No Purchase Verification Leading to Accidental App Purchases in Mac App Store?

  This image described by Apple, Mac App Store, Mac App Store Accidental purchase, Mac App Store Accident, Mac App Store Accidentally purchased, Mac App Store issues, Appstore-logo


This one can become a problem on the Mac App Store if some sort of minor update isn’t issued. We discovered it by accident yesterday while browsing the storefront hoping to find some interesting Apps. Now, we did a lot of clicking, but most of what we looked at was free Apps. You may remember we put together a list of some of the cool free stuff that’s already available.

Now here’s what happened:

We were browsing around the store checking out free Apps, and at one point we went down to the dock (where they are placed by default) to check out one of the free Apps we had downloaded. We noticed an App called Dress Assistant. Launched it to see what it was, and thought, “Don’t remember downloading this one,” and immediately deleted thinking nothing of it. Looking back, we should have checked out the App, but surely it was free if whatever we had done to purchase it didn’t require any sort of “okay” on our part.

Early this morning we have the email receipt from iTunes. That little App we’d accidentally purchased was $20! Whoa! Don’t get us wrong, we just shrug it off when we knowingly download an App we don’t like and it, because that was our choice–It’s no big deal to delete it. Now, an App that we didn’t ask for in the first place, and it’s $20 bucks?

Of course we emailed Apple customer support to let them know that the purchase was a mistake. We are waiting to hear back.

But a few things came to mind:

1) Okay, did we stupidly click something without meaning to?

2) How?

3) Well, we feel stupid.

The only real explanation we were able to come up with was that because we have “tap to click” set on our trackpad (the hours spent working in front of the computer are not easy on the wrists, after all), we somehow skimmed it or accidentally tapped somehow, initiating a purchase. Without even realizing it.


Then we stopped and thought:

There was no sort of “Do you want to purchase this App?” or “You will be billed upon clicking “Yes”  to purchase this App. Whatever we had done, had been completely by accident, and we didn’t even realize we had downloaded the App until we saw it on our Dock.

We decided to look around for more stories like this. There aren’t many, but a few do exist. Here’s what we found:


Apple Discussions User CHgcH:

Hi everyone

I accidentally bought Aperture for € 63 in the App Store.
Is there any way to get my money refunded?



Mac Rumors User stefan1975:


mac app store: accidental $99 purchase

So i was checking out the app store intending to buy a game for the kids when the mouse cursor hovered over some unkown app BBEDIT and i guess my palm must have tapped the trackpad or i was hovering to prominently or whatever but for some reason it seemed to register a click on buy-now ……. giving me a EUR 79.99 app i have no need for, cannot afford and don’t know what it even is.

the apps store support page doesnt seem to work at all and i cannot click anything in the accout/setting/report a problem stuff like in itunes or find a way to turn this one click stuff of so it won’t happen again.

is there anything i can do to return this app, heck i’d even take an appstore credit to buy EUR 79.99 worth of stuff i could actually use?!

plus how do i turn off the “feature” that makes it WAY too easy to buy stuff, giving me some kind of confirmation….

thanks, stefan



In the same thread, Bilwilfong adds:


accidental purchase

I too just downloaded 10.6.6, opened the APP store, clicked the sign in to be sure that I had my username/password right, and then clicked on an App name on the right hand side and it purchased a $79 app when I only wanted to get information! I’ve put in a complaint to Apple. Why doesn’t this work like the iPhone APPs? On the iPhone you even have to enter your Password when you update a free app!! Site is not designed Apple friendly as there is no direct Logout button, no indication that you are about to purchase and if you cursor down to an App name if you’re just a bit to the right you’re doing a purchase and not an info! This seems rushed to the market because of CES. I cancelled the download in progress and will wait a few days for Apple to make good on the refund before I charge the amount back on my credit card. Come on Apple, this is amateur stuff. Get it right when you release it.


 Another thread on Apple Discussions:

User iPotential: 

Be careful of accidentally purchasing an App!

I entered my password for one App and then while browsing the store I accidentally clicked on one of the “BUY” buttons and the App just started to download!

I’ve sent a request to Apple to have it removed from my order, however does anyone know how to force the store to ask for a password for every purchase? 

Do I need to log out and then back in after each purchase? Will that even work? 


User LinuxIdiot in the same thread:

I did the exact same thing last night, if it had been a couple of bucks I would not be upset, but I accidentally clicked on Apple Remote Desktop….$80 piece of software This image described by Apple, Mac App Store, Mac App Store Accidental purchase, Mac App Store Accident, Mac App Store Accidentally purchased, Mac App Store issues, :( 

How did you contact Apple concerning your purchase? Only thing I could find was the Feedback section in the Mac App store 


And dklwriter adds to the discussion:

I just did the same thing and there is now way to cancel an accidental purchase. I have paused the download and contacted online support to find out what to do next.

This is obviously a problem as I did not choose to purchase the item. 



What Now?

We wouldn’t consider ourselves iTunes or App Store n00bs. We’ve browsed iTunes, we’ve browsed the App Store on iPad and on iPhone many times on a daily basis. This, however, was a first for us.

It’s easy to say “you shouldn’t have clicked on it,” but keep in mind that these weren’t clicked on with any intent to buy. In our case, we didn’t even realize we had made a purchase until we already had the App on the computer. This is the same reason we never set up one-click on our personal computers, we don’t mind being asked if we want to purchase an App if it may keep us from making accidental transactions.

Let’s just hope Apple decides to update that and have it give the user some kind of “Hey, are you sure?” for those times. It will probably keep down their customer support emails as well.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve found yourself accidentally purchasing an App without realizing it or meaning to.

Right now, we are waiting to hear from Apple reguarding our accidental purchase. It seems to be more of a widespread problem that we thought. As one forum poster noted,  this is going to be trouble on a storefront with various expensive Apps. Most of us can shrug off a $1 to $5 purchase. Once you start going into the double-digits or higher, it’s a different story.

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