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Frustrated parents whose children bought equipment for the popular video game Fortnite without their permission could soon get some of their money back.
The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday said It has begun informing more than 37 million people that they may be entitled to compensation from one settlement with the game manufacturer Epic Games. The agency has one Page Those affected can request a refund on its website.
The FTC supposedly late last year that Epic Games used deceptive design tactics to trick players into making unwanted purchases. It also said in a blog post Tuesday that Epic “made it easy for kids to charge without parental consent and suspended the accounts of consumers who complained to their credit card companies about unauthorized charges.”
Eligible Refund Recipients You must be at least 18 years old or have a parent or guardian complete the refund form. You may be eligible for the refund if between January 2017 and September 2022:
- You were charged in-game currency for unwanted items.
- Your child has charged your credit card for play items without your knowledge.
- Your account was suspended after you disputed unlawful charges with your credit card company.
To receive a refund, you must submit a request by January 17, 2024.
However, it is not yet clear how much each refund recipient will receive back. The FTC said approved claim amounts “depend on several factors, including the number of people who file a claim.” The agency also has not yet provided a timeline for when applicants will be able to receive their payments.
In total, Epic agreed to pay $245 million to consumers in a settlement to resolve the FTC complaint completed in March. The company will also pay a $275 million penalty to resolve allegations that it violated the rules of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
The agreement prohibits Epic from charging consumers for misleading designs or without their express consent. It also prohibits the company from blocking consumers from their accounts if they dispute unauthorized charges.
Epic said in one blog entry At the time of the initial settlement announcement, it said it “accepted this agreement because we want Epic to be at the forefront of consumer protection and provide the best experience for our players.”
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