Parent Launches In-App Purchase Class-Action Suit Against Apple

A class-action lawsuit launched by Phoenixville, Pa., resident Garen Meguerian accuses Apple of operating a “bait-and-switch business scheme” with its insidious in-app purchasing system. Oh, sure, in iOS 4.3 Apple removed a 15 minute window that had allowed in-app purchases to be made without a password, but the crafty schemers in Cupertino still had the nerve to use the same iTunes password for app downloads to be used for in-app purchases!

In other words, at least one parent refuses to take responsibility for allowing his kid to make US$200 in purchases using his iTunes password.

According to the complaint, “Because the passwords now required for purchases of Game Currency are the same passwords required for any Apple purchase, minors aware of such password may purchase Game Currency without authorization from their parents for that purchase.”

“These games are highly addictive, designed deliberately so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of Game Currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more,” the complaint, covered by InformationWeek, said.

Apple instituted the changes in iOS 4.3 when complaints about charges being racked up by unsupervised children were mounting, including Representative Edward Markey (D-Mass), and interest in the topic from the Federal Trade Commission. The Washington Post had also published a series of editorials that were heavily critical of Apple for allowing these purchases.