Thursday, March 24, 2022

Inscrutable App Store Billing

Marco Arment:

Am I missing something, or has Apple done a really great job of making it impossible to figure out which purchases on a family plan led to each charge on my credit card?

Marco Arment:

What App Store credit-card fraud looks like: a slow trickle of small charges last week, then nearly 20 charges totaling over $700 over the weekend.

AmEx flagged the first one as suspicious — $10 last week — but Apple’s billing is so opaque that I said it was probably valid.


I ran into this a few weeks back, this site turned out to be super helpful


Family Organizers can now review purchases charged to their shared payment method, and they can submit refund requests for purchases initiated by family members. Family Organizers will be able to view purchases and manage requests as long as a member is part of their family group.

You can search by amount, but not by product name, company, or order ID. It also cannot display the purchases grouped according to how they are bundled into credit card charges. I like how Amazon does it where—with their Visa—the order numbers appear on your card statement and you can easily search for them on the Web site.


Not a great answer, but it’s not terrible if you use the Apple Card and look in Apple Wallet. Every charge from Apple is detailed, including subscription or app name, icon, and cost. Does not say who made the purchase, though. Could be much better.


4 Comments RSS · Twitter

Kevin Schumacher

I get emails for every family transaction detailing what was purchased, by whom, and how much. I'm not sure how this is so inscrutable.

Kevin, do your family members perhaps have email rules set up to forward mail from Apple to you?

I also get the Apple receipt for every family transaction, with the same details as described by Kevin Schumacher, with no one having set up any mail forwarding. There may be a delay before it's sent, I suppose.

I have never heard of the family organizer getting all of the receipt emails but clearly it happens for some people. Between region, ages of family members, a setting somewhere, or some other factor(s) is there maybe some combination that enables the all family member receipts. In US Region I have never seen Organizer get the family members emails for either adult or child members. Johan and Kevin what does your family setup look like, what region are you in, etc?

I do see a delay of a few days as Apple waits to bundle multiple purchases into one email when possible.

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