If you’ve ever felt ripped off by your toddler’s “accidental” in-app purchases on Amazon, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour has some good news for you: The online retailer is now legally required to refund you for them within the next year. The bad news is that this doesn’t apply to those FanDuel charges you were going to blame on your toddler.
This order is a long time coming. The Federal Trade Commission sued the Seattle company back back in 2014 for making it way too easy for kids to decimate their parents’ bank accounts. As it turns out, those mobile games labeled “free” allow plenty of additional charges after downloading. The court ruled in favor of the FTC in April, requiring Amazon to fully refund purchases kids accidentally made. The court has been working out settlement details for the past 2 years. It might not sound like it, but the company got a lucky break when Judge Coughenour denied the FTC’s request for $26.5 million in damages. There’s precedent: Apple had to pay $32.5 million and Google $19 million in similar lawsuits with the FTC, but they kept it out of court. But don’t cry for Amazon, they’ll be fine.
The judge also shut down Amazon’s proposal to issue the refunds via gift card. Even he knows everyone forgets to use those things. Amazon has yet to publicly announce details of court-ordered refund program, and their customer service page only offers vague information. But depending on how old your little app burglar is, you might want to get your credit card statements and highlighter ready — they have some homework to do.
[H/T] ABC News