Amazon is refunding their customers $70 million due to unauthorized in-app purchases made by children without their parents’ consent. Typically purchasing an app requires user authorization or official permission, such as a password prompt, to confirm the purchase. After an app was purchased though, children continued to purchase extras inside the apps without a user authorization prompt. Instead children were able to charge their parents bank account with a click of a button. These in-app purchases were deceiving to children who did not realize they were spending real money. Amazon is ordered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to refund customers who had unauthorized in-app charges on their accounts between November 2011 and May 2016. Amazon is going to release a refund plan soon informing their customers how they can qualify for their refund. Many of the in-app purchases that will be refunded were made through gaming apps on Amazon tablet devices.
Amazon is not the first company to be ordered by the FTC to refund their customers for unauthorized in-app purchases made by children. In 2014 Apple and Google were also ordered to settle complaints and refund their customers for unauthorized in-app purchases made by children.