How to prevent in-app purchases on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad

In-app purchases are extra content and features within an application. Both free and paid apps can offer in-app purchases like bonus game levels, new weapons and subscriptions. Implementing in-app purchases are increasingly popular among iOS developers. We have received numerous complaints regarding accidental in-app buying, especially children’s accidental purchases. Here are a few:

[quote style="boxed"]This game has a feature that allows you to buy a “Trunk of Coins” for $99.99, seriously- $99.99 for a single feature. My kid purchased this game because it was FREE, and then bought a boat load of features and I ended up with $240 on my card in less than 2 minutes[/quote]

[quote style="boxed"]My six year old purchased a ‘chest of stars’ for $199.99[/quote]

[quote style="boxed"]My son (7 years old) downloaded this “FREE” game and quickly created a $400 invoice![/quote]

[quote style="boxed"]My 9 year old daughter had made about 100 dollars in unauthorized charges on in app games on our iPad.[/quote]

“My 9 year old daughter had made about 100 dollars in unauthorized charges on in app games on our ipad.”

Luckily there’s an option to turn off in-app purchases. Simply tap “Settings” -> “General” > “Restrictions” and tap the “Enable Restrictions” set a pass code (if not done already); then scroll down to the “Allowed Content” section and slide the “In-App Purchases” to “Off”.

If you are already a victim of in-app purchases, basically you have five options:

  1. You may contact the developer of the app that you were a victim of and demand a refund.
  2. You may contact iTunes Support: http://apple.com/support/itunes/ and ask for a refund.
  3. You may contact your credit card provider instead, dispute the charges and take the money back.
  4. Of course you can also submit your feedback to Apple so that they tweak things to prevent accidental purchases:  http://apple.com/feedback/
  5. Or you could tell your child to not buy these things and watch your child’s device use.

Comments

  1. Rustum Rivera says

    Why is this legal to be embedded in free kid’s game? Why does it cost as much as $99 for just an extra level or something? What’s Apple doing about this? Are there regulations that regulates game developers on how much they could charge? This is just plain scam. Apple should have “in-app purchases” default to “OFF” then developers will just have to remind gamers to turn it “ON” whenever you get to the point that you need to go further in the game. I believe that’s harder to set than just pressing the “YES” or “BUY” option on a pop-up notice. Please do something about this. Thank you for your time and considerations.

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