Parents Suing Apple Over 'Addictive' Kid Apps
Judge give class action suit go-ahead
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2012 1:02 AM CDT
Updated Apr 19, 2012 3:35 AM CDT
Not as innocent as he looks.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A group of parents are angry with Apple for toying with their kids. Their class-action lawsuit attacking the company for luring clueless children with "addictive," expensive game apps was recently given the go-ahead by a San Jose judge. Games are "highly addictive, designed deliberately to be so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of game currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more," according to court documents. The apps can often be downloaded for free, but kids can rack up big bills purchasing extra levels and items. "Smurfberries," for example, which serve as currency in the Smurfs game, sell in batches costing up to $59, notes MSNBC.

Children are usually not required to provide credit card information, and the costs are automatically billed to parents' iTunes accounts. Apple was recently forced to change security settings on iPhones to block such charges. In one case, a 7-year-old British boy racked up a $2,000 bill on an iPad buying animals for the Tap Zoo game, reports the Daily Mail. Parents say that it's all part of a devious plan, while Apple has argued that it's easy for parents to block their children from making such charges.

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Showing 3 of 32 comments
Apr 21, 2012 10:39 AM CDT
poor parenting! allowing the kids to do this and then saying that apple is at fault for the mistake the parents made! what! get real! if the kids are telling the parents what to do! they are in a pathetic shape as a parent that teaches their kids the right way.These parents need to get a grip an get rid of the apple games,go take your child somewhere outside for a while!
Apr 20, 2012 5:48 PM CDT
Stuff like this is why I still pay all my bills by mail. Once you go along with the "convenience" of having your credit card automatically charged for whatever, you can get charged for pretty much anything.
Apr 19, 2012 4:20 PM CDT
I can see how it happens. The "free apps" are structured such that in the game you usually need game bucks in order to buy certain game objects. Playing the game you earn these game bucks through the the game play. As you are playing the game will trigger an event you are asked if you want to buy "something" at first you are using the game bucks. But as the game progresses to a point they ask you if you want to buy "a different something" but this time it is with real money. It is not clear to that you are now using real money. Yes you can turn off this ability to tap into the Itunes account through game play, but it does not take long for a kid to run up over $500 in charges in a evening. A simple solution would to limit purchases through Itunes to what is in the account, but Apple would not want this after all they have your credit card .... How do you think they got to be worth over $50,000,000,000.