EU Meeting With Apple and Google to Discuss Concerns Over In-App Purchases

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple and Google are meeting with the European Commission to discuss concerns over in-app purchases. The two technology leaders will be asked to provide solutions that protect customers, particularly children, from errant and costly in-app purchases.
    The EU commission and other European enforcement authorities will focus on four main issues involving the false advertising of freemium games as "free", the targeting of children by in-app purchases, the need for explicit consent when processing orders for in-app items and the provision of an email for consumers to contact companies about inadvertent charges.

    Apple recently settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and agreed to provide full refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items. Apple also settled a 2011 class-action lawsuit filed by parents whose children racked up hundreds of dollars in in-app charges while playing games like Tap Fish.

    Apple introduced in-app purchases in iOS 3.0 and started requiring passwords for these transactions in iOS 4.3 after concerns about over-spending on unauthorized purchases surfaced. iOS owners can disable in-app purchasing completely using the Restrictions feature of iOS.

    Article Link: EU Meeting With Apple and Google to Discuss Concerns Over In-App Purchases
  2. H2SO4 macrumors 68040

    Nov 4, 2008
    Don't give or let your kids play with expensive toys without doing your homework.
  3. BvizioN macrumors 68040


    Mar 16, 2012
    Manchester, UK
    There is the solution, what's to discus?
    Enable the feature when you want to do in-app purchase, disable it when you give it to your kids.
  4. Nunyabinez macrumors 65816


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    Talk about showing up for a party after it's already over...
  5. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    Apple needs to block those damn mobile ads that redirect to the appstore without even asking, it is so ANNOYING i cant believe Apple of all allows this. I swear to god if i see CandyCrush or Clash of the Titans one more time
  6. Pagemakers macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    Have 3 types of apps


    The latter 2 can be turned off in settings so kids can only play truly free apps.
  7. lesferdinand macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2013
    Good news. As is to be expected, regulation lags innovation. Now that many publishers/developers have proven they will abuse the new revenue models and platform owners aren't stepping up to address this in any meaningful way (in other words, self-regulation doesn't work), it's time for regulators to step in.
  8. garylapointe macrumors 65816


    Feb 19, 2006
    Dearborn (Detroit), MI, USA
    I have no problem with free programs having in app purchases.

    I have a problem with pay programs having in app purchases and not being clear what I'm paying for with the initial purchase price.

    I have similar problems with programs with multiple in app purchases and I'm not sure exactly what that includes and what I'm missing (I've now spent money, how many more purchases will I have to make for a complete product? or how crippled will it still be?).

  9. applesith macrumors 68020


    Jun 11, 2007
    Time for the nanny state to solve all the problems for incompetent people.
  10. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    I can easily imagine customers get extremely confused, both thinking they're using real currency when they're not and thinking they're using pretend currency when they're not.

    I myself was confused in Tetris when I "purchased" some extra content in the game. I thought it was using in-game currency, but after I tapped the unlock button it had a iOS alert window pop up asking if I really wanted to "purchase" the content. The repeated use of the word "purchase" and how many buttons it was making me press made me think it was going to really charge my credit card hooked up to the App Store. I pressed "Yes" and my in-game currency went down and my credit card wasn't charged (I checked with my bank just to be sure.)

    The fact that they choose to treat their in game currency like it has real value like this no doubt makes it so others come to expect so many dialogs when making a fake transaction, so they won't notice a difference when making a real one until a charge shows up on their credit card.
  11. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    Nice iOS 6 screengrab. :p
  12. springsup macrumors 6502a


    Feb 14, 2013

    If you include in-app purchases, you shouldn't be in the 'Free' section. It totally goes against the spirit of why there's a free section in the first place.

    In fact, I really can't believe Apple still go along with this freemium crap. You can get previews of books on the iBookstore, so why not allow previews of Apps on the AppStore? Freemium is such an inelegant, customer-hostile way to provide demo software.

    I just can't wrap my head around it: everything I know about Apple's philosophy tells me they should hate this, but then they consistently refuse to introduce trials while supporting IAPs.
  13. mabhatter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    Exactly. Apple could have stopped the games with $99 "Smurfberries" years ago if they wanted. They could easily have put "breaks" on multiple purchase (hitting the button 7 times) on making sure you use up all of one purchase before buying more, and simply limiting KIDS GAMES to reasonable $5-$10 max.

    But Apple didn't do that. "Unlimited purchases" was why nobody trusted the PHONE COMPANY with early smartphone stores a decade ago.. Their behavior was openly criminal, and the phone company took a cut so ALLOWED scammers openly and youcould run up thousands if dollars with simple scams. i stopped using a landline because i got tired if having to keep all the long distance, texting, collect calls, etc blocked and reblocked every six months. It's about the TRUST in Apple's platform. If I gotta flip settings every time I give it to my kid for ten minutes, or flip settings every time I want to buy something, Then I'm just not gonna hassle myself to buy thins anymore!

    The problem is that Apple gets a 30% cut to "regulation" on their own is a conflict of interests. Aple regulates the hell out of the App Store for a lot of other more trivial things they don't "think are good taste" this request is entirely possible and within what they've ALREADY DONE for other situations.
  14. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    And the European Commission continue to embarrass themselves...
  15. Parasprite macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2013
      Do you want to allow 
       Skyway to offer you 
        in-app purchases?
        Deny     Allow
  16. chainprayer macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    My phone asks for my password before each individual purchase. How is this still a problem?

    And with freemium, just don't buy. I beat Plants vs Zombies 2 with $0 investment (and it was more fun!)
  17. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    Yep. Or if you would rather, set 'require password' to immediately and don't tell your kids what it is
  18. mabhatter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    Because their App Store would be full of useless trial versions and nobody would ever give Apple a cut of the game. The current model works great for trial versions where the program is free or low cost with more expensive add-ons. I buy lots if stuff from Hipsagram, Paper by 53, and other apps with small stuff to buy if you really like the app.

    It's really just the lifestyle/ games guys that are trying to break the model here with their $99 berries. I buy stuff all the time... But if a TOY GAME has purchases over $30 I simply refuse to even download it. It's not that hard to look ahead of time, Apple is pretty up fromt.
  19. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    Yes, I hate it when I'm on a web site and all of a sudden am pushed to the App Store without me wanting to go there. Apple needs to shut that down now. I'm also sick of websites that have an app giving me a splash screen asking if I want to download the apps before taking me to the site. So annoying.
  20. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    This. Parental controls exist. Why not use them? Parents these days aren't bothering enough to check what child safety features XYZ device has or brings.
  21. lesferdinand macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2013
    That's one way of looking at it. Another way is: "time for the state to step in as business yet again proves if it can **** people, it will."


    The problem is, those features in pretty much all cases make regular operation of the device more cumbersome. The touch sensor in the 5s tries to combat that but isn't an unequivocal success.

    You might argue that a device/platform that can only be safely operated through bothering the user, isn't designed very well. It's the Windows Vista solution.
  22. 4Apples macrumors member

    May 21, 2013
    That is GREAT news! My nephew was playing with my iphone and almost purchased in-app coins which runs $20-$100! Now that is highway robbery and I am glad someone is doing something about it! YES there is a way to dissable that option through settings but some people find that out after the fact or are just not computer sabby. Either way there is absolutely no reason why a child's game should ever cost that much. That is just the game developer taking full advatange of the situation.. plain and simple.
  23. KdParker macrumors 601


    Oct 1, 2010
    There are lots of people that aren't used to the Apple eco-system and barely understand apps let alone in app purchases.

    Apples approach of giving some people a break the first time this happens and the explaining that you can turn off in-app purchases seems to be working well.
  24. parish macrumors 65816


    Apr 14, 2009
    Wilts., UK
    Here we go again; let's make it everybody else's responsibility to protect children from incompetent parents.

    It's annoying enough having to enter my password to get apps - especially free ones.

    No excuse. If it's too complicated, then stick to a Nokia 3210, or at least do some research. There's plenty of help on the 'net.
  25. attila macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2003
    It sure is great to get out of that bag.
    The EU commission should speak with EA, not Apple or Google.

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