Amazon to Refund $70 Million for Kids' In-App Purchases

Parents of sneaky kids with Kindles, rejoice! Amazon will soon refund some of the in-app purchases that children made without their parents' consent.

Credit: Amazon

(Image credit: Amazon)

Unauthorized charges made by kids between November 2011 and May 2016 can be refunded. The details of the refund program will be announced "shortly," according to a Federal Trade Commission statement released yesterday (April 4).

What we do know is that Amazon customers will have to actively request refunds for applicable purchases. For Amazon, that means it may have to refund more than $70 million in unauthorized charges.

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

It's unclear whether Amazon will be required to refund future purchases made without the account holder's consent. We'll update this story if we get further information on that.
 
In a similar case involving iOS apps, Apple in 2014 was required to change its billing practices to make sure that consumers gave informed consent for in-app purchases, according to the FTC statement.

Google was also involved in a similar situation that same year, and the company now explains to consumers how they can get refunds for in-app goods that children purchased without consent, according to the FTC.