Written by: Daniel Haurey on 07/08/17

Picture of Angry Apple
I just called Apple Support and verified this. Apple has evidently removed the Ask to Buy feature in its Family Sharing plan. This is so outrageous to me. I have a daughter that is 15 years of age. When I started noticing that she was purchasing apps and subscriptions (with my credit card, stored on iTunes), I wanted to assert more control.  When I Googled how to do this, I found that there was a feature at some point called Ask to Buy, where, the Family Organizer could simply turn on Ask to Buy for a particular family member, which would allow the Family Organizer to approve or disapprove iTunes purchases. I tried to enable it, but could not, as I did not see the option.  Then I called Apple. After a few brief holds, the adviser informed me that, you could not enable the Ask to Buy this feature for an “Adult”. I explained that my daughter was in fact 15, and not an adult, however, the advisor informed me that, Apple simply doesn’t make this feature available for any account for someone over the age of 13.

This strikes me as completely outrageous and nonsensical. What Apple is essentially saying here is that, if you,as the Family Organizer have children over the age of 13, and you want them on your Family Sharing plan, then you must give them free reign to spend money on your credit card by making purchases and entering into recurring annual and/or monthly charges on your behalf.

Apple is great company, no doubt, but this is egregious and possibly conflicts with some laws. How much money is Apple making on these ostensibly unauthorized purchases by children?  Customers need to let Apple know that the Ask to Buy feature must be available to Family Organizers for any family member, at any time, regardless of their age.  What do you think?  Comment below.