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Boy using mobile devicesDownload: docHidden costs in free apps62.5 KB

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Our recent research into how Australians use apps found that most of us prefer to download free apps. While some games or apps cost nothing to download on our smartphones or tablets, they often contain extra elements you can purchase within the game, known as an "in-app purchase". Increasing numbers of children are buying things within games not realising that they cost their parents real money through their iTunes, Google Play or Amazon account.

Follow the instructions below to modify how in-app purchases are made on your smartphone or tablet.

Enable restrictions

App Store (Apple iOS)
Changing these settings will disable the in-app purchase function.

Select:
Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions >

Enter and confirm a passcode > Scroll down to "In-app Purchases" > Select "Off"

Google Play (Android)
Changing to these settings will require a passcode before making any in-app purchases.

Select:
Google Play Store > Menu > Settings > Content filtering > Choose your filters then press OK > Enter and confirm a unique PIN code

Amazon Appstore (Android)
Changing to these settings will require a passcode before making any in-app purchases.

Select:
Open settings > parental controls > tick 'Enable Parental Controls > enter your password > continue > parental controls are now activated

Requesting a refund

App Store (Apple iOS)
Go to Apple's official Report a Problem page. Click on the "Apps" tab. Click the "Report a Problem" button next to the app in which the in-app purchase occurred. Select a reason from the drop down menu, you can also add more information about the issue you are experiencing with the app.

Google Play (Android)
To request a refund use the online form on the Google Support website. Please note: you will need to sign into your Google Play account to request a refund.

Amazon Appstore (Android)
Amazon does not have a specific refund option. Contact Amazon or the app developer directly.