In September, Google settled with the FTC over their in-app purchase policies to the tune of $19 million. The basics are this – kids used to be able to complete in-app purchases without much getting in their way and parents weren’t exactly thrilled to see those charges rack up without their consent. So, Google (along with a head nod from the government) decided that it would issue refunds to those who suffered the wrath of a kid playing Candy Crush without authorization.
The refund period has now arrived. If you completed an in-app purchase between March 1, 2011 and November 18, 2014, you should have received an email from Google Play with instructions on how you can claim a refund. The email also explains the situation in greater detail, links to the agreement with the FTC, provides links to FAQ on in-app purchases, and talks about the children. Yes, the children.
If you are due a refund, check your inboxes. Also, a copy of the email going out can be found below.
Dear Google Play customer,
We strive to provide you with the best experience possible across all of our products and services. We take pride in giving you the tools to use Google Play the way you want, including the ability to control how you authorize the purchases on your account.
We understand some parents might have been charged for in-app purchases made by young children who did not have permission to make those purchases. As a result, we’ve added tools to help parents avoid unauthorized in-app purchases by their young children. We are also offering refunds in certain cases in line with our agreement with the FTC.
Our records show that your account was previously charged for in-app purchases. If any of those charges were the result of unauthorized purchases by a minor between March 1, 2011, and November 18, 2014, and you haven’t already received a refund for those charges, you might be eligible for a refund.
In order to make the refund process as easy and quick as possible, we encourage you to use the link below.
To submit a refund request:
- Use this link to sign into your Google account and review your in-app purchase history.
- Select any in-app purchases that were unauthorized purchases made by a minor and click “Refund.”
- Provide the requested information for any in-app purchases selected and click “Submit.”
Google will review your request and contact you via email about your refund status or if we have any additional questions. All refund requests must be submitted no later than December 2, 2015.
If you have any questions or need further assistance with your refund request, please refer to this FAQ.
You can learn more about in-app purchases and parental controls in Google Play on our Help Center.
The Google Play Team