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In App Purchases

In app purchases

It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of in app purchases (IAPs).  People have had issues with them not transferring to new phones, upgrades, replacements, and secondary (usually work) phones.  I much prefer to buy a separate unlock key/app.  This way you know it’s tied in to your Google account and not something like your IMEI (the handsets serial number) which will almost certainly change over time.

I saw something last night which both shocked and appalled me.  A game by Disney with a medium rating showed IAPs ranging from £3.08 to £61.63!  That’s around US$98!  This is something that my seven year old son would positively love to play but if I told him it would cost him over £60 to buy part of the game, and unless he paid it he wouldn’t be able to play that part or buy something he’d need, even he would say it didn’t matter.

Only recently, Amazon was sued by the USA’s regulators over child IAPs.  The European Commission and the EU regulatory body asked Google to stop calling apps containing IAPs free by the end of September.  Apple say they promise to tackle it, but offered no date by which they must do this.

After looking at Google Play and Apple itunes it’s interesting that while the Play store charges £61, Apple’s iTunes charges nearly £70! (US$111.10)

We all know that Disney has faced hard times.  Their reputation diminished hugely, which possibly influenced them to buy Pixar.  They simply haven’t kept up with modern times.  Their merchandising may have no shame, but this is disgraceful.  It’s disgusting and looks thoroughly extortionate.

At £60 to £70 this is the most expensive IAP I’ve ever seen.  Considering Disney is associated with young children I can’t see how they could possibly think their demographic could afford to pay it.

Sky finding new limits.

Some of you who were regulars to my Posterous blog will recall back in 2011 I made the mistake of having Sky supply my broadband.  After advertising 20 Megabit broadband speeds and promising that I’d get on or around 3Mb, they supplied a speed of 0.8Mb.

Naturally I complained to Sky.  You can see my frustrations on Sky’s own forum.  It took some time but 5½ weeks after the contract started, the contract was terminated due to Sky not keeping their promises.  I was assured that no penalty would be levied.  This was confirmed by email.  Unfortunately the issues didn’t end there.  Some months after Sky terminated the contract I received a letter welcoming me to their service at a new speed of 0Mb on the same telephone line that had been disconnected.  I’d assumed this was another cock-up to add to the collection and dismissed it.  Unfortunately demands for payment on a fictional service came through.  Sky claimed this was an error on their part and they’d sort it out.

Until today I’d heard nothing from Sky, but it appears I now have four days (seven days on the letter which took three days to arrive) to pay £175.42 in full or they’ll refer it to a debt collection agency (see below).

I think it’s time I get a copy of my credit reference and contact OFCOM.  I’ll give OFCOM all assistance I can to resolve this.  Clearly Sky are incapable.

Sky's threats.

Sky are the absolute limit.

Most people who follow me on Twitter will know of the horrendous issues I had with Sky.  After five weeks of utter incompetence, being lied to and uneducated attempts to resolve their speed issues they released me from my 12 month contract.  I was promised verbally and by email that I would not get any further charges from them.

Unfortunately, like other Murdoch projects, Sky appear incapable of telling the truth.  Not only can they not keep their promises, I’ve had letters welcoming me to their service months after changing suppliers.  Their bills for the non-existent service come through each month and after speaking to them on Twitter and their own help forums, marginally less than f**k all has been done.

I’m now back to naming and shaming them.  They’ve had enough chances.  From here on in, each time they bill me, I’m going to post it.  Announce it to the world that they still can’t keep a promise.

F**kwits!

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