Google Sued over Children Spending Hundreds on Games

Mar 11, 2014 12:25 PM EDT | Jordan Ecarma


Upset parents have collectively sued Google over free apps that allowed their children to run up hundreds of dollars without their permission.

"Google has unfairly profited by marketing free or low-cost games to children and by permitting them to easily rack up charges for worthless in-game currency, by failing to incorporate reasonable controls such has requiring the entry of a password," said the statement from the representing law firm, Berger & Montague.

A New York mother filed the case on behalf of herself and other parents after her five-year-old son downloaded a free game called Marvel Run Jump Smash and then incurred a $66 bill, reported.

"These games are highly addictive, designed deliberately so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of Game Currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more," the class action reads. "As such, the sale of Game Currency to minors is highly lucrative."

The plaintiff in the case is listed as Ilana Imber-Gluck along with any other parents in similar straits.

Users have to enter a password to purchase something from the Google Play store, but the password kicks in for 30 minutes, a time period that lets children run up exorbitant fees for games.

In one example from the similar Apple case last year, a woman said her daughter spent a whopping $2,600 on an app, according to the BBC News report.

After getting tens of thousands of such complaints, Apple in January. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company has decided to change its purchasing policy to require consent before charging for app purchases.

The Federal Trade Commission is requiring the change by the end of this month.

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