Court Rules Facebook Must Refund Purchases by Minors - The UpStream

Court Rules Facebook Must Refund Purchases by Minors

posted Sunday Jul 31, 2016 by Scott Ertz

Court Rules Facebook Must Refund Purchases by Minors

The concept of Facebook Credits was doomed from the beginning. In 2011, the company forced developers to use their currency within Facebook-enabled games. Later that year, they saw potential in mobile payments. But, just a month later, the wheels started to come off of the bus. Zynga was pulling away from Facebook, and focusing their attention on mobile.

2012, however, ended the concept when a class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of the parents of children who had purchased the currency illegally. Facebook allows children as young as 13 to sign up for the service, and any user could purchase Credits with an attached credit card. As it turns out, Facebook never validated that the purchases being made were actually authorized.

So, what was happening was, kids were taking their parents credit cards, attaching them to Facebook and buying Credits, not quite understanding what they were doing. Some parents offered evidence showing thousands of dollars worth of charges that were unauthorized. The lead attorney, John R. Parker, said,

These kids don't really know what they are doing. They've got a credit card they put into their account and they don't realize that every time they click on some button in the game to get some extra magic coin, the company is charging the parent's account.

The suit sat in court for years, but it has finally come to completion, and Facebook has lost hard. In fact, the end result is, anyone who has lost money to Facebook thanks to a child using their credit card can now get all of that money back. Period. To reclaim lost money, simply head to Facebook Payments Support for all conditions and processes.

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