Breaking the Bank with Tons of Google App for Kids

September 10, 2013 was a memorable day for over 50 consumer protection agencies worldwide that converged and launched a massive public outcry against purchases of phone and tablet apps that duped children into buying them.  In his morning program, AM newscaster Tony Eastley reported that the unauthorized purchases made by children have left parents financially burdened.

Breaking the Bank with Tons of Google App for Kids


Eastley, whose current affairs program is beamed all over Australia also reported that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is dismayed over the proliferation of apps that have hidden charges once the children start using them. The group asked Google and Apple to be honest with their dealings because parents are complaining about their additional expenses due to misleading apps.

Consumer Affairs Reporter Amy Bainbridge has reported that several parents are not happy about these apps that claim to be free but in the end their kids are asked to pay for every download.  Simone de Krester, a mother of three children said that she gives her kids freedom when it comes to downloading apps thinking that they are all free but in the end she was to pay a total of $2,000 for the apps.

Mrs. De Krester is not alone with her problem because a 13 year old girl paid $700 dollars for a game app on her newly bought tablet while another child paid about $260 for getting two game apps.   For her part, Delia Rickard, ACCC deputy chairwoman asked Google and Apple to have a disclosure every time they offer an app whether it is free or not rather than allowing kids to download them and later ask for payment.

Although Apple discloses some of its apps but it cannot compensate for the in-app purchases made by kids.  Rickard emphasized the need for disclosure and protect consumer rights.  When asked if this is a media hyping to create a publicity stunt on their group, she answered that what the ACCC is doing is to inform parents and their children on how to deal with this tempting offers and learn when to decline if it will only break the bank.  The ACCC is also warning big companies to public disclosure.  So far, Apple has implemented some restrictions on app use via strict parental controls on iPod, iPhone or iPad.


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