Google Play kicks off gruelling $19m in-app purchase refund with mass email campaign

Google Play will have to cough up $19m for consumers

Google Play has started informing customers via email that they may be entitled to a refund if they have made in-app purchases.

The move comes after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ruled that the firm owed $19m to parents whose kids made, without permission, in-app purchases as the content was poorly labelled and was ineffectively secured.

Users can apply for refunds on purchases made between 1 March 2011 and 18 November 2014 on the Google Play store. They will have until 2 December 2015 to make the claim.

App buyers on Wednesday received an email reading: “We understand some parents might have been charged for in-app purchases made by young children who did not have permission to make those purchases.

“As a result, we have added tools to help parents avoid unauthorised in-app purchases by their young children. We are also offering refunds in certain cases in line with our agreement with the FTC.”

In September, Google Play was redesigned to more clearly state that some ‘free’ games feature in-app purchases to appease the European Commission which was concerned with how easy children could make transactions.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.