Facebook is being accused of duping young kids into buying more and more in-game ‘extras’ by letting them think that they are only spending virtual dollars, but the charges are going straight onto the parents credit card. When the child or the parent realizes what has happen and requests a refund, the refund is denied.
As an example of taking advantage of the young players, when Facebook analyzed the Angry Birds game, they found that the average player age was just five years old.
The current law suit regarding all this was filed a few years ago, but a judge has recently decided to release some relevant Facebook documents to the public. Some of those documents show that it all started when a child referred to as I.B. made a one time payment with mom’s credit card to play Ninja Saga, not realizing that the credit card information had been saved and actually racked up a bill of hundreds of dollars. When that parent request a refund, she was denied, and thus, she filed a lawsuit.
In the documents that the judge has released, one Facebook employee openly admits that children could easily be confused by in-app purchases because it ‘doesn’t necessarily look like real money to a minor’.
As if Facebook didn’t already have enough legal problems, one of the worse possible reputations is that of taking advantage of unwitting children.