GREE Resolves System Failure Relating to Spending Limits for Minors in Japan
Mar. 15, 2013
TOKYO, Japan–March 15, 2013–GREE today announced that it has resolved the system failure relating to spending limits for minors in Japan, which enabled underage users to make payments above spending limits that GREE had established to protect them. On February 28, 2013, GREE completed measures to resolve the situation that persisted at the time of its January 18, 2013 announcement1 on the matter, whereby it remained possible for underage users subscribing to GREE monthly plans2 to exceed the spending limits for minors.
GREE apologizes to its customers and other stakeholders for any inconvenience or worry arising from the system failure, and for its delay in disclosing the situation and refunding payments in excess of the spending limits for minors.
1. Effects of system failure
|Timeframe||April 1, 2012 – February 28, 2013|
|Number of users affected||5,423|
|Total amount by which limits were exceeded as a result of the system failure||¥49,104,235|
|Scope of investigation||Underage customers of GREE on feature phones or on smartphones using any payment method other than GREE prepaid cards who made payments above the monthly limit of ¥5,000 (including tax) in the case of those aged 15 years old and below or ¥10,000 (including tax) in the case of 16 to 19 year olds|
|Payments via Rakuten Edy to feature phone version of GREE||As of August 21, 2012, resolved system flaw that caused spending limit failure|
|Credit card payments to feature phone version of GREE||As of September 7, 2012, resolved system flaw that caused spending limit failure|
|Design error in system for connection to third-party settlement systems||As of January 18, 2012, resolved system flaw that caused spending limit failure|
|GREE monthly plans||As of February 28, 2013, resolved situation whereby it remained possible for underage users subscribing to GREE monthly plans to exceed the spending limits for minors|
3. Refunds of payments in excess of spending limits (as of March 11, 2013)
GREE has individually notified by email underage customers affected by the system failure, and is sequentially refunding customers following completion of the necessary application procedures.*
|Number of customers who have received refunds of payments in excess of spending limits||714|
|Total amount reimbursed to date||¥18,245,185|
To strengthen its compliance, in February 2013 GREE newly established a Compliance Department the aims of which are to bolster internal controls centering around adherence to laws and regulations and to corporate ethics, to reinforce awareness of compliance issues among management and employees, and to ensure thorough information disclosure in the event of a breach of laws and regulations or corporate ethics.
GREE will pursue further initiatives aimed at improving and maintaining the safety and security of the online environment it provides to its customers.
2. A monthly payment plan allowing customers to obtain a fixed monthly amount of virtual coins for use on GREE. By initially agreeing to the payment of a fixed monthly amount, customers receive bonus items and extra features in addition to a fixed amount of coins per month.
|Contact telephone number||GREE Coin Telephone Support
0120-266-016 (toll-free; accessible from mobile phones/PHS)
|Available hours||Weekdays: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sundays, public holidays: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
About GREE, Inc.
GREE is a global mobile social company with businesses that include social gaming, social media, advertising, licensing and merchandising, and venture capital. Established in December 2004, GREE operates one of Japan's largest social networking services, supporting 14 languages. GREE created the world’s first mobile social game in 2007 and today its mobile social gaming ecosystem reaches 169 countries and regions. GREE has offices in Tokyo, Osaka, San Francisco, London, Singapore, Seoul, Beijing, Amsterdam, Dubai, Sao Paulo, and Vancouver.