Here’s something I’m sure a lot of parents would wish for – Google, the European Commission and its Member States have recently agreed to not label apps as “free” when they contain in-app purchase. Google will also make it a default to require password input for all purchases but users are free to change that in the Play Store settings menu.
After receiving numerous complaints from parents regarding unintentional purchases made by children, the European Commission requests for Google and Apple to make the following changes on their respective app store:
- Games advertised as “free” should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved
- Games should not contain direct exhortation to children to buy items in a game or to persuade an adult to buy items for them
- Consumers should be adequately informed about the payment arrangements for purchases and should not be debited through default settings without consumers’ explicit consent
- Traders should provide an email address so that consumers can contact them in case of queries or complaints
While Apple has yet to come out with a solution for the European Commission, Google has already agreed to not use the word “free” for apps that comes with in-app purchases, and the default settings in the Play Store will require a password for all purchases. The changes will be implemented and completed by the end of September 2014.
Unfortunately, this will only be applicable for European countries for now. So until Google and Apple plans to make similar changes internationally, check out our previous posts to find out how to restrict your app and in-app purchase on Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and if purchases have already been made, find out how to request a refund.