If your young ones went on a spending spree for Angry Birds or other games and apps from the Apple's iTunes Store, and you didn't know about it — until you got the bill — you may be due some money from the company, or at the very least, a $5 iTunes credit.
In 2011, five parents filed a class-action lawsuit against Apple, saying that some downloaded apps were purchased by their children using their parents' accounts, but without their knowledge or permission.
Apple settled the suit earlier this year, agreeing to pay as many as 23 million customers in the U.S. amounts varying from a $5 iTunes Store credit to larger cash refunds. In all, the settlement may cost the company up to $100 million. Apple now has posted information about the settlement details here, with claims to be filed online by Jan. 13, 2014.
Parents are eligible for a settlement benefit if before May 2, 2013 they paid for apps or in-app purchases that were charged to their iTunes account by a minor without the parents' "knowledge or permission," within one 45-day period — and if they haven't already received a refund from Apple for the charge.
If you're not good with a $5 iTunes Store credit, for claims under $30, parents will need to identify and submit the names of the apps that were charged without permission. For claims over $30, you'll need to do the same thing, but also describe the circumstances that led to your children making those charges to your account.
After the lawsuit was filed, Apple added more stringent controls for in-game purchases, and has also tried to educate users about how app purchases work. Still, there are children out there who know their parents' iTunes passwords, including a 5-year-old boy in Britain who recently racked up about $2,500 in App Store charges for the iPad in only 15 minutes. (Apple said it would issue a complete refund to the parents.)
For more information about the settlement, check Apple's FAQ page about it here.
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First published June 24 2013, 11:02 AM