Parents react to Apple settlement - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Parents react to Apple settlement

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Tangela Grier Tangela Grier

Parents might want to take a close look on their Apple accounts.  The company agreed to refund millions of dollars to consumers who complained about their children making purchases without their consent.  Some of these parents were hit with hundreds of dollars in unexpected charges.  But not everyone thinks Apple should have to pay.

With just the touch of your finger you can buy apps and play games on your iPad or iPhone.   Which is why many parents say they keep a close watch on their children.

"I have a two year-old, Jeremiah, and he knows how to get on the iPhone and just slide his finger and just do all kinds of stuff," said Tangela Grier.

Even make purchases.   Now Apple is paying up after receiving tens of thousands of complaints. The Federal Trade Commission says Apple failed to tell parents once they enter their passwords for children there's a 15 minutes window in which kids can make more purchases.


"For example, one consumer reported that her daughter had spent $2600 in the app Tap Pet hotel.  Others reported unauthorized purchases by children totaling more than $500 in the APPs dragon story and tiny zoo friends. In aggregate we allege that there have been millions of dollars in authorized charges," said Edith Ramirez, the FTC Chairwoman.

 Apple agreed to refund at least $32.5 million.

"I think Apple, as smart as their programs are, it should be where they are able to have parental things on there to keep it protected.  Or like I said, a two year-old can go on there, I know Jeremiah, he goes on his sister's iPhone and he's always dialing and looking at videos and stuff.  You just never know what they're going to do.  So yeah, I think Apple should have to pay back," said Grier.

But not all parents agree.

"When I heard the story I thought that it was kind of backwards, because I didn't see where Apple had defrauded anyone or acted improperly.  It was parents not being responsible for their children and then the government stepped in and said no, Apple has to give the money back.  That didn't seem right to me," said Chris Hill, a father of two.

 Regardless, many parents say it's important to protect your accounts with passwords, talk to your children, or just go back to the old fashioned board games.

As part of the settlement, Apple has until March to change its billing practices by notifying parents of the 15 minute window.

 

 

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