April 16, 2013 at 8:15 am #8776
April 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm #49924AnonymousInactive
Arg I rally hate In-App Billing and I’ve just implemented in my own game :( … I think I might remove it again though, so I can sleep at night and stuff.
I do wonder a bit about people who are so surprised about the fact that there is In-App Billing in the free games that their kids are playing. When you look at something like Subway Surfers, which has really high production value and no ads and is free. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that they are not giving that game away for free out of the goodness of their hearts.
April 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm #49925
April 16, 2013 at 3:22 pm #49926AnonymousInactive
As a parent to a 2yr old with an addiction to Temple Run, I’ve often caught her clicking on the "Purchase Gems" screen. Thats why I haven’t associated my credit card details with my phone. Not only that, but it moves from the game to the play store and she knows that this means she’s no longer in the game so she presses back, Ive never actually seen her try to complete a transaction.
Lesson here is, if your kids are going to be using your phone with your credit card attached, you really have no one to blame but yourself.
April 17, 2013 at 9:23 am #49929AnonymousInactive
I am very much against deceptive or excessive in app purchases in games.
Personally I deactivated the purchases on my ipod touch and Ipad. I have to put in the password to buy anything. This should be the default setting.
But to be devils advocate I would point out it is thanks to in app purchases that companies can offer free to play apps.
There are a lots of high quality games that people would otherwise not have gotten to play for free, or perhaps only in a more cut down demo fashion.
The vast majority of games don’t try and trick or swindle the player. I think stricter guidelines on how a purchases can be made, and a little bit of education for the public will be able to sort this out.
either way I think its good that it is being discussed.
April 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm #49930Aphra KKeymaster
I think this is being discussed however at a European level..if I find links etc I will share here.
April 17, 2013 at 12:30 pm #49931
April 19, 2013 at 1:00 pm #49948AnonymousInactive
Interesting discussion Jamie – thanks for kicking it off.
I had a German app company establishing in Ireland come to me recently about drafting privacy policies and ts&cs for their app, which is offered on a freemium basis. They asked about how common privacy policies and ts&cs are in the Irish app market and I said not common at all, the app world is still the "wild west" when it comes to these documents, and to complying with consumer laws. Compliance is bit better on website offerings, but not brilliant – even the big companies seem take a while to get in line.
Someone in the thread says that the law is way behind technology, but, you know, I do not think that is quite true. Nearer the truth is that technology companies in certain markets are way behind in compliance. The laws are generally technology neutral, so someone offering the next "new thing" to consumers still will find a raft of consumer protection laws that apply to it, if they care to look into it.
In my private life I too buy apps, avail of services, buy products, tweet, discuss matters online, and all that good stuff, on websites and apps that either have no terms and conditions, or have crap ones – and I don’t generally read the terms and conditions before acting either. I suppose the difference is that I am alive to the application of the law, and make decisions sometimes based on what approach has been taken to the legals, more often when I have a bad service or suffered at the end of a sharp practice. I’ve successfully complained a couple of times when someone tried to pull a fast one on me in terms of charging, most recently with an internet company that I switching from, where the break charge was in complete breach of unfair contract terms, distance selling and a few other laws.
Where is the NCA when it comes to highlighting areas that need improvement and educating suppliers and consumers alike? Where indeed. That is the entity that we should see helping everyone in this area, not ComReg.
Its a bit more challenging to get the compliance model right in the app environment, because you are basically trading on someone else’s proprietary platform (which they can change at any time) and so you have to work with that constraint in mind. It would be helpful if the platform operators built in "compliance by design", but we are a way off that at the minute.
Anyway, back to the coalface.
January 30, 2014 at 4:15 pm #50735Aphra KKeymaster
well we now have new principles from the Office of Fair Trading in the UK …following on from the Apple case in the US.
This is important for anyone doing online or apps
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