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07-22-2013, 12:35 PM #1
Apple Refunds the Accidental $6k iTunes Bill of an Eight-year Old
It seems that in-app purchases are quickly becomming more of a hassle than they’re worth. Already we have seen two different accounts of major accidental in-app purchases ranging in the thousands of dollars (1), (2) and the stories just keep rolling in. It seems almost as though numerous parents are learning nothing when Apple issues statements about turning on restriction features in iOS to prevent such mishaps.
The latest story comes from an eight-year old U.K. daughter that knew the iTunes password to her father's iPad and purchased way too many in-app purchases from the free My Horse game for the iPad. According to the report, the daughter managed to purchase nearly $6100 in add-ons over a five-month period. The 43-year old father, Lee Neale, never even knew it was happening until he was locked out of his bank account due to the lack of available funds.
To make things worse, all of the receipts that Apple would normally send via e-mail were being sent to work e-mail that the father supposedly didn’t have access to at the time of the incident. The bank had never notified Neale of the frivolous spending either, so as one could imagine, the rather large sums of disappearing money may have been the main cause for alarm.
Neale tried the only thing he could do and called Apple to try and get a refund. Apple reportedly dismissed the father saying there was nothing they could do about the situation, and understandably, Neale was upset:
Lily is only eight and hasn't grasped the concept of money. She probably wouldn't know how much a bag of crisps costs.
I was very surprised how dismissive Apple were. This was an eight-year-old girl. Basically iTunes have told me categorically that I won't be getting my money back. I am also disappointed that my bank didn't alert me to what was going on.
Apple called me to say they will be refunding the money I have lost and apologised for closing my case so early. It really has saved my bacon.
Notably, Apple has been taking steps to help make app-buyers more aware that applications will include in-app purchases before the user has a chance to download the application.
Sources: The Inquirer via Cult of Mac
07-22-2013, 12:41 PM #2
Dumb fu**ing parents giving their kids iPhones. My 2 year old nephew understands what iap is on a damn ipad! Come on people.
07-22-2013, 12:59 PM #3
My 4 yr old has my old iPhone 4.... And it has restrictions on in-app purchases, plus I keep an eye on what he's doing. I must be doing something wrong
07-22-2013, 01:34 PM #4
Why do people let children use a several hundred dollar device to begin with. In my honest opinion I don't think anyone under the age of 16 should have a smart phone, under 14 for laptops and tablets, and under 10 for music devices like iPod touches. That's just my opinion and that is how the devices were originally made and should be used.
07-22-2013, 01:38 PM #5
So, if my 8 year old gets my phone I'm not responsible for the charges?
Under this logic let's go to Walmart and feed our kids in the store with food we don't pay for. Then when we get caught point out the fact that we clearly weren't paying attention to them and therefore are not responsible for the food.
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07-22-2013, 01:51 PM #6
07-22-2013, 02:28 PM #7
Typical, he doesn't have enough brains to look at his bank account and yet he is still legally allowed to have children!
07-22-2013, 02:50 PM #8
07-22-2013, 04:11 PM #9
With console gaming you may buy a physical game you did not buy it for the disk; it was the "no real cost" digital content that you bought.
Aside from the value or the type of goods is the lack of personal responsibility for actions. This is just another situation where someone can have a good enough excuse to be free of fault. It seems more and more we can get away with anything.
Last edited by REMED1AL; 07-22-2013 at 04:14 PM.
07-22-2013, 04:12 PM #10
This has nothing to do with stupid parents. This is deceptive marketing by developers at its worst. Apple knows this and Apple should be the one to rectify this. There is no reason a casual game should have options to purchase coin packages for $99, yet there are literally thousands upon thousands of games out there that have this. There are triple A console games for Xbox and PS3 that cost developers over a hundred million dollars to develop and market, yet they never cost more than $60 dollars. How then can these casual pocket games cost so much money to play? These games are designed to scam people out of their money and only by contacting the media is that becoming evident. This unfortunate situation would never have been resolved if this father hadn't gone to the media. If Apple were serious about fixing the situation they would put a lifetime maximum on the amount developers could charge for in-app purchases over the lifetime of a particular app. Users should demand this of Apple and developers. How can you people just sit back and call these people idiots? Do you honestly think having the ability to spend $6100 on a mobile pony game is reasonable? Forget poor parenting and all that jazz, this never should have made it through the appstore approval process in the first place. It's all a scam!
07-22-2013, 04:45 PM #11
This is complete ********. The parents need to be held responsible for what their child is doing. How do we know these people aren't actually doing it themselves & blaming the child. If you are dumb enough to hand a devices over, with a credit card attached to your account, you deserve what happens.
This has everything to do with parents not using their brain. It's called parental control turn off in-app purchases. Remove CC from iTunes account.
07-22-2013, 04:53 PM #12
07-22-2013, 05:42 PM #13
While to most we can easily see this is silly and paying hundreds for simple phone games is ridiculous there are more people doing this with full acknowledgment of it than kids accidentally charging to their parents accounts. In these cases were not to judge what others choose to spend their money on.
07-22-2013, 05:48 PM #14
07-22-2013, 08:28 PM #15
I'm amazed you people honestly think it's the parents fault. You people honestly believe every single parent buying an Apple device understands the risk of supposedly free apps hiding the ability to charge their credit cards thousands of dollars? Suddenly everyone is an expert on how to access and use all the settings on their device? None of you have friends and family members that ask you for help using the phone or ipad? Everyone, every single human being buying one of these devices, knows about setting the purchasing controls? Did they explain this to you when you bought the device? I buy all of my iDevices from Apple's retail stores and never did they mention purchase controls. How then are parents to know about this? Parent's aren't to blame. Developers are counting on this kind of trickery to make a quick buck, that's why they have switched to "freemium" models in droves. Wake up people!!!!
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07-22-2013, 10:51 PM #16
07-23-2013, 05:29 AM #17
I feel that both parties are partially at fault. As mentioned already, most "free" apps aren't free anymore. Developers are getting smarter about where to place IAPs. As for the parent, why the heck does the kid have his password? That's just insane. The only thing I can think of is he was too lazy to enter it himself when the kid is trying to download those "free" games.
07-23-2013, 05:31 AM #18
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07-23-2013, 07:03 AM #19
07-23-2013, 07:20 AM #20
And I guess it's Apple's fault that a grown-*** man buys their product and doesn't understand the mechanics of how to use it? Dad's not getting a pass because he's a dimwit that doesn't understand that before handing a child a device that I'm SURE he's made purchases on himself, he might wanna lock down the IAPs capability.
If I were Apple I would have told this fool to sod off...as well as the rest of these "parents" who have no idea that part of the job involves su-per-vis-ion
Last edited by RoloDiva13; 07-23-2013 at 07:25 AM.