Some things need to be clarified beforehand otherwise the backlash might prove to be more than manageable. A similar thing happened in case of Apple Incorporated. The tech giant had allowed a 15 minute window of opportunity to its customers to purchase apps on an in-store basis. This blessing was availed most of all by children and that too without their parents’ consent. It led to a state of glut where the cumulative bills ran into the millions.
And this act took place while the guardians of these clever kids remained fully ignorant of the fact. The FTC has therefore given an ultimatum to the execs at Apple to get their act together. They are to repay a net total of $32.5 million to all those people who were bamboozled by this cunning strategy.
Tim Cook remarked that this was a form of double jeopardy that Apple had to bear. Already, his company had paid a large amount in dollars way back in June. And now with this new penalty being imposed, he felt that it was just not fair.
But when you take a closer look you realize that some of the parents stuck with hefty bills to pay have a point. They ought to have been informed beforehand regarding the freemium policy. There was even one patron whose kid used a gaming app to such an extent that the bill ran into the thousands.
Ultimately, the question is one of consent. And children cannot be trusted when it comes to making purchases. It is adults who are responsible and it is they who should have been given the vital information beforehand.
“This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you’re doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. “You cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize.”