Google Fined Over Charges Made For In-App Purchases

It has been reported that Google is about to pay out a minimum of $19m in connection to a complaint that has been made regarding in app purchases that are unauthorised. The pay-out is to be made after a complaint was made by the US Federal Trade Commission that claimed Google was not doing enough to let people know how much of a bill they were running up.

It appears the majority of the purchases had been made by children who were playing games, and paid to get ahead in games that they were playing on their phones. As part of the settlement it seems that Google needs to inform Google to explain how anyone affected can get a refund.

The reason this has happened is that Google has been charging parents for purchase their children made and this is seen as a breach of the agreement regarding unfair commercial practices. In some cases the bill would run into hundreds of dollars and none of it had been authorised.

Edith Ramirez the chairwomen of FTC said that companies have to remember that customers have to authorise a purchase in order for it to be legitimate.

It has been accepted that Google has improved its practices, as there is now an element of verification needed but there was still not enough information being supplied.

Google has responded by saying that they have made additional changes in an attempt to improve the ways that customers are informed about the amount they are going to pay. The FTC settlement is actually taking this a step further and is insisting that there must be permission given before a purchase is made and billed.

They continued by saying that they were glad thus this was the end of the road for the problem and they wanted to spend time creating additional games that would be enjoyable for their customers to play.

It has to be noticed that this will not cover all payments made but only the ones made through the US Google Play store.

Google are not the only company to have to settle in this manner as Apple have previously been the subject of action after complaints were registered regarding payments made for apps from their software store. In their case the bill was $31.5m.

Amazon has also been accused, but rather than pay, they have said that they are ready to fight the claims.