard working and good parents who may have overlooked or not been aware of such a situation arising.

Parents are lazy by default just because its the first thing that pops into people's heads.

I deal with people at my work place on a daily basis who are so freakin clueless when it comes to configuring any sort of eletronic device, that I wouldn't expect them to ever have a thought that this might happen.

Lazy parents is a Lazy excuse.

APPLE = Company making the purchase process too easy for their own benefit.