Ah, customer service. Ain’t it the best?
So it turns out the Smurf Village iPad app was built with the basic premise that parents will download it so their kids could play it and then, when their parents aren’t looking, they will sell virtual goods for ridiculous amounts of money within the app and the kids will buy them because they don’t yet understand the concept of money. I know this to be the case because they didn’t require my son to put in a password to buy them (he doesn’t know my iTunes password).
How else could you explain that my otherwise very smart six year old bought a wagon of Smurfberries FOR A HUNDRED DOLLARS. A hundred real dollars. Like the kind of dollars that show up on your American Express bill.
Now, I don’t claim to be a financial expert in Smurf economics, but I have to think that if someone told Papa Smurf that he could buy a wagon of Smurfberries for a hundred dollars, he’d send them straight to Gargamel’s cat.
All jokes aside, I’m really not happy about this. And Apple is no help. I filled out their complaint form and got this back:
Your request for a refund for “WAGON OF SMURFBERRIES” was carefully considered; however, according to the iTunes Store Terms of Sale, all purchases made on the iTunes Store are final. This policy matches Apple’s refund policies and provides protection for copyrighted materials.
You can review the iTunes Store Terms of Sale for more information:
I checked your account and it looks like the purchase “WAGON OF SMURFBERRIES” was purchased from within the application “Smurfs’ Village” on your iPad. The date of purchase was 02/14/2011. This is called an “in-app purchase”.
Seriously Apple, you should take better care of your customers in situations like this. Clearly this is a company taking advantage of people, it doesn’t take a reading of your terms of sale to recognize that.