Office Of Fair Trading Clamps Down On Unauthorised In-App Purchases

/ 5 years ago


In their resent press release “principles for online and in-app games” the Office of Fair Trading have laid out their plans to keep unauthorised in-app purchases in check. For years now there have been countless stories of people being ripped off by extortionate in-app purchases, children racking up huge bills on games that didn’t make things clear, or developers shamefully asking people to spend insane amounts of money to unlock gems, boosts, cheats and more, I’m sure many of you have seen some great examples of these silly prices in many of the free mobile games that are on the market today.

OFT’s new ruling decrees that consumers should be told upfront about any costs associated with a game, or about the in-game advertising, so that they can decide up front if it is worth download, or letting their children play etc. They must also detail how your data will be used, if it will be shared for marketing purposes and it needs to be clear to all players.

Failure to comply means the OFT can hand out fines and other punishments to developers and publishers to are trying to scam users with unfair pricing, misleading sales, and dishonest marketing campaigns, although we suspect many apps will try find ways around the ruling, so common sense is still the best tool you can have in protecting yourself. Guidance for parents is to be put in place too, as a way to reduce the risk of unauthorised payments. This can be done by password purchases, or having a child lock mode.

This is all a great idea, while I do argue that most of the stories about children racking up huge bills can be avoided with a little common sense and education about the product your putting in your child’s hands, it certainly never hurts to have a better system in place, and the addition of keeping prices in check, being more up front about marketing and advertising is always a welcome bonus.

Thank you Expert Reviews for providing us with this information.

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