The temptation of freemium is too much for some people, mainly people under the legal drinking age. It seems almost every week some kid has managed to spend ungodly sums of money on a load of shitty in-app purchases in some crappy game. Now the Office of Fair Trading has had enough. It's investigating whether these tactics are "misleading, commercially aggressive or otherwise unfair"; I'd say all of the above.
The watchdog is asking kid-purchase-nightmare-hit parents to come forward, as it's going to investigate whether these in-app purchases are "fair", which probably means whether they should be restricted or regulated further.
"We are concerned that children and their parents could be subject to unfair pressure to purchase when they are playing games they thought were free, but which can actually run up substantial costs."
The thing is, they are restricted -- at least on iOS you can disable in-app purchases entirely, and on both platforms an in-app purchase normally requires your password.
Anyway, it's about time someone looked at the in-app purchase, freemium mess, if only to make parents wise up to the fact that they should be better parents, and stop their kids from either stealing their phones, or lock those suckers down. [The Guardian]
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