Apple hit by lawsuit over in-app purchases by kids

Apr 19, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Apple is facing a lawsuit from a Pennsylvania man whose 9-year-old daughter racked up $200 in charges buying "Zombie Toxin" and other game items on her iPod.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status, saying Garen Meguerian of Phoenixville is among many people with bill shock after children went on buying sprees in , and iPod games. These games are typically free to download, but players can buy items that speed up the game.

An Associated Press story in December highlighted the issue. In many cases, it appeared that children bought items such as "Smurfberries" from "Smurfs' Village" without knowing they were spending real money. ITunes didn't ask for a password for in-game purchases if it had been entered within the previous 15 minutes for any reason. This meant that parents could download a free app, hand over their devices to their kids, and later find big charges on their iTunes accounts.

Apple reversed the charges of complaining customers. It also tightened its password policy with a software update in March. Entering the password outside an app no longer triggers a password-free period for in-app purchases, which now have a separate 15-minute timer.

Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said the company does not comment on pending litigation.

The was filed last week in federal court in San Francisco. CNET reported on it earlier.

"Tap Zoo," a kid-oriented game that's free to download but charges for items, was the top-grossing app in the Store on Tuesday.

Explore further: Are Silicon Valley tech giants real innovators or spoilt rich kids?

4.7 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Apple moves to stop kids racking up iTunes bills

Mar 16, 2011

(AP) -- After customers complained that their kids were racking up hundreds of dollars worth of purchases inside iPhone and iPad games, Apple has changed how these purchases are authorized.

Kids go on expensive buying sprees in iPhone games

Dec 09, 2010

(AP) -- "The Smurfs' Village," a game for the iPhone and other Apple gadgets, was released a month ago and quickly became the highest-grossing application in the iTunes store. Yet it's free to download.

US regulators asked to probe game bills

Feb 09, 2011

Two members of Congress asked US regulators on Tuesday to look into a newspaper report that children had rung up huge bills buying virtual products in games on mobile devices.

Apple bars developer from App Store

Jul 06, 2010

Apple said Tuesday it has barred a Vietnamese program developer from its application store on iTunes for fraudulent activity.

Apple app store hits 10 billion downloads

Jan 22, 2011

(AP) -- Apple says that its app store has hit the 10 billion downloads mark. The milestone, announced on Apple Inc.'s website Saturday, arrives as the company's hugely popular smart phone is likely to become ...

Recommended for you

Turner channels removed from Dish amid pact spat

19 hours ago

Channels such as Cartoon Network and CNN are no longer part of Dish's programming lineup as a deadline has passed for the satellite TV provider and Turner Broadcasting to renew their distribution agreement.

Verizon reports higher 3Q net income, revenue

20 hours ago

Verizon Communications Inc. on Tuesday reported higher net income and revenue in its third quarter, helped by strong wireless subscriber growth and demand for its high-speed FiOS Internet services.

User comments : 0