If your child bought something in an app from Amazon’s app store without your permission, you may get your money back.
On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced that refunds are now available for parents whose children made in-app purchases, like buying upgrades in mobile games purchased through Amazon’s app store, without their knowledge.
Last year, a court found Amazon responsible for stuff that kids bought without parents’ permission, noting Amazon didn’t provide sufficient disclosures or ask parents to approve the purchases children made. It did not require a password to make purchases within apps.
According to the FTC, more than $70 million in charges may be eligible for refunds on in-app purchases made between November 2011 and May 2016.
In 2014, Apple and Google refunded customers whose children made purchases in their mobile app stores, and the companies were forced to be more explicit about in-app purchases. Both firms no longer call apps “free” when they are free to download but have upgrades you can buy.
The FTC reported that customers eligible for the refund have either received an email with instructions on how to request the amount back or can visit the website for more information by taking the following steps:
1. Go to Amazon.com
2. Choose Your Account
3. Go to the Message Center
4. If you are eligible for refund, you will find more info under Important Messages
The deadline to request a refund is May 26, 2018.
Thomas Pahl, the acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a press release that “This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies—you must get customers’ consent before you charge them.” That’s very polite. Another way to put it, in language that even kids can understand: If you trick someone into giving you something that isn’t theirs to give, you’ll probably have to give it back.