Nairobi News

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Apple to refund Sh2.7bn after complaints

Apple will refund customers at least $32.5m (Sh2.76 billion) after a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The refund agreement settles long-standing complaints over in-app purchases made by children without their parents’ consent.

Apple will also be required to change its billing procedures to make sure customers have given consent before they are charged for in-app purchases.

The company said it had settled rather than take on a long legal fight.

“This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you’re doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

“You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorise.”

The FTC’s complaint alleged that Apple failed to inform parents that by entering a password, they were approving a single in-app purchase and also 15 minutes of additional unlimited purchases their children could make without further consent.

It also said that Apple often presented a password prompt screen for parents to enter their details without explaining that this would finalise any purchase made in the app.

The FTC also noted that Apple received tens of thousands of complaints about unauthorised in-app purchases by children.

One woman said her daughter had spent $2,600 (Sh221,000) in one app. This refund only covers customers who have made purchases through Apple’s US app store.

BBC