Apple is being hit by a class-action lawsuit after ruffling the feathers of few annoyed parents in Phoenixville, Penn. The nature of the lawsuit concerns free iOS games that allow in-app purchases, which previously made it easy for children to run up their parents’ credit cards with in-game purchases.
Apple Insider reports that the parent spearheading the suit, Garen Meguerian, had “no idea” that his youngest daughter could use his credit card to purchase virtual currency in games like “Zombie Cafe” and “City Story.” Her grand total? $200 worth of zombie toxin. Yeesh.
Apple has since addressed the issue by simply requiring a re-entry of a user’s password for all in-app purchases, when previously users were able to buy things within a 15 minute window after first entering one. The lawsuit, however, is still going forward.
Meguerian states, ”Because the passwords now required for purchases of Game Currency are the same passwords required for any Apple purchase, minors aware of such password may purchase Game Currency without authorization from their parents for that purchase.”
Either way, there won’t be any real winners here. It still sucks for busy parents who didn’t realize that such a thing like “in game currency” even existed, and I can see how Apple wanted to provide a user-friendly experience with that 15 minute password-less window. (I hate having to enter passwords for every. Little. Thing.)
But, I’m sure most of our readers aren’t the type to turn to in-game currency as a crutch, but I must admit that I was seriously tempted to blow some credit in order to to unlock the blood-draining Deathless sword in Infinity Blade.
But Apple does have an iOS option under Settings –> General –> Restrictions to toggle “In-App Purchases” on and off, should you be the parent of tech-savvy kids who don’t yet understand that money doesn’t grow on trees. Or so my mom would say.
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