U.S. Senator Mark Pryor today sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking the agency to investigate consumer protection issues regarding the emergence of "in-app" purchases embedded in games designed for phones or other mobile devices. Pryor is the chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance.
"Children, in particular, appear to be confused by in-app purchases, leaving parents with an unexpected bill for virtual smurfberries, snowflakes or other products," Pryor said. "In the end, it would appear that these app companies may be the ones having all the fun and games at our children's expense."
According to an article in today's Washington Post, many parents and children are unaware of the potential costs incurred when they use certain applications or "apps" on their mobile or other electronic devices. They are often misled by free "app" downloads that are then followed by significant financial charges accrued when they use the products and services offered by those apps.
A copy of the letter can be viewed here.