Apple bans in-game app charges on kids’ games

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Apple will no longer allow in-game app charges on kids’ games. The reversal comes amid public outcry after parents found their checking accounts or credit cards dinged for anywhere from $5 to $100 each time their children played “free” games.

Here’s what’s going on: In the course of game play, a child might click on a “snowflake” or “Smurfberry,” just to give 2 examples, and that action would register a charge on a parent’s iTunes account. Apple took heat for helping the producers of these kids’ games swipe money from parents. In addition, the computer giant took a big cut of the allegedly illegitimate charges.

Now that Apple has been pounded in the media and by various state attorneys generals, they’ve done a rethink and will no longer permit in-game app “purchases” on new games.

But there’s another angle here I want to bring to your attention, and that is how many people with Apple products have no idea what they run up in charges at the iTunes store. I encourage you to look at your credit card statement each month and see what you’re paying. If you were wrongfully billed, you should dispute the charges with your credit card company and also with Apple.

Now a word about smartphones. If you have an Android device with service through a contract cell carrier, you’re probably being billed “post paid” after these kinds of charges occur. So the same thing that was happening with Apple can happen when the cell phone company bills you.

I think the wireless carriers need the same dose of scrutiny that has been pointed at Apple!



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