It has recently been brought to light that dozens of people have filed formal complaints with the Federal Trade Commission in regards to Pokemon Go, which includes one person who stated that they nearly killed a child with their car because of the game.
Records recently obtained by Polygon’s Freedom of Information Act request show that there have been 72 complaints filed with FTC about Pokemon Go since its record-setting release in July. Fifty-six of these were directed specifically at developer Niantic, with most of the rest pointed towards Nintendo and/or The Pokemon Company.
According to Polygon, the majority of the complaints have to do with Pokemon Go’s microtransactions. One individual said they spent nearly $450 on the game, but then lost access to their account after Niantic started banning people who took advantage of third-party apps that let players track Pokemon.
“I had my account taken away from me without any warning or contact from Niantic. I have emailed them and sent in an appeal form against my ban,” the player said. “I would like to have all my money that I spent on their game refunded or my account returned to me so i can continue to play their game.”
Other complaints were directed towards Pokemon Go Gyms and PokeStops in places such as a hospital, where one person said players would come in and ask to enter private areas to find the creatures. Another person declared that Pokemon Go should be recalled for safety concerns, citing an example of nearly killing a child who was apparently distracted by Pokemon Go and ventured into the road.
“I almost killed a child today who was riding his bike and veered into the roadway holding his cell phone up,” stated another individual in their complaint. “I have many friends and family member who report similar instances and I see on the news it is possible a death occurred due to this game and countless injuries and even attacks on those not paying attention to their surroundings. This has to be one of the most unsafe products out!”
Multiple people have died in Japan in allegedly distracted driving cases connected to Pokemon Go. You can check out Polygon to see the full document that outlines the Pokemon Go complaints sent in to the FTC.
Anyone can file a formal complaint with the FTC at its website. Seeing as that Pokemon Go has reached approximately 500 million downloads, 72 complaints actually seems like a relatively low number. Whether or not the FTC announces any measures against Niantic about Pokemon Go remains to be seen, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated.
In August, a metro Detroit couple filed a class-action lawsuit against Niantic over Pokemon Go. They are trying to stop Niantic from putting Pokemon on or near private properties, unless it has an owner’s consent. They are also requesting that Niantic give a portion of Pokemon Go’s revenue to residents whose properties are claimed to have fueled the game’s wild popularity & success.
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