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Facebook Suit: Mother Files Class Action Over Child's Purchase Of Facebook Credits

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Uh-oh. Looks like Facebook's in trouble with mom.

The social network is facing a new class-action suit, this one brought by an angry parent.

Last month, Glynnis Bohannon of Phoenix, Arizona, filed a complaint in California's Superior Court against the social network in order to receive a refund for what she says are unauthorized Facebook Credit purchases made by her son.

Users can buy Facebook Credits to purchase virtual goods within Facebook games or apps. According to the site's Payments Terms, those under the age of 18 may only make payments "with the involvement of a parent or guardian."

The class action, brought by Bohannon on behalf of other parents and legal guardians in similar situations, highlighted the fact that Facebook "specifically requires that users agree 'not [to] provide any false personal information'" when purchasing Credits. According to VentureBeat, if any part of a person's information is proven false, which is likely to be the case with those minors who purchased Facebook Credits without parental consent, "the court could rule that the Facebook Credit transactions are void, and are likely subject to a full refund."

A "full refund" to all plaintiffs involved in the case could set Facebook back millions of dollars. PaidContent pointed out a separate filing in which Facebook's manager of payment operations Bill Richardson wrote that “users who are purportedly aged 13-17 purchased well in excess of $5,000,000 in Facebook Credits in calendar year 2011.”

In response to the complaint, Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes told PaidContent: "We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously."

Facebook isn't the only tech giant facing parental punishment. Apple is also being sued by parents for similar reasons. According to the BBC, moms and dads led by attorney Garen Meguerian filed suit against the company last year, arguing that Apple "induced" their children to make unauthorized in-app purchases in games.

"These games are highly additive, designed deliberately so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of Game Currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more," reads the filing, as provided by the BBC.

Although Apple called for the case to be dismissed, explaining that in-app purchases were included in the Terms and Conditions the parents had signed before purchasing the game apps, Judge Edward Davila has ruled against the company's request, reports ABC News.

What do you think of Bohannon's case? Do you think Facebook should pay? Let us know in the comments!

Around the Web

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Facebook Credits Result in Lawsuit | InvestorPlace

 
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