Google announced to pay full refunds to the consumers who paid accidentally for the apps by their children without their consent. This refund is estimated to be around $19 million.
This settlement is made by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) after three consistent cases about the unauthorized app store purchases by children. Apple also faced the similar case and ended up with refunding $32.5 million back in January and since then the complain was also filled against the Amazon.
In this case of Google, the users many times reported that they have been unauthorizedly charged by Google due to mistakes made by their children, the amount ranges from 99 cents to $200.
Most of the interactions performed online using mobile devices occurs through apps, reported by comScore. ComScore also estimated that over 80% media consumption on mobile devices is operated by apps. Just in U.S, comScore estimated that iPhone operating system covers 67.4 million subscribers whereas the Android operating system covers 83.8 million subscribers.
FTC mentioned, initially when Google introduced the Google Play Store in-app purchase facility, it wasn’t password protected and due to that reason, many unauthorized transactions took place. In mid of 2012, Google edited their algorithm and started to ask for the password in order to validate the payment but there was still a flaw in that algorithm and the payment was being made after 30-minute window.
FTC’s Chairwoman, Edith Ramirez said that for millions of American families, tablets and smart-phones are now a need of their everyday lives. It is important to remind the companies that consumers should not be charged without their authorization and validation.
This settlement will push Google to refund $19 million to all those users who were charged accidentally or unauthorizedly.
Google is also told to change their billing preferences and to obtain information in depth and accurately before they are charged for any purchases.
Google in reply briefed that, “We’ve already made changes in our product to give our users best possible experience”. Google also said that we are glad to face this issue, this will help us to reach next level and focus on what our customers need from us and let them enjoy all the entertainment they like.