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If you're one of the unlucky souls with kids who have made accidental in-app purchases with an iDevice recently, then Apple has some good news for you. The Cupertino company recently consented work to with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to cover in-app purchases, which means you might be able to get some of that money back if you fill out a special form.
It's not as open-ended as it sounds. The service only includes recent, unauthorized purchases that were "made by a minor," and all requests need to arrive by April 15 of next year. The e-mail that Apple sent out today reads as follows:
Apple is committed to providing parents and kids with a great experience on the App Store. We review all app content before allowing it on our store, provide a wide range of age-appropriate content, and include parental controls in iOS to make it easy for parents to restrict or disable access to content.
We've heard from some customers that it was too easy for their kids to make in-app purchases. As a result, we've improved controls for parents so they can better manage their children's purchases, or restrict them entirely. Additionally, we are offering refunds in certain cases.
Please follow the steps to submit a refund request: Find your in-app purchase records. Check your email for iTunes receipts or use a computer to sign in to your iTunes account and view your Purchase History.
Use this link to submit your refund request to Apple. Provide the requested information and enter "Refund for in-App Purchases made by a minor" in the Details section. Apple will review your request and contact you via email about your refund status. All refund requests must be submitted no later than April 15, 2015.
Apple is required to make these payments as a result of its agreement with the FTC signed in January, are grand total of refunds is expected to reach around $32 million. Apple has recently taken measures to lessen the chances of such inadvertent purchases in the future, most notably in the form of a pop-up window in iOS 7.1 that warns you that you have 15 minutes left before it asks you to enter your password for in-app purchases again.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.