If you’ve ever felt frustrated by accidental in-game purchases in Fortnite, there’s good news for you: You can apply for the FTC Fortnite refund.
Epic Games, the creator of the immensely popular game, has reached a $245 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations of deceptive practices. This settlement, part of a larger $520 million agreement, aims to compensate players who fell victim to design tricks leading to unintended purchases.
Are you eligible to get your share from the FTC Fortnite refund?
To get your share, head over to www.ftc.gov/Fortnite. The instructions on FTC’s website are quite clear, so you won’t face any difficulties. Meanwhile, if you are not certain whether you’re eligible for the refund or not, you are if any of the following apply:
- You were charged for in-game items you didn’t intend to buy between January 2017 and September 2022.
- Your child made charges to your credit card without your knowledge from January 2017 to November 2018.
- Your account was locked between January 2017 and September 2022 after you disputed charges with your credit card company.
Remember, you must be 18 or older to complete the FTC Fortnite refund form. If you’re younger, a parent will need to assist you. Have your claim number from the FTC or your Epic Account ID ready. If you’re not clear on how to get them, just check out below.
The deadline for refunds is January 17th, 2024. The amount you receive will be determined by the number of claims submitted. As of now, the FTC hasn’t provided a specific payment date.
The FTC has also launched the claims process, notifying over 37 million individuals by email about their potential eligibility for compensation. This notification process will take about a month to complete. To submit a claim or learn more, visit www.ftc.gov/Fortnite. If you have questions, you can reach out to the administrator at 1-833-915-0880 or [email protected].
Where to find your Epic ID?
Your Epic Account ID is an exclusive identification number assigned to your Epic Games account when you first create it. It’s worth noting that unlike your account display name, your Epic Account ID is permanent and isn’t visible to other users.
Here’s how you can find your Epic Account ID on the web to apply for the FTC Fortnite refund:
- Visit www.epicgames.com.
- Click on the Sign-in button located in the top right corner.
- Log in to your Epic Games account.
- Hover over your Epic Games account name and select “Account.”
- Your account ID will be displayed under the Account Information section.
FTC vs Epic Games: Background of the FTC Fortnite lawsuit
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s recently finalized $245 million settlement with Epic Games, the creator of Fortnite, addresses a range of concerns raised by players and parents alike. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:
- Protecting young users: The FTC alleged that Epic collected personal information from Fortnite players under the age of 13 without parental consent, potentially exposing them to harmful situations. Reports indicated instances of bullying, threats, harassment, and exposure to distressing content like suicide discussions.
- Epic’s response: Epic Games has taken steps to address these concerns. They introduced “Cabined Accounts” in Fortnite, Rocket League, and Fall Guys for kids under 13. This feature disables certain functionalities, including text and voice chat, in-game purchases, and the ability to download non-Epic games without parental approval. Additionally, in 2019, they implemented parental controls and, in the previous year, made parent verification services freely available to all developers on their platform.
- Parental consent required: As per the proposed court order by the FTC, Epic will now need parental permission before enabling voice and text chat for underage players. Furthermore, any personal information previously collected from Fortnite players must be deleted unless the company obtains parental consent or the user is 13 years or older, confirmed through a neutral age gate.
- Reimbursement for dark patterns: Epic is set to pay $245 million in FTC Fortnite refund for allegedly using dark patterns to manipulate players into making unintended purchases, allowing children to accrue unauthorized charges without parental oversight. Dark patterns are design techniques intended to coax users into selecting options that may not be in their best interest.
- Button configuration concerns: The FTC pointed out Fortnite’s “counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration” as a factor contributing to unintended in-game purchases. This led to substantial financial transactions happening with just a single button press.
- Specific examples: The FTC provided instances where users were charged unintentionally, such as during game loading screens or when attempting to wake the game from sleep mode, as well as accidentally while trying to preview an item.
- Unauthorized charges: Until 2018, the FTC claims that Epic allowed children to purchase in-game currency (V-Bucks) without parental or credit card holder consent. Moreover, they alleged that Epic locked the accounts of customers who contested unauthorized charges and issued threats of permanent bans if they continued to dispute future charges.
The FTC plans to use the FTC Fortnite refund to reimburse parents whose children made unauthorized credit card purchases between January 2017 and November 2018, players who were charged for unwanted purchases, and those whose accounts were locked after disputing charges. This settlement marks a significant milestone in advocating for the rights and safety of young gamers.
This settlement also marks a significant step in holding companies accountable for their practices. In 2022 alone, aside from the FTC Fortnite refund, the FTC secured over $392 million in refunds for consumers across the United States, depicting the importance of staying informed and protecting your rights as a consumer.
Featured image credit: YouTube