Plopping your kid in front of a screen and leaving them there has been one of the most popular parenting tricks since televisions began popping up in every house. Nowadays, however, those screens tend to come in the form of computers, smartphones, and tablets which let your kids do much more than just watch cartoons. Sometimes they can even spend you’re money without asking if you’re not careful and, while many services offer refunds for accidental purchases like that, Facebook isn’t one of them. That’s why the company is facing a massive lawsuit in California.
A federal judge said Facebook Inc must face a nationwide class-action lawsuit seeking to force the social media company to provide refunds when children spend their parents’ money on its website without permission. U.S. District Judge Beth Labson Freeman in San Jose, California on Tuesday said a class of plaintiffs estimated in the hundreds of thousands may press their claim that Facebook should change how it handles online transactions by minors. The judge also said the plaintiffs could not pursue refunds as a group under U.S. Supreme Court precedent, because any refunds would vary from case to case, but could still seek individual refunds. She set an Oct. 19 trial date. Facebook said it believes the lawsuit lacks merit, and said it will defend itself vigorously. The April 2012 lawsuit said Facebook let children use their parents’ credit and debit cards to buy the virtual currency Facebook Credits, and violated California law by refusing refunds under its “all sales are final” policy when the parents complained.