The in-app charges occurred from purchases made by kids when playing with freemium apps.

Amazon to refund 70 million worth of in-app purchases made by kidsAmazon.com/Facebook
news Amazon Thursday, April 06, 2017 - 13:02

Amazon Inc. has decided to refund up to $70 million to its users, a move that comes a year after the company was found guilty of illegally billing users for unauthorised in-app purchases.

The in-app charges occurred from purchases made by kids when playing with freemium apps.

A US federal court in 2016 ruled that Amazon had failed to "clearly inform parents that free apps may still include in-app purchases, and did not provide enough notice and password requirements to prevent unwanted charges."

The e-commerce website has now agreed to end appeals related to the court findings last year that stated that the "company had billed consumers for unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children". This means that affected consumers can now seek refunds from Amazon. 

According to a report in Verge on Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimated that parents were charged upwards of $70 million between November 2011 and May 2016.

"This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies — you must get customers’ consent before you charge them. Consumers affected by Amazon’s practices can now be compensated for charges they didn’t expect or authorize," said Thomas B. Pahl, acting director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. 

In November 2016, Amazon had requested a US district court that it would make refunds in form of gift cards, but the request was rejected.

It is, therefore, expected that the company will refund affected customers money back directly to their debit or credit card, or through paper checks.

With IANS inputs

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