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  • 5-Year-Old Boy Generates $2500 in-app Purchase Bill In Under 15 Minutes


    One can only feel bad for the parents of a 5-year-old boy named Danny Kitchen in the U.K. after they had received a £1,700 ($2500) bill from iTunes in less than fifteen minutes; unintentionally, of course. According to SWNS, the boy had asked the parents to enter an iTunes password on the parents' iPad to download the free iOS game Zombies vs Ninja from the App Store.

    The game is indeed free, so when the parents checked to make sure it was free in the App Store, they thought nothing of it. In less than 15 minutes after the download, the 5-year-old boy had purchased so many of the in-app purchases, including weapons and power-ups, that the parents had ended up with a $2500 iTunes bill:

    Quote Originally Posted by SWNS
    Danny had bought tons of in-game weapons and keys on the iPad 3 including 12 purchases of ’333 keys’ at £69.99 a time and seven ’333 ecstasy bombs’ at £69.99. He also bought five lots of “9000 darts” each costing £69.99, five lots of ’4200 darts’ at £5.49 each and additional ecstasy bombs totaling £3.22.
    One could say that it’s the parents’ fault for not keeping an eye on the child, however the parents made sure to mention that because there were a lot of visitors in the house at the time, there was too much going on to pay attention to what the child was doing on the iPad. Some may also place blame on the developer of the application for the obviously over-priced in-app purchases.

    Perhaps next time the parents will take a little more caution before entering an iTunes password. Until then, the child is no longer allowed to use the parents’ iPad, and he is very sorry for the incident. Apple has refunded the family with all of the money that the child accidentally spent from the parents' wallets.

    Check out the video below:



    For a mobile-friendly video link that works with our app, tap on the video link below:

    YouTube Video

    In-app purchasable content is certainly becoming more popular. Free applications that offer in-app purchasable content is a good way for developers to get users to try games out and then end up tempted to purchase the in-game power-ups to avoid waiting a long time to earn them in the game. One such example is the freemium Real Racing 3 game, which is free and comes with many in-app purchases.

    Sources: SWNS via Macgasm
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 5-Year-Old Boy Generates $2500 in-app Purchase Bill In Under 15 Minutes started by Anthony Bouchard View original post
    Comments 57 Comments
    1. giorgos_rou's Avatar
      giorgos_rou -
      Quote Originally Posted by filsmith View Post
      i love that they dressed the little guy up in his suit while mommy wore her best carhartt hoodie. Classic.
      hahaha
    1. mustangfrnk's Avatar
      mustangfrnk -
      Again.....
      PARENTAL CONTROL.
      AND they pose for a picture, wow..
    1. midnyt's Avatar
      midnyt -
      The problem with making "Require Password - immediately" the default, is then you have everyone griping that they have to type in their password every time they want to download something. So, it's a case of d'ed if you do and d'ed if you don't. There is no way to make everyone happy. While I understand that many people buy the devices due to ease of use, why not take 5 minutes to learn a little something about the device before you hand it off to your 5 year old? Would you let your kids on you computer knowing your it had all your passwords saved and with 1-click purchasing turned on on all your favorite bookmarked websites? And I do see it at least partially as a parenting issue. My 5 y.o. daughter has been using my iOS devices since she was 2 and not once accidental purchase even with no restrictions on the device. Now that she's getting older and is permitted to use the device unsupervised more often, I have set her up with a separate account and restrictions. It only makes sense to.
    1. PokemonDesigner's Avatar
      PokemonDesigner -
      This is why people hate micro-transactions. They are HORRIBLY OVER PRICED! Devs need to make them cheaper. I don't believe I should pay (for example) 50$ for 1 character in the MLP app from GameLoft.
    1. szr's Avatar
      szr -
      Quote Originally Posted by midnyt View Post
      The problem with making "Require Password - immediately" the default, is then you have everyone griping that they have to type in their password every time they want to download something.
      As I said before, maybe a page should be taken from the book of web browsers, ask the user if they want to remember the password, allow them to select an amount of time, and make it VERY clear if the chosen settings allow In App Purchases and the highlight the potential risks. Or something along these lines.
    1. twitchee3's Avatar
      twitchee3 -
      Quote Originally Posted by midnyt View Post
      The problem with making "Require Password - immediately" the default, is then you have everyone griping that they have to type in their password every time they want to download something. So, it's a case of d'ed if you do and d'ed if you don't. There is no way to make everyone happy. While I understand that many people buy the devices due to ease of use, why not take 5 minutes to learn a little something about the device before you hand it off to your 5 year old? Would you let your kids on you computer knowing your it had all your passwords saved and with 1-click purchasing turned on on all your favorite bookmarked websites? And I do see it at least partially as a parenting issue. My 5 y.o. daughter has been using my iOS devices since she was 2 and not once accidental purchase even with no restrictions on the device. Now that she's getting older and is permitted to use the device unsupervised more often, I have set her up with a separate account and restrictions. It only makes sense to.
      I think the point here is that when determining the default password activity on idevices, Apple chose the route that is more profitable for them and dangerous for their users, rather than protecting the users their entire business model is supposed to be serving. Unfortunately, this is the corporate norm these days. Probably why corporations are more powerful than ever, and people know less and less about things that are actually a pretty integral part of their lives(every day technology, food, energy, etc.). Not a healthy situation for anyone in the long run, though I'm sure those massive corporate bonuses can blind those with the potential to change things for the time being...
    1. Jacobg013's Avatar
      Jacobg013 -
      The thing is if the AppStore required a password every time everyone would get pissed... Just mod it to where you can restrict in app purchases with an on and off button in settings
    1. Cokeman's Avatar
      Cokeman -
      Quote Originally Posted by reznor9 View Post
      Now I do not advocate ignoring your children. Who the heck would. But c'mon, you can't spend every waking moment with them. You guys ridicule parents when their kids do something foolish as if your so much better. As if your kids have never made a mistake. I'm sure you made mistakes when you were kids. Did you blame them on your parents?
      And also the whole kids shouldn't use iPads or smartphones argument? This is the year 2013. Times are changing and you have to keep up with technology and the world. That would be the equivalent 100 years ago of a bunch of people discussing how terrible it is that parents allow their children to sit around and read books. I'm glad my children know how to use computers, phones and tablets. It means they are adapting to the world we live in and won't be like my dad whom still can't figure out exactly how the DVR works. Maybe I'm bias because I've always been into tech, but aren't we all? Is t that why we are on this forum?
      Well said. My son did a in app purchase once. Was only a few dollars. I tried getting a refund from apple. I got a flat no. What irritated me was I had in app purchases disabled. I made a trip to the Apple store, I showed them that I had it blocked. Made a purchase and it charged me. Never got a refund for the purchases, but the Apple store gave me a 50.00 gift card for my troubles. They then did a full restore on my sons iPod, never had another problem.
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      My sister in-laws kid ran up several hundred dollars in a day like this. If your going to give a small child a powerful device such as a smart phone or tablet know how to safe guard it.
    1. Donnutt's Avatar
      Donnutt -
      Quote Originally Posted by xhazex9x View Post
      Hahahhaha dumbasses
      People on this site are mean!

      It was an honest mistake, one any of you could easily make too. So where do you get off calling people names? Your posts added zero value to mine or anyone else's experience.
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      Quote Originally Posted by luvmytj View Post
      My sister in-laws kid ran up several hundred dollars in a day like this. If your going to give a small child a powerful device such as a smart phone or tablet know how to safe guard it.
      It's easier to blame 'the man'/'the system'/society.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by Norb View Post
      It's easier to blame 'the man'/'the system'/society.
      and why shouldn't people blame the system, when it is so messed up.

      Lets make it so nothing is plain and simple, lets mislead/confuse customers into spending money they don't want to spend on shite, in apps/games, make it so they have to opt out, not opt in, make them pay when it was unintentional and/or didn't even know they'ed accumulated charges, for these reasons said people don't deserve to be charged but we will because, hey WE! screwed them for all they have and who gives a ****, because people will be on our side saying that they don't deserve a refund

      Edit: and also put the opt out toggle in a awkward place,

      for those that don't know go here:

      Settings.app - General - Restrictions - In-App Purchases(toggle On/Off)

      You can make it require the password Immediately:

      Settings.app - General - Restrictions - Require Password - Immediately or 15 minutes(selection)

      it should be under the iTunes & App Stores heading but it isn't, it also should be off by default
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      I'm not even saying that Apple should not make it clearer but really before handing your kid a $600 'toy', you might want to educate him and yourself.
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      Quote Originally Posted by Norb View Post
      I'm not even saying that Apple should not make it clearer but really before handing your kid a $600 'toy', you might want to educate him and yourself.
      agreed, cheeper to buy a games console, than give them a piece of kit that, thats rigged to take your money
    1. Flid's Avatar
      Flid -
      Quote Originally Posted by FilSmith View Post
      Yeah, I can see in the video that his little uniform has a badge and it's a uniform. He still has on a tie, etc. Mom still wore a Carhartt hoodie for her big picture. What's your point? I made mine.



      Then you'd be as foolish as he was. School uniform/suit. What's the difference? He's dressed with a tie and his mom has on a Carhartt hoodie.

      Oh...I'm sorry.....Does your mom have a Carhartt hoodie too? Oh my....
      The point has already been made, but I feel compelled to reiterate. You are being a judgemental douche.
      You didn't make a point. You made an incorrect criticism, that was rightly corrected, and then you went on the offensive again, despite being wrong. The kid is wearing his school uniform, the one that he HAS to wear to school, including the tie. It is not a suit. They have not specially dressed him for the occasion. The mother is wearing a hoodie. You say this as a criticism? Why? I'm well in to my 30s, have a "professional" consultancy job, drive an "executive" car, own two properties, pay my taxes and pay for my jailbreak tweaks... and I wear a hoodie, regularly. Admittedly, I don't know if my owns Mom wears a Carhartt hoodie, I don't live with her.

      Flame-bating aside... have Apple changed something in the way In-App purchasing is done, or even standard App purchasing? I'm pretty sure you used to be able to download free apps with your iTunes password, but then you would have been asked again if you needed to actually "pay" for an item. This clearly isn't the case any more, and I for one, have now hunted down the Restrictions settings and disabled In-App Purchases and set Require Password to immediately before my daughter discovers the app store.
    1. TBEUTYL's Avatar
      TBEUTYL -
      Managing in app purchases can indeed be a massive problem.

      We are developing a solution: a safe, easy-to-use wish list for virtual goods, providing parents and grandparents a way to connect with young gamers.

      Players of mobile/tablet games can add in-game items they want to a list. Family members can gift the selected goods as a way to celebrate, reward good behavior, or simply say “you’re awesome”.

      We are in the early stages of our development - let us know what you think!
    1. dsg's Avatar
      dsg -
      sounds like a better idea than this current set up, which is just a plain money grabbing exercise