The Story of In-App Purchases

A couple of weeks ago, there was an interesting comment which came by one of my blog posts regarding the launch of a new freemium game. The commenter mentioned that even though the game is “free”, her child who was playing the game managed to rack up a bill of USD 780 buying the in-game currency (through in-app purchase) necessary for buying upgrades in the game.

“Free??? Are you kidding me. I just looked at my credit card bill. My daughter has been playing this game for about 1 month and she clicks on the continue to play passages claiming it’s free. I’m being charged 780 dollars on gems that were supposedly bought while playing. This is very deceptive and I’m not the only one being shocked at their credit card itunes bill”

While I’ve always considered the developer as a friend and I find that the lack of parental supervision is a pretty dumbass thing, I can’t help but wonder whether the mother has taken up the complaint to the developer and whether or not there’s a refund process in place.

I’ve asked the developer for comment in this case and they have come back pointing out that Apple now is coming down hard on this issue by imposing the need to enter the iTunes password not only for the first time purchase, but also the subsequent times within the same window of activity. Check it out here:

Well hopefully this helps mitigate the growing number of complaints about in-app purchase, and parents, you do need to play a part in monitoring what your kids are doing on your smartphone these days. I mean you do the same when they are using the computer, why not do the same when they are using a device that for some people, practically covers their computing needs.

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