Returning digital goods?
So if the credit card transaction is refunded do the digital goods [gems, gold, hats, or whatever] disappear from the game? How about if they've been used?
Facebook has been accused of not caring if game companies diddled children and their parents out of millions of dollars with in-game purchases, following the unsealing of US court documents. Campaigning US journalism outfit Reveal News secured a number of exhibits from an ongoing class-action lawsuit against Facebook in which …
Sounds reasonable. Any kid who spends that much to then have it charged back should lose the account (and their allowance). The company facilitating it should also lose the money. It's the perfect win-win/lose-lose scenario where both parties are at fault and both should be punished.
I'd have to disagree, presuming that the company does not know that this is a minor using a credit card without permission.
The responsibility, IMHO, lies with the parent(s).
1) How is it that the children are able to transact business without them noticing?
2) How is it that the children have access to the parents' credit cards?
At some point parents/consumers need to take responsibility.
At some point parents/consumers need to take responsibility.
That is a reasonable point, but if Zuckerbook has built a system intentionally designed to facilitate this, then they should not make a cent out those transactions, and hopefully suffer punitive damages. Even if they didn't do it intentionally, they should still be held accountable for failure to build in more checks and balances. I get an Amazon receipt to my main email account even for zero-value purchases from the Amazon app store, it would have been easy for Zuck's crew to have done something similar - but they didn't want to. However, my wife's email account is spammed by hundred of messages a week of the inane dribblings of fellow posters in FB groups she's joined. You (and I) would say that's her problem for (a) joining FB, and (b) not managing the FB or email client settings, but the point being that FB chose to do email notifications for brain-spew comments, but not to make people aware of money spent via FB's crapps.
Nail the company to a wall, I say. But only after the little scrote himself has first been nailed to a wall, ideally at a level where his toes just don't touch the floor.
"but thanks to my family I can't avoid WhatsApp."
Yes you can. You just dump it and tell them they have to find another way to communicate with you. I have a family. I don't have WhatsApp. I have POTS, mobile and email; even snail mail . They're more than sufficient.
I disagree, Whatsapp is a great solution for multi OS mobile communication for groups of people. It's one of the few that has bridged the iOS and Android platforms and allows easy photo sharing, quick chats, group chats, video chats, quick decisions and end-to-end encryption. POTS you can't share photos or easily run a group chat and you risk interrupting someone (rather than reply in their own time). mobile MMS is expensive and groups are harder to set up and maintain (e.g. the group is set up locally by one person not for everyone), e-mail is much better but not a great short communications tool and harder to have a back and forth conversation, can't do a video call, not as good for quick responses, easy to lose the group if someone doesn't hit reply-all. Snail mail - great but limited in ways that are known.
So choose what suits you best but as the OP said using it to collaborate between families is great and I too am annoyed that it is being merged into tohe facebook family. I purposely don't have facebook messenger or facebook app on my phone as it is way too slurpy. Trying to get everyone to switch to another platform (including 70+ year olds) is going to be a pain and there is no obvious contender.
> Whatsapp is a great solution for multi OS mobile communication for groups of people
but when it starts to require the install of the FB app, or permission to view FB contacts, it shall be binned in favour of a different one. Am not giving FB unfettered access to my phone
For another solution which matches all the Whatsapp features and benefits you mentioned, have a look at Signal Messenger. It's from the folk to created the Signal Protocol (the end-to-end encryption protocol Whatsapp now uses). It's what I'll be convincing my friends and family to use in place of Whatsapp.
Yes there is - Vale (the largest producer of iron ore and nickel in the world) - voted the corporation with the most "contempt for the environment and human rights" in the world in 2012:
Since then they have been responsible for two mining-dam disasters - Bento Rodrigues in 2015, and Brumadinho, just two days ago (they're still hunting for bodies, but it looks like >400 people have died).
The sad, sad truth is that these days there are quite a few very, very scammy corporations.
What we need is for legal retribution with real teeth that threatens to destroy the corporation for these kind of scams - and can impose very significant fines on proprietors who pretend they're unaware of what's being done in their names.
Find one that isn't scammy! Tech companies are mostly immune from laws of the offline world and what laws there are subject to they flout for as long as possible. Then when legislators come along to reign them in they declare "the end of the world" and get useful idiots to shill for them.
is he a psychopath?
Not content to raking in millions and millions for getting lucky with a website, the number of terrible things that have come to light over the last year or so are shocking - it's not as if facebook was desperate for money.
I used to dislike facebook, with all it's data slurping for ad purposes, but unlike many Reg commenters, I didn't think it was inhently evil otherwise. I was never after shutting it down, or hating on the Zuk too much.
It's beyond sleaze.
I was wrong.
It is evil.
Zuk is pompous, arrogant, and unscrupulous.
I'd be happy if the UK/EU or whoever found something to prosecuted the fuck out of them.
Zuk can't do anything without the billion or so people who have signed up for the service.
Every single one of them agreed to Facebook's terms. Before someone starts making the point that the average person can't understand the Terms or doesn't bother to read them and thus cannot be held responsible, consider what would happen if one were to suggest that people who can't understand laws, (inter)national affairs, economic concepts, and politics should not be allowed to vote...
The issue here is that the internet, as developed, is inherently monopolistic. As such T&C don't really matter if all your mates and family are on the thing and you don't want to be the Cassandra on the side warning about the dangers, or trying to convince people that don't give a shit even when they acknowledge the dangers. So everyone one uses FB, Google, Amazon, Twitter etc, and the wife gets a WhatsApp account, because her daughter puts photos of the Grandkids and other relations respond to the answer "Don't have a FB account" with "How do you get in touch with people then?" because they have all forgotten how to work email.
"Actually, it should probably read "Facebook don't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills" "
I would have thought if they were knowingly (as appears clear from these transcripts) providing services to children via credit card, which children cannot legally own, then they are knowingly processing unauthorized transactions, or at the very least knowingly processing transactions they had reasonable suspicion were unauthorized. I would be surprised if this isn't unlawful.
if they were knowingly ... providing services to children via credit card, which children cannot legally own, then they are knowingly processing unauthorized transactions
Technically they were authorised - because the parent/whoever put the card details in and authorised purchases. Where it probably gets grey is whether Faecesborg made it clear about the implications (ie "enter your card details, we'll take whatever any user spends forever") and whether they provided any meaningful controls (eg setting a spend limit, or otherwise restricting spend).
It will probably be this latter area that gets examined in detail.
Technically they were authorised - because the parent/whoever put the card details in and authorised purchases.
The problem is when the parent was *not* the person entering the CC details. If the kid swiped the card, entered the details without the parents knowing, & then ran up those charges, the parents will dispute any/all charges to their card & demand their money back.
It's akin to saying that the parents must be at fault the little kids were caught behind the wheel of their shiny new sports car because the parents must have put the keys in the ignition. No, the kid could have stolen the keys & gone for a joy ride. The parents thought the car was still in the garage (the card in their purse/wallet), not out on the autobahn doing nearly 200KPH (racking up fraud FB charges) & about to get the *parent* arrested for child endangerment (prosecuted for the fraud charges) because their kid was driving their car. See the problem?
There was a person on the East Coast that, many years ago, got a call from a San Francisco producer of glass pot pipes and bongs. He answered. "Did you place an order for $900 worth of bongs?" "No." It was obvious what had occurred, the unapproved temporary removal of a credit card from a wallet.
The point? Glass Bong Makers in San Francisco had more conscience than Facebook, Zuckerberg, and Sandberg. Just stunning.
A kid "borrowing" a credit card from one of their parents' wallet is the same as a kid "borrowing" some cash from one of their parents' wallet. A business should have enough sense and conscience to have it's attention raised by an excessive amount being spent, but ultimately it is a matter that really needs to be resolved between the child and the parents. I doubt I'm the only kid who always returned the exact change home without anyone having to explain it to me, ever - it was the logical thing to do. And I was much younger than twelve when they started sending me to the grocery store. A twelve year old ought to have more than enough of understanding how money works as well as sufficient moral scruples to not do c*ap like this.
I got suckered into a PAYGO game tribez it was, and spen a large amount on it probably £50 or so, but more importantly hrs of wasted time. Then one purchase errored out, nothing would get WETF I've bought to show up. No contact possible other than going round and round. So I reinstalled the damn thing and suddenly I was back to square one. Lesson learnt.
Maybe there is a use for it. Kids can enjoy buying extras in a game, however it doesn't have to be done with a credit card at all. If a game is targeted at <18s or the child is known to be <18 then only allow "credits" to be spent. These can be bought by a parent and given to a child - iTunes gift card, Google Play card style. The parent can buy the child $10/£10 for their birthday and the child can spend that on gold/gems etc. Parent responsibility and choice, child can spend as required.
However I would agree that the purchasing of extras can be a bit addictive - but so can candy floss.
With games you can run up an arbitrary amount, if they sell ways for you to advance in the game more quickly. They have an incentive to make it as unclear as possible that you are spending real money, because even if 90% of transactions end up getting reversed, the remaining 10% of transactions that range as high as $6000 would add up quickly!
You can buy 10 Gems for $1, 100 Gems for $8 etc.
10,000 Gems are just $99
So why wouldn't a kid who doesn't understand that it is 'real' money and not part of the game just buy the 10,000 gem package, and then buy it again, and again, and again. A few hours of gameplay and they could easily rack up a few thousand.
I play Boom Beach, and could easily spend a thousand a day. 6K a month, not a problem. In that game the money would buy gems which allows you to build stuff, upgrade weapons and attack people instantly. Spend enough and you can rule the game. Me, I've never spent a red cent on the game, so my progress is somewhat... slower. What's bad is your ability to win resources without spending is like getting yearly 1 percent raises in an economy with 50 percent inflation. The game is designed to grind down like an apple phone until you lever open the money for an "upgrade." Me, I look at it like a challenge.
...but even more evil than the Martin Lewis lawsuit that he's now dropped. With all the fake ads with his face on it. Facebook didn't seem to give a shit until he sued. Then suddenly did and now have agreed to donate 3 million (not much considering how much they have) to a scam charity with the CAB.
Fuckbook are cunts (I like that word but first time using it on here, so it must be serious).
Stevie, like it. Cunts is also one of the few single words that sum up Fuckbook, and in the singular - Fuckerberg.
Did I read somewhere that US companies have rights like a person or something similar? Well, if found guilty, jail FB for 20 years. Owners, directors, management, working from the top down do 1 month each of stir - and not in a cushy executive prison, but not necessarily in a top security hell hole, just a normal mid-range offender prison. A month of that is enough to get people's attention.
Icon for what can't happen soon enough to FB
Fuckbook was a happy accident. I type too quick and on the phone its a nightmare when it has changed a word without me spotting it and despite having turned off autocorrect. Also, on Android, it constantly puts . when not required despite having turned that feature off as well. Both of Samsung S4 and S8. I still prefer physical keyboards on mobiles, I miss them.
And other times I'm supposed to be doing other things (the DIY) so before I get caught I just hit submit without checking.
I standby calling Facebook a cunt though.
"With all the fake ads with his face on it. Facebook didn't seem to give a shit until he sued."
I get a sense this is just standard US business practice. Any action on FBs part before being sued might be seen as an admission of guilt. And in the US, suing or being sued seems to be a nationwide, all comers, full participation sport, They don't seem to have even a concept of the way it works in the UK.
"Did I read somewhere that US companies have rights like a person or something similar? Well, if found guilty, jail FB for 20 years"
Probably. See e.g.
which basically simplifies to
"US companies have the same *rights* as a real person, but do not have the same responsibilities as a real person."
In the real world, these matters are also subject to the usual "golden rule".
That is, the published rules can be overriden by people with sufficient gold.
The USA has the best lawyers money can buy, London has the best auditors that money can buy.
After Brexit, once TTIP is resurrected, they'll be unstoppable.
Colleague at work's 8-year old son ran up a credit card bill for eight thousand quid in one month buying gold and stuff in an online children's game. Was playing on dad's iPad which had (password-protected) credit card payment details stored on it, in-app purchases auto-filled in payment details, needed password but kid has seen dad entering this and remembered it, entered it once and off he went. Of course he didn't think it was "real" money he was spending, he thought it was pretend money.
Cue explosion when credit card bill arrived. He managed to get the money refunded by arguing with the online game firm that there's no way they should have allowed a young child to run up a bill of this size, at least without confirming the spend was authorized by the card holder.
Yes you could say this was the fault of the parent for storing card details on a device that he allowed his son to play online games on, but as far as he was concerned payments were password-protected. For sure the online gaming company is more to blame for having a game targeted at children which allowed -- no, encouraged -- them to spend real money on in-app purchases. And the biggest blame goes to them for not having a system which flagged ridiculously high spends as likely to be fraudulent or at best unauthorized, which I guess is why they paid up -- if it had come to court they wouldn't have had a leg to stand on.
For every major blowout, there's a thousand kids who know that if they don't go overboard they can get away with it for months because their parents don't check balances or inspect purchases unless the amount is off by more than they expect to see. Depending on how the card is used and the affluence of the parents they might get away with a hundred or more a month. So, for every parent that catches it, 20 or 30 might not, or might assume it was for their own games. Makes for a pretty reliable income stream.
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