Apple to appease disappointed customers

Did you buy an app you didn’t mean to for your iPhone? Now you can get a refund, writes Michael O’Sullivan

Have you ever let your infant cousin play angry birds on your iPhone only to later discover you now own Farming Simulator ’14, Where’s my Water, and 15 million in-app purchases that allow you to sow potatoes with a brand new Massey Ferguson. Fear not, for a solution to your financial woes has arrived.

Apple was recently forced to shell out over $30 million in refunds to its App Store users for App Store purchases made without the users’ knowledge. That’s roughly the equivalent of 31 million lollipop hammers in candy crush. Think of all the levels you could pass.

On a more serious note, it is about time something like this happened. The App Store makes it all too easy for the average schmuck to buy half a dozen apps just by aimlessly mauling the screen with a single digit. Perhaps this development will spur Apple on to developing a system like iTunes, where purchases can only be made after a password is entered.

The sheer scale of the payout ($30 million is the minimum they expect to have to reimburse) highlights the sheer greed of a company that has no right to be greedy. Clearly Apple knew people were making accidental purchases, but because each individual transaction only involves roughly $5 per purchase, people were willing to put up with such accidents. If enough people are complacent, however, this means megabucks for Apple.

Moral of the story; if you accidentally purchase a kama sutra app and end up deleting it after an embarrassing hospitalisation, you can get a fiver back off apple to ease your pain. Emotional pain, that is.

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