Who is a Class Member
You may be eligible for a refund from Amazon if you were billed for unauthorized charges made by a child, and the charges were for in-app purchases made between November 2011 and May 2016.
The refund amount any one Amazon customer will receive is not known at this time and will depend on several factors.
Proof of Purchase
Proof of purchase is not required as Amazon will send emails to customers who are eligible. Customers can also visit the “file a claim” link below and login to their Amazon account to check refund eligibility instead of waiting for an email.
Please note those who do not qualify for a refund from Amazon will see the following statement when accessing their account: “Sorry, but you do not appear to have any potentially eligible in-app purchase refunds as defined by the court. Thank you for being an Amazon Appstore customer.”
05/28/18: Deadline to apply for a refund
- Amazon (Unauthorized In-app Charges)
Online powerhouse Amazon.com, Inc. is nearing completion of the exhaustive court proceedings that saw the Pacific Northwest’s biggest provider put at risk regarding wrongful charges to customers.
Federal courts ruled against Amazon in the spring of 2016, and the long process of notifying potential class members is finally coming to an end. The Federal Trade Commission has since handed down a final judgement regarding perceived wrongful charges to involved customers/class members. Extensive litigation was ultimately called to an end in lieu of decided refund procedures between the FTC and Amazon.com. The lawsuit revolved around Amazon who offered a number of “free” applications which resulted in parents granting permission to children. Once these products promoted in-app purchases from the user, parents were unknowingly charged by applications that were believed to be free.
The involved class includes numerous Amazon users who used these various applications between November 2011 and May 2016. Upper limit contentions are to be denied as the final inclusion date was ruled upon with the preliminary hearing back in May 2016. Qualifying members should have received notification regarding their involvement via mail or email. Claim filing can be submitted entirely online while the option to file by mail is still viable, though more cumbersome.
Early estimates place Amazon at risk for at least $70 million, though that relies heavily on member filings. The Federal Trade Commission’s judgment is based greatly in their general effort to promote market competition and fair opportunity to all consumers. Many found Amazon to fall short of proper notice to users as no password or other credential requirement was required. This failure to protect user accounts, in addition to the fact that parents were not informed of charges until the later bill, came at the cost of general liability to the defendant. Those initially included are these presumed parties to have been effected by users under the age of 18 making these in-app purchases.
Per Consumer Affairs, the Federal Trade Commission believes, “This case demonstrates what should be a bedrock principle for all companies — you must get customers’ consent before you charge them…Consumers affected by Amazon’s practices can now be compensated for charges they didn’t expect or authorize.”
Similar actions have been taken in the past by the Federal Trade Commission. Companies such as Google and Apple have been involved in similar, wrongful-charge suits which resulted in eventual refunds. The effected Amazon customers have until May 26, 2018 to file for their owed refund requests. Individual filings do not have any ceiling for distributions. Major corporations will always be at the middle of court cases as to make an example for the rest of the market. The result is an economic market which avoids any one brand extending too far.
Consumers needing more information in regards to the Amazon In-App Refund can contact an Amazon agent at 866-216-1072.