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Old 03-01-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
WT Sharpe
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5-year-old spendthrift + 5minutes in app store = $2500 bill for mom & dad

Here's one for the books. A five-year-old kid runs up a $2,500 app bill in five minutes on his parent's credit in Apples app store.

http://www.businessinsider.com/5-yea...minutes-2013-3
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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That's nothing. The average spoiled child will run up a $750,000 bill from birth until age 22, with the end result being a liberal arts degree with no good job prospects, and an average to below average SAT score. To the child's mom and dad: welcome to parenthood.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:46 PM   #3
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Danny Kitchen asked for the passcode for the device so that he could download a game, Zombie v Ninja, from the Apple store. But after downloading the free app Danny found his way into the game's online store and innocently ordered dozens of costly add-ons - totaling £1,710.43.
Why would you give a 5 year old your Apple ID password instead of downloading the app for him?
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #4
WT Sharpe
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That is rather nutty behavior. I don't even give my grandson the Kindle Fire password, and he's a very responsible teenager.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
QuantumIguana
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I think the password was to unlock the iPad. The problem was that they hadn't set up a password for purchases. It used to be that kids couldn't spend money unless you gave them money. Technology makes it so easy to spend money that people haven't fully adapted to it yet.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by QuantumIguana View Post
I think the password was to unlock the iPad. The problem was that they hadn't set up a password for purchases. It used to be that kids couldn't spend money unless you gave them money. Technology makes it so easy to spend money that people haven't fully adapted to it yet.
My iDevices all had the password for in-app purchases requirement turned on by default, nothing had to be set up. It's not a separate pin or anything, but my Apple ID password.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:13 PM   #7
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Yikes! I guess I better start being more vigilant. My 21 month old has already figured out how use my cell phone to call Gramma and Grampa, and to use the netflix app to stream Dinosaur Train.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:55 PM   #8
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I've seen this sort of thing before. I guess it's okay if the game is targeting adults since they are aware of the value of money (and will pay the consequences if they aren't aware of the value of the money). But the developers should be held liable when the game targets a younger audience or tries to hide the cost of the add-ons. The former is exploitation, plain and simple. The latter is just a modern form of fraud.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:27 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
My iDevices all had the password for in-app purchases requirement turned on by default, nothing had to be set up. It's not a separate pin or anything, but my Apple ID password.
It says that someone had just put in the password to purchase the "free" app, and once you put in the password you don't have to enter it again for 15 minutes. In 10 minutes from the time the "free" app was purchased, he accidentally bought that many add-ons to the app.
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:30 PM   #10
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Credit to Apple though for agreeing to refund the money.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:20 PM   #11
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In app purchases games can be dangerous. I've seen my hubby spend $250 on one only to lose interest in it. Ridiculous!
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:58 PM   #12
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That's nothing. The average spoiled child will run up a $750,000 bill from birth until age 22, with the end result being a liberal arts degree with no good job prospects, and an average to below average SAT score. To the child's mom and dad: welcome to parenthood.
Careful about saying nasty things about liberal arts degrees. They weren't useless until Enron folded. And we can say we actually got an education instead of just a certificate of training.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by WT Sharpe View Post
Here's one for the books. A five-year-old kid runs up a $2,500 app bill in five minutes on his parent's credit in Apples app store.

http://www.businessinsider.com/5-yea...minutes-2013-3
Apple had gotten into trouble with their "ORIGINAL" iTunes password system and Apps suckering children into expensive add ons. The Justice Dept looked into it.
It was supposed to have been straightened out.

But if people are careless with their passwords ???

I do believe that the credit card protections would have worked here if Apple hadn't been nice.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:08 PM   #14
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In 10 minutes from the time the "free" app was purchased, he accidentally bought that many add-ons to the app.

Are you really sure it was an accident?
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Danny had bought dozens 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 totalling £3.22.
I think what we have here an unusually precocious five year old.

Having to give a refund for something like this is just a cost of doing business for Apple.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:44 AM   #15
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Steve: It was "accidental" in that he likely didn't know he was spending real money to acquire the items. Too many games on the app store make it less than obvious that real money is involved and if you're in the window of just having entered your password (which most people are when they download a free app to let their kid play for a few minutes) the costs will quickly mount up.

It might be that where you spend coins earned in the game to buy new ammo/weapons there's an extra button that lets the player seemingly get them without needing any coins. Little do they realise their parents are footing the bill.

Apple in one of the more recent updates (last year?) added a way to turn off in app purchases totally or to require you enter your password for every purchase. Those should imo be defaults. Safe by default and let the user loosen up restrictions if they want.

However, if they persist with the current defaults then they should imo refund anyone who has this occur at least the first time it happens. Provide them with instructions on how to turn in app off or have it always ask for a password, then if it happens again they can be less generous with refunds. Although I'd hope they'd still see sense when someone runs up a totally insane bill especially when we're talking about virtual items where there should be no end cost to apple or the developer for giving the refund (although apple may be less than nice and still keep their 30% which would be at the developers expense and a little nasty imo. I hope they only enforce that for developers who are malicious or have deliberately mislead players)

For what it's worth, I'm sure we've been saying this exact thing was bound to happen shortly after apple added iap to the device. I expect the same will occur with kindles when parents let their kids read a book on it and don't notice they've found their way into the store and are "exploring" all the books on it. Although IAP on the iPhone/iPad is much more likely to have it occur due to the way everything is setup. Still Amazon should provide a pin or pass option you can enable to prevent buying without your consent, regardless of how good they are with refunds.

Last edited by JoeD; 03-02-2013 at 09:48 AM.
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