Apple was sued recently by a group of plaintiffs who claimed Apple was at fault for their kids' in-app purchases on Apple devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Apple did not admit fault, but opted to settle the litigation by offering up a rebate for certain in-app purchases.
To receive a rebate (subject to court approval of the settlement in the fall), you must prove that, before May 2, 2013, a minor purchased in-app items on games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, Temple Run and a host of other game apps in your iTunes account without your knowledge or permission and you did not receive a refund from Apple for the charges.
I can relate to this issue. My kids got ahold of my 1st generation iPad a few years ago and began playing games like those mentioned above. It was all fun and good for awhile, until I began receiving emails from iTunes about various purchases. I thought maybe my iTunes account was hacked. I asked my wife, "who's buying stuff from iTunes?" She didn't know. Then l logged in to discover my youngest was buying virtual items via in-app purchases in the game. He didn't realize he was spending my money, to the tune of over $100.
I was able to get a refund for most of these "inadvertent" purchases from Apple and I also learned how to block in-app purchases made without use of a password. Learn more about Apple parental controls at support.apple.com/kb/HT4213.
But in the meantime, Apple is contacting iTunes customers to let them know about this proposed settlement. To learn if you are eligible, visit www.iTunesInAppPurchaseSettlement.com (catchy URL, eh?) for details.
If you are eligible for a settlement and the settlement is approved by the court, Apple will give you either a $5 iTunes Store credit or an iTunes Store credit totaling all unapproved charges made to your account within a single 45-day period by your kid. Ouch, for some that might be a pretty large amount! If your claim exceeds $30, or if you no longer have an iTunes account, you can opt for a cash refund.
The big winners in all of this may be the attorneys...the judge has approved $1.3 million from Apple for attorney fees and costs. And the five Class Represenatives, or plaintiffs, will each receive a $1,500 payment from Apple.