Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Managing Family Sharing Subscriptions

mthoms (via Kosta Eleftheriou):

Most people don’t know this but the “Parent” (read:credit card holder) of a family sharing account can’t see, let alone cancel, any subscriptions a minor on the account has purchased.

Let that sink in for a second. Apple will happily charge the parents’ credit card a weekly recurring fee but there is nowhere in their interface (on device nor on the web) where the parent can even see that subscription.

Apple expects the child to go into their interface and cancel the recurring subscription. Something many (most?) adults find confusing. In my case, the child just deleted the App when the trial was over. Which is of course perfectly logical thinking. No bueno.

Apple says this is for privacy reasons, which doesn’t make much sense since they do e-mail the parent a receipt. So this seems like either a poorly thought out feature or a dark pattern.


That truly is egregious that they’re hiding that information, and you have to notice it via your bank statement. At the very least the primary account holder should be able to see that an unspecified member of their family account has a subscription to an unspecified service, and have the ability to summarily cancel it.

The statement doesn’t even tell you which child is the subscriber.


Update (2021-10-08): Boris Yurkevich:

This was true, however recently I got an email about IAP I made from my sons iPad. Clicking through the “Report a problem” link in the email and logging in with my family organiser Apple ID shows this new message.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

I've said it here before, I'll say it again: the IdM paradigm backing iCloud is fundamentally borked. It was borked when it shipped. That Apple has had ALL THESE YEARS and is still propagating the same borked paradigm, year after year, just bolting on hacks and patches, straight refutes their PR talk of being "the best", in a nutshell.

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