Request a refund for in-app purchases on your smartphone

On March 1st, 2013 the Californian District Court fined Apple for failing to adequately disclose the risks of in-app purchases, otherwise known as ‘bait apps’.

CFA member the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) offers tips to help consumers obtain refunds for unfairly incurred costs.

The US court settlement came as a direct response to children using their parent’s phones to play games that have embedded hidden costs involved for progression, without consent from their parents. Parents were left with hefty bills from what was otherwise a free-to-download game.

Though the settlement is only enforceable in the US, Australian consumers have a right to lodge complaints with Apple.

ACCAN has provided a set of tips to lodge a complaint, according to what operating system or device you use. Apple can be contacted directly and Android refund requests generally require you to contact the app developer.

Tips for refunds provided by ACCAN:

Requesting a refund

Sign into your iTunes account. Click the “Purchase History” button. Click the “Report a Problem” button and choose the purchase with which you want to report an issue and choose the reason that best describes the problem, provide any relevant additional comments and submit the request.

Google Play (Android)
All refunds are at the discretion of the app developer. Contact the developer directly if you wish to request a refund.

Amazon (Android)
Amazon does not have a specific refund option. Contact Amazon or the app developer directly.

See our previous article providing advice for consumers on restricting easy purchases on Android phones, as well as allowing users to turn off in-app purchases in Apple.