Apple has today emailed iTunes account holders giving them a chance to ask for a refund for in-app purchases made by a minor on their account.
The company previously agreed to pay at least $32.5 million in refunds, and make changes to its in-app purchase mechanisms, as part of a settlement in a Federal Trade Commission unfair billing practises complaint.
The regulatory agency found in January that Apple had failed to clearly inform parents that entering a password to approve a single purchase provided a 15-minute window of opportunity to complete further in-app purchases without requiring password re-entry.
Apple received over 30,000 complaints from users with some reporting thousands of dollars being spent unauthorized.
Apple notified its customers by email today that it was instituting better parental controls, allowing parents to restrict or disable access to content. It also created a mechanism for parents to request a refund for purchases made by a child.
Here’s the email in full:
Dear iTunes account owner,
Apple is committed to providing parents and kids with a great experience on the App Store. We review all app content before allowing it on our store, provide a wide range of age-appropriate content, and include parental controls in iOS to make it easy for parents to restrict or disable access to content.
We’ve heard from some customers that it was too easy for their kids to make in-app purchases. As a result, we’ve improved controls for parents so they can better manage their children’s purchases, or restrict them entirely. Additionally, we are offering refunds in certain cases. Our records show that you made some in-app purchases, and if any of these were unauthorized purchases by a minor, you might be eligible for a refund from Apple.
Please follow the steps below to submit a refund request:
• Find your in-app purchase records. Check your email for iTunes receipts or use a computer to sign in to your iTunes account and view your Purchase History.
• Use this link to submit your refund request to Apple.
• Provide the requested information and enter “Refund for In-App Purchases made by a minor” in the Details section.
Apple will review your request and contact you via email about your refund status. All refund requests must be submitted no later than April 15, 2015. If you have any questions or need further assistance with your refund request, please contact Apple. To learn more about parental controls in iOS, please see this article.