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Apple did it again

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by zuben el genub, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter




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  2. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    Frankly, the lawsuit is a waste of taxpayer money. It's not Apple or Google's fault if you essentially give your kid carte blanche access to your credit card by giving them your account password. Heck, I don't have a credit card associated with my iTunes account (only use gift cards). App developers are in it to make money. Sides, it's not like their business model doesn't have a precedent. This is just similar to razors and printers making money off off refills.

    It's up to parents to police their own kids' use.
     
  3. viber

    viber Android Enthusiast

    Bad, lazy parenting manifests in many ways.
     
    SUroot likes this.
  4. TxGoat

    TxGoat Guest

    It reminds me of that stupid "I AM RICH" app that people bought and then bitched about because it didn't do much. "A fool and his/her money...."


    [​IMG]
     
  5. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    The apps are free. Is there a warning on the apps that it would cost to play? I don't game, so I wouldn't know. App makers do list the permissions - does access to credit show up as a permission? If it doesn't, then the app maker is also at fault for not disclosing that fact.

    I'd rather deny kid all games than sit there and play the stupid thing to find out if there are "gotchas"
     
  6. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    I have a few apps that allow in-app purchases (Android, not Apple) and it's pretty clear that you are making a purchase. That said, it would not be at all clear to a kid...and why would they care anyway?
    Words With Friends and Draw Something both have in-app purchases available for extra features, neither mention that in their description in the Market (Play).
    There are plenty of free apps that provide paid services, this is nothing new. The app for Amazon MP3's is free but the MP3's aren't. The app for Home Depot is free but the kitchen sink is not.
    It could probably be made clearer in the app descriptions but, I believe, it still comes back to the parents (in this case) and end user. Don't push the "buy" button if you aren't planning on getting a bill. Don't hand your kid a phone and tell them to have at it unless you are planning to monitor what they are doing. Don't plan on getting off scot-free by suing someone for your lack of supervision.
    Yes, it is a bit of a gray area but it's up to you to be diligent, especially when your credit card and kids collide.
     
  7. FJR1300

    FJR1300 Well-Known Member

    One way to prevent any charges to your account is to report the registered credit card as lost. The CC company will cancel it and issue you a new account number. The phone app account would remain the same until someone tried to make a purchase.

    Also a good way to stop recurring monthly charges to any account that you have billed to a credit or debit card when they refuse to stop billing you after cancellation of services, or where they make it difficult to cancel the recurring charges.
     
  8. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    How do you know there's a buy button, then? If the app maker doesn't state in the description or permissions, he's doing everyone a disservice. Like I said - I'd refuse to let the kid have any apps at all - which would bar even the pay-for once apps.

    Even if you are monitoring the kid, a phone screen is small. You could simply miss the whole thing. On a larger tablet, like a TV, you might have a better chance.

    Younger than 4, you can have the child on your lap and watch. Older kids - that is not so easy. Older kids might have their own phones - just to get in touch with working parents. Or the parents use the location services provided by a carrier.

    This happened with a Smurfs game. Parents were really upset. I certainly wouldn't sit there and play the stupid thing.

    Now with the Smurfs - I would have suspected. After all, they were commercialized and trademarked. If the game is allied to any trademarked product, I would also suspect. Like Disney. The dev would have to include the copyright symbol for the allied product.

    If the info was there, on the description, yes, I would blame myself.

    If the game is from an independent, I would have no way of knowing unless it was in the description or permissions.

    If I want to purchase anything from Amazon, I have to sign it. Why can't Google have you sign in for a purchase? Having to do that at Amazon hasn't stopped anyone.

    On the same vein - how would you stop an older kid from downloading adult material or really violent games? These are rated in the physical world and a storekeeper can deny the purchase.
     
  9. Clementine_3

    Clementine_3 Extreme Android User
    VIP Member

    If I were to let a young kid play games on my phone you better believe I would press every option and setting in the games they installed. If there was an in-app buying option I would uninstall the game, simple as that. I would not simply say "don't buy any of those" 'cause, no matter how good, kids are kids. I have done this with my nieces and nephew so am not just spewing from a high horse.
    If this is the parent's phone the kid is using there is no excuse for them to not know what is on it and how it works. If it is the kid's phone then shame on the parent.
    There is also no way I would allow a kid to have a smartphone of their own in the first place. Dumb-phone or no phone, those are the options for anyone under 16. At 16, get a job and pay for the data and related game costs yourself. You run up the bill, you pay for it or that's the end of your smartphone.
    As for the violent games and adult content, there comes a time when you have to trust your kid and hope you did the right thing along the way raising him/her. However, it's up to you, the parent, to monitor what they are doing until they are old and wise enough to be trusted. Trusted and accountable for their solo actions. Kids will test you at every turn, it's what they do. Parents have to be clear and consistent with rules and penalties for breaking them.
    It's not up to Apple or Google to know what your kids are up to. Stories like this remind me of the famous suit against McDonald's because the coffee was hot. Hello! People need to be responsible for themselves.

    Edit: I do agree that there should be some sort of information or warning in the app description though, it is shady to not disclose possible additional charges.
     
  10. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    I'm sorry, but this is just out right fraud. If your kid runs up in-app purchases and you claim your card is stolen so you can get out of them, it's fraud. Your card isn't stolen and you know it.

    As mentioned, it's easy to make these in-app purchases. The one's I've seen basically pop up a window in a lot of cases that says something like, "You must purchase XYZ to continue. Would you like to? Click yes/no" A kid is going to click yes there. Or they have stores in the game. Some purchases are made with in-app currency and some are made with real money. The difference is not always obvious and certainly wouldn't be to a kid.

    To me there's no difference in in-app purchase and handing your kid the phone and the kid opens up the Market. The kid can buy whatever they want out of the market. What's the difference?
     
    Yeahha likes this.
  11. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    Yes, this has already happened with the Smurfs game so Apple tightened parental controls for in-app purchases. As for Google, you can set up a PIN for app and in-app purchases (still would prefer being able to buy stuff via gift cards without linking a credit card at all like in iTunes).

    You don't have to be physically watching a kid to prevent unwanted in-app purchases. Just don't give them the password/pin code to your iTunes/Google Play account so every purchase goes through you. You wouldn't give your kid the password to your Amazon account, would you?

    There's no difference. You could require a password/pin to purchase from either.
     
  12. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery

    From the article
    If it's disclosure of the app about the in-app purchase, then it's the developer fault. If the dad should sue anybody, he should sue the developer of the app. But then, if the dad was to sue the developer, he won't be able to sue for 'damage' of $5 MILLION! If you sue, sue big and sue someone that has the money.

    Although annoying, iOS requires that you enter a password for EVERY purchased made in the App-store or in app since last year. I fail to see how it's Apple's fault when it has taken the right precaution against unauthorized purchases. The father gave his password to his kid and should expect the consequence of such action.

    I wish Android has such password protection in the market and in-app but it doesn't. It's easier to buy from the Play store and in-app purchases then in iOS.

    If my kids were to have an Android phone, I would download one of the App PW protection app and password protect the market and set the phone up so that any time the kids are playing a game, their phone goes into airplane mode. I'll also restrict access to apps I deem that they don't need. Plain and simple. If the parents can take the necessary precautions and don't, it's no one fault's but their own if their kids messed up.
     
  13. pastafarian

    pastafarian Pâtes avec votre foie

    keep in mind that reporting a credit card lost or stolen when it is not is committing fraud.
     
    Yeahha and lunatic59 like this.
  14. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Extreme Android User

    I'm the only user of my phone so I've not screwed around with setting up a pin,password. I do have an app protector that I can turn on with a widget that denies all access to the market when it's running. Not sure what effect it would have on in app purchases.
     
  15. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery

    I can't imagine that an app password app would have an effect on in app purchases. That's why I'd have the phone set to airplane mode when certain apps are launched. No internet...no purchases!
     
  16. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    I didn't know this was available for Android. Have never seen it discussed much. I had all adults on my family plan, they asked about downloading certain games, and reimbursed me.

    I have been asked by others who do have younger kids. You also have to keep one step ahead of some of the kids. These are the ones that can bypass controls on the computer. Why doesn't someone make some sort of sticky of the replies and put it under security?

    As for the devs of these apps - there is usually some hint in the permissions. Services that may cost money is usual. Don't lump the in-app charges to play in there without spelling it out. The usual services are voice or data - not costs for game pieces to actually play.

    Some devs even go so far as to explaining WHY the app needs these permissions. Kudos to those devs. It is really nice to have that info.
     
  17. FJR1300

    FJR1300 Well-Known Member

    You won't be able to buy the apps without a valid credit card, not fraud just no way to purchase. And I said to report it lost...before any purchases are made but after the account is set up.
     
  18. FJR1300

    FJR1300 Well-Known Member

    Reporting it lost when no charges have been made is fraud?

    In the case of companies that keep billing you after you have cancelled the service, it is the company that is committing fraud.

    I'm not advising anyone to make a charge and try to get out of it by reporting the card lost.
     
  19. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    Why go through the hassle of reporting your card lost when you can just opt to remove the credit card from your Google Wallet/iTunes account? Heck, you can set up both services and download free apps/content without the need to add a credit card at all.

    That's what my aunt did with my cousin. There's no credit card linked to his iTunes account but he gets a $10 iTunes allowance every month so he can still purchase stuff. Beyond the $10, he's on his own.
     
  20. FJR1300

    FJR1300 Well-Known Member

    I don't remember that option when I first got my iPhone, but that would be the way to go then:thumbup:
     
  21. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    Pretty sure a credit card wasn't required for iTunes when I set up my first iPhone (2G 16GB which I now use as alarm clock :p). Don't have a CC linked to my account. I just always use gift cards.
     
  22. Gmash

    Gmash Extreme Android User

    People always complain about not having Android gift cards, but couldn't you just get a pre paid Visa gift card and use it the same way? Or no? They should have Android cards, though. Seems like a missed opportunity.
     
  23. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast

    I've thought about it but prepaid Visa/MC/Amex gift cards or reloadable Visa/MC/Amex all have fees associated with them. For gift cards, minimum fee is usually around $4 some also deduct a fee from the balance if you haven't used it up after a certain period. For reloadable cards, there's usually a monthly fee involved as well as charges when you refill your card.

    Since Discover allows me to generate virtual credit card numbers (can be cancelled any time) associated with my account and gives me cash back on purchases, I decided to go this route instead.

    Yep, definitely a missed opportunity. Another option, would be carrier billing. Google actually has a system like that in the Philippines since few folks over there have debit/credit cards.

    Edit:
    Apparently, Google does support carrier billing for T-Mobile (since 2009), AT&T (since 2010) and Sprint (since 2011). Don't think it works for prepaid, though.
     
    Gmash likes this.
  24. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Android Expert

    Why is this Aple's fault? The father is an abject morin and the kid has too much time on its hands. God I am so friggin sick of this crap.
     
  25. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User
    Thread Starter

    The original question also asked - how to avoid this on Android. Once Windows phones get popular apps, they will have the same problem.

    If there is no disclaimer about extra charges, the app is no better than a scam.
     
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