Many apps improve our life – we can get directions in a strange city, play Scrabble with friends on another continent or access app-exclusive content for our favourite magazine. Still, consumers need better information about how apps use personal information or structure in-app purchases. 

Summary: This submission focuses on how apps can better cater to all consumers by, for example, providing essential information about how an app works at the point-of-sale and making it easy to lodge a complaint when something goes wrong.

A limited number of apps are causing problems for consumers. "Freemium" gaming apps are free to download but encourage or even require in-app purchases to progress play. Australia has strong, effective consumer protections in place and these must be applied to the apps market. As a starting point ACCAN recommends that apps which claim to be free-to-play but require significant in-app purchases are examined under the Australian Consumer Law.

Submitted to: Commonwealth Consumer Affairs Advisory Council

Status: Submitted

Download: App purchases by Australian consumers 1.4 MB

Download: App purchases by Australian consumers 5.4 MB