In the period from 2010 to 2014 Facebook deliberately not implemented in your social network measures do not allow children to spend parents ‘ money without permission. This was told by the staff of the journalistic platform Reveal in the last published article.
The authors of the investigation filed a lawsuit on Facebok. At the request of the journalists the company was forced to open access to 135 pages of internal documents – memos, emails and so on. It follows that on its site, the company deliberately denied parents reimbursement and encourage uncontrolled spending.
Between 2010 and 2014, Facebook grew the number of requests for refund. Parents complained that children make payments without their knowledge, sometimes without even realizing that translate real currency. According to the research company, from October 2010 to January 2011 the social network earned a minor 3.6 million dollars.
Ninja Saga was one of the recordsmens the parent by the number of “refunds”.
Facebook is not recommended that the employees return the money instead dissatisfied gave in-game items. As explained by one of the employees of the company, Facebook did so because of “virtual goods have no value”.
Some parents requested a chargeback (chargeback) – in this case, the money comes directly to the company that issued the credit card is credited. According to statistics from Facebook, more than 9 % of the funds were spent by the children were subsequently returned in that way. While the average rate of “chargebacks” from companies where lower – 0.5 %. The Federal trade Commission already specifies 2% of the refunds through the Bank as a reason to suspect shady business practices.
As told by an employee of Facebook Tara Stewart (Tara Stewart), she and her colleagues built the list of games, which are associated with most cases of chargeback, and came up with a solution, not giving the children to make purchases without permission. Objects in the games can be purchased without any confirmation, Stuart suggested a system where you had to enter the first six digits of credit card number. However, the boss chose to focus on “profit maximization” and advised not to prevent “friendly fraud”.
In Angry Birds for Facebook, the number of requests for return from parents reached 93 %.
Facebook not only paid off by the parents in-game items – it also created the system automatically challenging chargeback. In the documents, which became available to the journalists did not specify was whether this system is effective.
In 2014, the Office of fair trading has tightened control over micropayments and Facebook moderate appetites. In connection with the claim Reveal, the company has assured that works with parents and experts to “help families in the study, Facebook”. In 2016, the owners of the social network has allocated additional resources for consideration of requests relating to minors.