Apple has begun offering up refunds to iTunes users who believe they have unfairly been charged for in-app purchases.
The refund campaign is a direct result of a settlement reached in January with the Federal Trade Commission, which argued that Apple did not have enough protections in place to stop kids from racking up an expensive bill of in-app purchases. Apple has promised that from now on, it will obtain "informed consent from consumers before charging them for items sold in mobile apps."
In addition, the Cupertino company agreed to pay out $32.5 million to consumers. So let's say you've been affected. How do you get a refund? Well, in many cases, Apple will come to you, with an e-mail – the full text is here – that includes a link to a refund request form. As Apple Insider notes, the e-mail appears to be sent to a "large swath" of iTunes users, although exactly how many people were targeted is unclear.
If you haven't received an e-mail, the first thing you should do is click through your purchase history, which can be found by clicking on your Apple ID in the top right of the iTunes window and scrolling down until you hit the appropriate link. If you find refundable purchases, you'll need to get in touch with Apple via the Support sub-section of the official company site.
In related news, Mac Stories has reported – and CNET has confirmed – that Apple is working on a recommendation engine that would help users sift through the millions of apps in its online store. "The new suggestion bar doesn’t alter the way search results are displayed – Apple is still using a cards layout on the iPhone – and, for now, the feature doesn’t appear to be available on the App Store for iPad and desktop computers," Mac Stories notes.
Still, the engine is likely to be an improvement on the way we search for apps, which involves clicking madly through the top 10 lists until something catches our eye.