Jump to content



Photo

Boy runs up enormous iTune bill in minutes

england zombies vs ninja app purchases ipad apple lawsuit

  • Please log in to reply
84 replies to this topic

#1 Hum

Hum

    totally wAcKed

  • 60,780 posts
  • Joined: 05-October 03
  • Location: Odder Space
  • OS: Windows XP, 7

Posted 02 March 2013 - 00:57

A five-year-old boy who racked up a £1,700 (about $2200) bill in just a few minutes on his parents' iPad has said he has learned his lesson.

Danny Kitchen innocently ran up the debt by playing a game which automatically billed his parents’ iTunes account as he progressed.

His parents, Greg and Sharon, provided the schoolboy with a password for the game after he told them it was a free download.

Despite having several emails from iTunes the next day itemising the successive £69.99 payments Danny incurred, the Kitchens dismissed them as simply an error - until a call from their credit card company made them realise what had happened.

Mrs Kitchen, from Bristol, told the BBC: "We were pretty distracted on Sunday with it being a family day. He'd asked my husband if he could have the passcode for a free download. My husband said no and he (Danny) insisted. He said 'Please, Dad, it's only a free one'.

"My husband put the iPad close to his chest, put the code in and gave him back the iPad. He continued to play for about 10 or 15 minutes because shortly after that we were due to go out so it wasn't a long period of time he was playing.

"At 6am on Monday I checked my emails and I saw the repetitive emails coming through from iTunes. The first three were £69.99. It all looked like it was the same thing, I presumed it was a mistake.

"It was only when the credit card company called to say were these 19 transactions normal? I said 'No, it's not'."

She added: "He (Danny) was very upset when he realised what he had done. His brothers and sisters were telling him off, but of course he didn't know what he did - he's only five. To be honest, I'm not sure how he did it."

Mrs Kitchen said Apple, the company which owns and runs iTunes, had been "fantastic" in helping them get a refund for the money.

Describing how he came to rack up the eye-watering bill, Danny said: "I just clicked on it because it said it was free. I gave it (the iPad) to Dad, he put the password in, and the next day it cost the money."

Asked what he had learned from the saga, Danny replied: "Not to do it again."

But it does not appear he will get the chance.

His father said: "I have now barred the iPad from any more downloads, so that's the end of that."

Martyn Landi, writer with British-based Apps magazine, said parents concerned about their children running up similar bills should turn off "in-app purchases" on the iPad's settings tab.

He added: "iPads are no longer a luxury within the home, they are a regular part of it. Children are becoming more tech-savvy and are attracted to the games on them.

"We are hearing stories like this all the time so credit to Apple for paying the money back. But it is a risky strategy for parents to simply think they can claim the money back if all goes wrong. A few seconds spent checking these things can save a lot of money and stress in the long run."

Apple has agreed to give more than $100 million (£66m) in iTunes store credits to settle a lawsuit by parents in the US who complained about big bills run up by children using iOS devices.

source

video


#2 Javik

Javik

    Beware the tyrrany of those that wield power

  • 5,637 posts
  • Joined: 21-May 12

Posted 02 March 2013 - 00:59

I heard Apple refunded the money, a pretty rare move of kindness from them. To be frank I don't even think they needed to, the parents should have been more careful.

#3 ThreadAbort

ThreadAbort

    Neowinian

  • 72 posts
  • Joined: 04-October 12
  • Location: Chesapeake, VA
  • OS: Windows 8
  • Phone: Windows Phone 8 - Nokia Lumia 920

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:01

Since I don't have iTunes, do they have limits to what you can charge built in? I would think this would be great for parents.

#4 OP Hum

Hum

    totally wAcKed

  • 60,780 posts
  • Joined: 05-October 03
  • Location: Odder Space
  • OS: Windows XP, 7

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:05

Why are you letting a 5 year-old on a computer ... :laugh:

#5 -Razorfold

-Razorfold

    Neowinian Senior

  • 9,294 posts
  • Joined: 16-March 06
  • OS: Windows 8
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 900

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:11

To be frank I don't even think they needed to, the parents should have been more careful.

Yes they should have but $105 for (automatic) in-app purchases to progress in a game? It's clear the developers did it as a way to rip people off or people who don't read the information properly. A brand new PC/PS3/360/Wii game costs like $60...and this iPad game racked up $2200 in 15mins?

Wish they mentioned what game this was.

#6 jwjw1

jwjw1

    Neowinian

  • 4,414 posts
  • Joined: 03-December 01

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:13

A five-year-old boy who racked up a £1,700 (about $2200) bill in just a few minutes on his parents' iPad has said he has learned his lesson.

.....lets hope the real people learned the lesson....the 'Parents'.....and be greatful the boy didn't ask the 'pre-occupied' parents for a free kitchen knife.... :laugh:

#7 +_Alexander

_Alexander

    Neowinian

  • 781 posts
  • Joined: 21-January 13

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:16

Seems like there are a lot of scam applications on apple devices - £69.99 for progressing in a video game!?

#8 AlexMagik

AlexMagik

    Over the Top

  • 501 posts
  • Joined: 09-October 03
  • Location: China
  • OS: MacOS X

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:24

parents should have enable restrictions, that will make any in-app purchase to require a password. by default there is only a ok/cancel button to confirm the purchase...

#9 episode

episode

    Neowinian Fanatic

  • 6,528 posts
  • Joined: 11-December 01

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:27

Since I don't have iTunes, do they have limits to what you can charge built in? I would think this would be great for parents.


Yes. This used to be a problem way back in iOS3 or so, but since then they've made entering the password for in-app purchases required. The father had to enter the password at least twice for this to happen.

#10 OP Hum

Hum

    totally wAcKed

  • 60,780 posts
  • Joined: 05-October 03
  • Location: Odder Space
  • OS: Windows XP, 7

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:43

Wish they mentioned what game this was.


Zombies vs Ninja

http://screen.yahoo....-232010577.html

#11 +techbeck

techbeck

    Neowinian Senior

  • 16,676 posts
  • Joined: 20-January 05

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:51

Ok, if I get an email and its from a valid source saying I owe money, I would be calling right away to make sure it was a mistake. The guy wasnt very bright for not calling as soon as he saw the emails.

#12 theyarecomingforyou

theyarecomingforyou

    Tiger Trainer

  • 15,423 posts
  • Joined: 07-August 03
  • Location: Terra Prime Profession: Jaded Sceptic
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Galaxy Note 3 with Galaxy Gear

Posted 02 March 2013 - 01:53

The sort of predatory business practices being employed by these apps developers are completely immoral and should be banned. They are not legitimate products; they are designed entirely to exploit users, particularly children.

#13 Javik

Javik

    Beware the tyrrany of those that wield power

  • 5,637 posts
  • Joined: 21-May 12

Posted 02 March 2013 - 02:30

Yes they should have but $105 for (automatic) in-app purchases to progress in a game? It's clear the developers did it as a way to rip people off or people who don't read the information properly. A brand new PC/PS3/360/Wii game costs like $60...and this iPad game racked up $2200 in 15mins?

Wish they mentioned what game this was.


I actually agree, it's clear the developers are also trying to rip their players off as well. Perhaps Apple need to start examining in app purchasing systems in a bit more detail before apps get approved.

#14 MightyJordan

MightyJordan

    Cesaro Section

  • 14,918 posts
  • Joined: 15-January 06
  • Location: Plymouth, England
  • OS: Windows 8.1 Pro x64
  • Phone: Google Nexus 5 32GB

Posted 02 March 2013 - 02:48

God, I hate when these stories pop up. Parents need to know that an iPad (or any other tablet or phone) is not a babysitter. And if you plan to let your kid use them, for the love of Darwin, turn on the parental controls! They're there to stop incidents like this from happening! They should consider themselves lucky Apple refunded them, so they haven't been punished for their stupidity.

#15 theyarecomingforyou

theyarecomingforyou

    Tiger Trainer

  • 15,423 posts
  • Joined: 07-August 03
  • Location: Terra Prime Profession: Jaded Sceptic
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Galaxy Note 3 with Galaxy Gear

Posted 02 March 2013 - 03:09

God, I hate when these stories pop up. Parents need to know that an iPad (or any other tablet or phone) is not a babysitter. And if you plan to let your kid use them, for the love of Darwin, turn on the parental controls! They're there to stop incidents like this from happening! They should consider themselves lucky Apple refunded them, so they haven't been punished for their stupidity.


Parental oversight should play a role but that doesn't excuse predatory and immoral business practices. Apple should be taking a hard stance on charges like this, as it is completely unreasonable for in-app charges to amount to huge amounts more than the price of a second hand car in such a short amount of time without the explicit consent of the account holder. When you're talking about thousands of pounds in charges for trivial in-game items there should be a cooling-off period to ensure that users are not falling victim to deceptive business practices.

I was astonished by the price of some in-game items in "free" games on the Android market, with bundles being offered for in-game credits costing as much as £70. We're not talking about apps targeting at affluent individuals; we're talking about games aimed at kids, where items are locked out if you don't buy such credits. They shouldn't consider themselves lucky that Apple refunded the money; the app developer should consider themselves lucky that they're not being sued.



Click here to login or here to register to remove this ad, it's free!