Amazon Refund: Court Rules That Parents Can Get Money Back For Kids’ Unauthorized In-App Purchases


Amazon is finally issuing refunds to parents with kids who made unauthorized purchases using the company’s in-app. A total of $70 million may be refunded to verified claimants.

On May 30, the Federal Trade Commission announced the refunds are on-hand now and that parents can get it from Amazon. This happened after the FTC and the American e-commerce firm agreed to end their legal battle, making way for the refunds to start rolling.

Parents whose kids bought something from Amazon without their knowledge or permission are the beneficiaries of the concluded litigation. Likewise, the move to refund the money has finally brought closure to the three-year judicial proceedings that address parents’ complaints. They said that the company made it too easy for their kids to purchase via an app.

To prove their claim, a parent shared that her child was able to purchase items worth $358 and she was unaware of these charges. Others said that even kids who cannot read yet are able to make purchases by just clicking random buttons on the device.

It was in 2014 when the FTC filed a case against Amazon. The lawsuit stated that parents were robbed of millions due to payments they did not approve. It was learned that in most cases, children bought virtual items in the mobile games they play.

Amazon App
The app that links to shopping on Amazon. [Image by Ted S. Warren/AP]Featured image credit: credit

In April of 2016, the Washington Post reported that the federal court found Amazon liable for billing parents for in-app purchases that they did not authorize. This verdict clearly shows that the court sided with the FTC.

U.S. District Judge John Coughenour stated in his order, “While entering a password linking her Amazon account to a new device, a reasonable consumer unaware of the possibility of in-app purchases would not assume she was authorizing unforeseen charges.”

For claiming the refund, FTC shared a simple guide for a hassle-free transaction. Firstly, it should be noted that Amazon is sending out emails to eligible consumers only. With that said, people who do not have the email are unlikely to receive any payment.

The best thing about the whole process is the fact that asking for refunds is not hard to do; it can be easily carried out online. This means that parents do not have to send emails or call Amazon to get their money back.

Then again, there is a set deadline for submissions of the refund request. Those who think that they are qualified should forward their inquiry/message by May 28, 2018.

As per FTC, parents can apply for a refund if their child, under 18-years-old, has made an unauthorized in-app purchase between November of 2011 and May of 2016. All refund requests will undergo strict review, and Amazon may also contact applicants if additional information is needed. Once the request has been cleared, the refund will immediately be processed.

Amazon purchases are ready for shipment after consumers' online shopping. [Image by Ben Margot/AP] Featured image credit: credit

Amazon is not alone in regard to facing issues like this. Other big companies, such as Google and Apple, have also been confronted with similar complaints. In 2014, the two tech giants also laid out millions as they refunded money to customers whose children bought something through their mobile app stores.

Meanwhile, Amazon is now a proud member of the exclusive Wall Street group of companies that have shares valued at $1,000. In the first hour of trading on May 30, the e-commerce firm hit the $1,000 mark per share. Although it happened briefly, it is still a milestone for the company because it was the first time it happened in almost two decades of being in the business.

[Featured Image by David McNew/Getty Images]