During conventional times, a cranky baby used to be given a rattler or any other such toy which would distract him from the reason behind his tears. Now parents simply hand their smartphones to their children to keep them occupied for their convenience. The smartphones are given with the intention of letting the kids play games on them. But these smartphones come with an internet connection which gives the child the freedom to surf on any topic they wish for. The installed apps come with saved settings thereby kids don’t need to go through the process of authorization. Especially in apps meant for e-commerce, this can be tricky as the payment details of the user are also saved. This has resulted in numerous incidents when children ordered things that they didn’t need in the first place. In order to rectify this, now Amazon refunds purchases made by kids.
It is no rocket science to select products from an e-commerce app and order them with the help of saved options. Out of curiosity, a child may order things that catch his fancy and place an order as well. The parent is notified of his purchase when he receives an alert from his credit card company. By then, it is too late to avoid the incident as the company deducts the amount from one’s bank. Usually, companies don’t adhere to such complaints as they claim that it is the lookout of the parent and all they are concerned about is the delivery of the product. But Amazon doesn’t believe in the same. It is trying its best to help out parents whose kids have made such unauthorized in-app purchases.
Amazon refunds money despite successful purchases
One can’t simply blame the kids for making these purchases. The tech companies need to first precisely authorize the identity of the user and then go ahead with the transaction procedure. Due to the ease with which the transaction takes place, there are a number of tech giants who have landed in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Several years ago, Google and Apple had to reimburse millions of dollars to the parents on the order of this organization. For a while, Amazon has been trying to resist similar orders by FTC. But recently, it had to finally succumb to the law.
On Tuesday, FTC announced that an agreement has been made in which Amazon refunds money to those customers for unauthorized purchases. The purchases made via the Amazon app between November 2011 and May 2016 will be taken into consideration. Amazon will soon announce further details of the refund which adds up to $70 million. The online retailer also requested the FTC to allow the refund of purchases through gift cards or online credits. But the judge-in-charge ignored this plea and ordered to directly transfer money to the customers’ bank accounts.
Acting director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, Thomas B. Pahl said that this case will prove to be a bedrock principle for other companies. It will focus on the importance of getting the customer’s consent before carrying out any kind of monetary transaction. The Amazon app would allow children to incur unlimited charges to the bank accounts without their parents’ permission. It is the responsibility of the retailer to make sure it provides a secure transaction portal. The case will make other companies cautious to check their transaction procedure as well.