Massive Fortnite Refund Opportunity: FTC Notifies 37 Million Users of Epic Games Settlement

FTC notifies over 37 million individuals of potential refunds from Epic Games settlement. Deceptive practices and unauthorized charges led to a $245 million payout. Eligible claimants must apply by January 17, 2024.

In a significant development, frustrated parents who found themselves in a financial bind due to their children's unauthorized purchases on the immensely popular video game, Fortnite, may soon find some relief. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on Tuesday that it has initiated the process of informing over 37 million individuals that they may be eligible for compensation stemming from a settlement reached with the game's creator, Epic Games. The agency has set up a dedicated webpage where affected parties can submit refund claims.

The FTC had accused Epic Games late last year of employing deceptive design strategies to entice players into making unwanted in-game purchases. Additionally, it alleged that Epic Games had made it alarmingly easy for children to accumulate charges without parental consent, further compounding the issue by locking the accounts of consumers who disputed these unauthorized charges with their credit card companies.

To qualify for a refund, eligible recipients must either be 18 years of age or older or have a parent or guardian complete the refund request on their behalf. Those who may be eligible for a refund are individuals who made purchases on Fortnite between January 2017 and September 2022.

To initiate the refund process, eligible claimants can visit the provided link, where they will need to input their claim number and Epic Account ID. Detailed instructions for locating one's account ID are also available on Epic's website. It's essential to note that applications for a refund must be submitted by January 17, 2024.

The exact amount that each refund recipient will receive remains uncertain at this time. The FTC has clarified that the approved refund amounts will depend on several factors, including the number of claimants who submit their requests. Furthermore, the agency has not outlined a specific timeline for when applicants can anticipate receiving their compensation.

Epic Games reached a settlement agreement in March, agreeing to disburse a total of $245 million to consumers in response to the FTC's allegations. Additionally, they agreed to pay a hefty $275 million penalty to resolve claims that they had violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act Rule.

Under the terms of the agreement, Epic Games is now prohibited from employing deceptive designs to induce purchases without consumers' clear consent. Furthermore, the company cannot block consumers from accessing their accounts in cases where they dispute unauthorized charges.

Epic Games issued a statement in a blog post upon the initial settlement announcement, expressing their acceptance of the agreement as a commitment to enhancing consumer protection and ensuring the best possible experience for their players.

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