Child spends $16K on iPad game in-app purchases

124

Comments

  • Reply 61 of 100
    Apple should absolutely not do anything about this. It’s the mother’s fault. While I can see some of the “older generations” who didn’t grow up with technology should maybe be helped more—babysitting every adult who refuses to pay attention to their child isn’t Apple’s job. 

    These comments remind me of how parents think schools are supposed to teach their children everything.
    So, how many times have you read the EULA of the software you've installed?  Do you know what you agreed to?  I assume you're EXPLICITLY aware of everything you've said yes to, right?  A 6 year old shouldn't be penalized, and through him his parents.  This is a failure of apple and it's safeguards.  The account should have been locked.  If software purchases went from almost nothing to 2k in a month there's a good chance something is going on.  Credit cards will lock you out because they're on the hook if there's any fraud.  Apple just says not my problem, and leave this hole open because they profit from it.
    muthuk_vanalingamglnf
  • Reply 62 of 100
    maccrazymaccrazy Posts: 2,658member
    I'm shocked at the lack of empathy and compassion from the commenters on this story. 

    It's 2020, the majority of parents are using anything at their disposal to entertain/occupy their kids so they can get some work done during the pandemic.

    The in-app gaming revenue model is totally predatory and should really be banned. It also makes for terrible games. 

    It shouldn't be possible to spend that much money on in-app purchases for one game. If Apple are not going to ban it then at least set a reasonable cap. 
    edited December 2020 ITGUYINSDmuthuk_vanalingamglnf
  • Reply 63 of 100
    enterpol said:
    Apple should absolutely not do anything about this. It’s the mother’s fault. While I can see some of the “older generations” who didn’t grow up with technology should maybe be helped more—babysitting every adult who refuses to pay attention to their child isn’t Apple’s job. 

    These comments remind me of how parents think schools are supposed to teach their children everything.
    So, how many times have you read the EULA of the software you've installed?  Do you know what you agreed to?  I assume you're EXPLICITLY aware of everything you've said yes to, right?  A 6 year old shouldn't be penalized, and through him his parents.  This is a failure of apple and it's safeguards.  The account should have been locked.  If software purchases went from almost nothing to 2k in a month there's a good chance something is going on.  Credit cards will lock you out because they're on the hook if there's any fraud.  Apple just says not my problem, and leave this hole open because they profit from it.
    This was done over months. This wasn’t fraud. It was over 60 days before they contacted Apple. There is a limit on how much time people get to refute charges. Apple is very good about refunding charges. Apple has settings to prevent this from ever happening. You can disable in app purchases. 

    Here is the funny thing. If Apple is forced to allow other app stores, how can Apple prevent this at all?! EPIC has this same model for apps. $20 for a an outfit in a game? You all saying Apple should prevent this, well look to the future of this happening more. 
  • Reply 64 of 100
    You can't fix stupid  the parents should have used every filter to prevent the charges  the filters are there for a reason  Apple has the filters  why didn't the mom use the filters. The mom could have set time limits what parent will let it go on for months. It time parents  be educated on filter usage 

    edited December 2020
  • Reply 65 of 100
    There is no way her excuse flys in this day and age.  I have 3 kids and even my Mother knows about the parental lock outs. She was being purposely ignorant. 
  • Reply 66 of 100
    Jeesh, you tech people are harsh, and apparently none of these commenters are parents or have ever cared for anyone other than themselves.  It may be the parents' "fault", _technically_, in the sense that they may have made a mistake, unwittingly, not adjusting the settings or spotting notifications amongst the hundreds we all see every day, most of which mean nothing.  That does not give Apple and the gaming companies, worth hundreds of billions of dollars, any moral standing not to have an OUNCE of empathy for an obviously beleaguered parent, and simply void these purchases and refund the money.  Doing anything else would be heartless and unnecessarily predatory.  The worst-possible morally justifiable consequence for this would be cutting off the customer's future purchases.  Parenting is hard, VERY hard, and only gets harder; these mega-wealthy corporations have no business piling on to that.  

    No games aimed at children should be allowed to rack up charges more than a few dollars a month.  Anything more than that simply means there was some lapse of supervision, and it may have been accidental.  
    MplsPmuthuk_vanalingamglnf
  • Reply 67 of 100
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,259member
    Apple should absolutely not do anything about this. It’s the mother’s fault. While I can see some of the “older generations” who didn’t grow up with technology should maybe be helped more—babysitting every adult who refuses to pay attention to their child isn’t Apple’s job. 

    These comments remind me of how parents think schools are supposed to teach their children everything.
    I think you contradicted yourself, but in a meaningful way. I do agree that this is the mother’s fault per the current rules of the game and terms of the contract, but you brought up the possibility of people being “helped more.” That’s insightful. If we’re going to talk about “helping more” then perhaps Apple is in a good position to take the lead on that. 

    If you go into Settings on your device you’ll see that Apple provides a nice little summary page with your picture, the logged in AppleID, and links to a bunch of other data concerning your Apple account. What if Apple put a number, let’s call it “Current Balance” or “Monthly Charges” right there at the top of the first info page, right next to your picture and obvious as ever? That would be a small step towards having visibility into what you currently owe Apple, like an odometer. Perhaps even allow the account owner to have this same current balance information pushed into a widget that is prominently displayed on their other Apple devices like iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch. This won’t solve every problem, but it may be a small step towards “helping more” and trying to keep more people from hurting themselves.

    At the end of the day, these kind of measures are often about finding ways to keep people from hurting themselves because people are inclined to do stupid things at different times, for any number of reasons. We all do it, and we hopefully learn from our mistakes. There are rarely any “mistake proofing” techniques that work in every possible case, but we should keep on trying to “help more.” Parents still leave their kids strapped in the back of their SUVs in blistering hot weather, with devastating results. If technology can try to help in some way, why not give it a shot? This mother’s loss of sixteen thousand dollars is a bitter lesson for her lack of diligence, but if we can also learn something from her mistake and other mistakes, and apply technology and mistake proofing techniques (Poka-yoke) to help others avoid making similar mistakes, at least something good can actually come from it and her mistake was not in vain.
    edited December 2020 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 68 of 100
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Apple supposedly curate the app store.  How about they curate this shitty developer behaviour off their platform?  Apple's own IAP system enabled it, and opened the floodgates to all this nonsense, but does anyone using iOS like the pay for play model?  It is acceptable for games to be paid up front, have reasonable cosmetic IAPs, or work on a subscription model, but pay for play is just gross.  Kill it at source. 
    muthuk_vanalingamglnfmattinoz
  • Reply 69 of 100
     I will say this, I love apple snd have everything apple but their customer service and refund policy has gotten ridiculous. I was charged $75 for an app that I canceled before the trail was up and they still chose to refuse the refund. When I finally took it to my bank apple gave me the refund and a couple days later they reversed the refund and charged it again. Smh!! 
  • Reply 70 of 100
    You don’t know what you don’t know. Parents don’t always have the time or insight to protect from this to happen.
    Let’s not forget that this mother is not the typical AppleInsider visitor. Completely different end-user.

    Apple should repay all the money out of decency & demand she takes precautions moving forward, or she should sue them and demand framework that better protects parents from misuse by children.
    The system should be designed “in reverse”; aka restrict at first and opt-in to remove these restrictions, so it’s a deliberate choice by the parent. Also much easier to defend legally for Apple. 

    Ps: This is yet an example of how the mobile games industry has been raped by Apple. The whole race-to-the-bottom “pay to win” approach is their fault. As a developer you stand no chance selling a game for even the cost of a cheap beer nowadays. You need to lure kids into spending virtual currency.
    edited December 2020 glnf
  • Reply 71 of 100
    This is why I don't buy or use Apple phones or tablets. Taylor you into fall security and make you use a credit card in order to use your products. They make you a slave to their music with their iPhone app. Leaving you no freedom. Small children don't understand what they are doing on a tablet they just know that they push a button and get more of what they want they have no concept of money or understanding what a PC is capable of doing or charging you. And for Apple to keep on letting this happen it's just irresponsible on their side. People just put on a game and hand it to their children they don't understand that the trappings these apps have but the app companies know that this kind of problems is possible and make money off of it. So save on Apple. As soon as you let go of your credit card information, this becomes one of the biggest issues and why they request your credit card before you even or let on any of their apps. So shame on Apple because they know that this happens on a day-to-day basis and they know this is what are their big money makers. 
  • Reply 72 of 100
    If the bank really thought they were fraudulent charges wouldn't they freeze her card?
    Dogperson
  • Reply 73 of 100
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,259member
    crowley said:
    Apple supposedly curate the app store.  How about they curate this shitty developer behaviour off their platform?  Apple's own IAP system enabled it, and opened the floodgates to all this nonsense, but does anyone using iOS like the pay for play model?  It is acceptable for games to be paid up front, have reasonable cosmetic IAPs, or work on a subscription model, but pay for play is just gross.  Kill it at source. 
    Yeah, I get it, you get it, but as soon as they do that they'll have yet another developer squealing like a stuck pig and the "monopoly" chants will only increase in volume. 

    Face it, there is nothing that Apple do that will please everyone. If they put more safeguards in place, which is reasonable in my opinion, someone is going to accuse them of turning their platforms into a Nanny State, especially those developers who engage in IAP mechanisms that exploit impulse purchases. 

    The bottom line is that Apple, or any other platform owner, can only do so much to protect you (as in a generic you - not the Crowley quoted "you") from yourself. You owe it to yourself to bear responsibility for your actions and to learn from your mistakes. If you make a mistake, or if you lose, admitting your mistakes and own your losses. Otherwise you'll never learn from them and your mistakes blossom into full blown, and oftentimes infectious, failures. The constant and unrelenting effort to pass along blame, shirk responsibility, and not own your mistakes leads to moral bankruptcy, whose unit of currency is based on the lies standard. The most valuable denominations of lie-based currency are the ones that absolve us from owning our own mistakes and blaming our failures on others. If there was a Dow Jones type index for Lie Currency, it would easily be in six figures with massive growth potential.
    Fidonet127
  • Reply 74 of 100
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 578member
    Why did the mother turn off the requirement fir a password? The son is a tool and the parent is 100% irresponsible. 
  • Reply 75 of 100
    Marvin said:
    I think the mother should petition Tim Apple to gift her the money lost back from his personal account in the spirit of Christmas. He should empathize with her for this unfortunate technology related mistake which has really put her in dire straights.
    The game developer (Sega) should return the money, they're the ones who got it, it's not a loss for them, they're just virtual coins that aren't worth anything. It's obscene that game devs are milking players like this, especially knowing they target children.

    There are a number of reasons a parent wouldn't notice the bills. They might not check the email account tied to the Apple account, they may have setup an email for the kid. They saw the credit card bill earlier but didn't know where the charges came from.

    While they should have been able to prevent it, Apple could easily implement a policy that requires the card holder to enter their card details for any cumulative purchases on an individual app over $200 and again above $1000. This kind of thing would never happen again. Charges like this should be explicitly opt-in for the card holder.
    When my daughter wanted an iTunes account, it was set up so we shared the same library but she could not charge to the credit card.  She was able to use iTunes gift cards to buy what she wanted. 

    There have been plenty of stories about kids going wild on in-app purchases.  Restricting payments on the devices is easy as is being notified of payments being made.
    Fidonet127Dogperson
  • Reply 76 of 100
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,889member
    For all the people blaming mom-
    I have tried to track down iphone/Apple charges before. It’s not nearly as easy as it should be and I’ve found that charges don’t always show up like you expect them to. There are no alerts that massive amounts of money are being spent. Honestly, how many people spend more than $250 per month? Would it be that hard for Apple to send a warning email to you stating you have a large amount of charges? Also, the woman didn’t ignore the charges when she found them; she called the credit card company who told her the charges were likely fraud. 

    As far as not having the protections on her phone, how many of people posting here have thoroughly gone through all the security settings on their phone in the last year? The child was 6. If she’s had an iphone for 4 or 6 years, she likely had it set up for herself and had simply ported the settings over when she updated ios and/or got a new phone. I can guarantee this is what 99% of people do. Now the child is 6 and grabs the phone on his/her own making in app purchases that the mom doesn’t know about, didn’t prevent because when she first set up iOS it either didn’t matter or wasn’t an option and she gets no notifications. 

    Walk down the street and ask people with an iphone if they have protections for in-app purchases and if they don’t ask them if they know how to set them up? It’s not nearly as common knowledge in the general public as it is here. Next ask them if they would like to get a notice if more than $500 in purchases are being made. I can guarantee you virtually everyone would. Why hasn’t apple done this? Probalby because they make a lot of money on these fees.

    I don’t think she should be totally off the hook, but I can also see how this would happen. 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 77 of 100
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,889member
    jimh2 said:
    Why did the mother turn off the requirement fir a password? The son is a tool and the parent is 100% irresponsible. 
    Read my other post - she almost certainly had a password for her phone but not one for in app purchases. Tons of people have it set up like this which is fine until you have a kid. If she set it up when her kid was younger it was fine until her kid got old enough to do things on his own. Even then it wasn’t a problem until he started playing a game that charged money.
  • Reply 78 of 100
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    jimh2 said:
    Why did the mother turn off the requirement fir a password? The son is a tool and the parent is 100% irresponsible. 
     :D   Does it make you feel like a tough guy to call a 6 year old a tool on the internet?
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 79 of 100
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,025member
    Holy Crap!  The default settings do not allow unauthenticated purchases like those described so "I didn't know" isn't really good enough. That said, I hope at some point the mother gets a compassionate response and substantial forgiveness of the purchase amount.  She did spend $16k for literally nothing.

    About 10 years ago (and before Airplane Mode) we took our kids on a family trip to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.  I didn't want to be charged thousands of dollars by AT&T for international data so it was "Kids, give your SIM cards to me."
  • Reply 80 of 100
    maccrazy said:
    I'm shocked at the lack of empathy and compassion from the commenters on this story. 

    It's 2020, the majority of parents are using anything at their disposal to entertain/occupy their kids so they can get some work done during the pandemic.

    The in-app gaming revenue model is totally predatory and should really be banned. It also makes for terrible games. 

    It shouldn't be possible to spend that much money on in-app purchases for one game. If Apple are not going to ban it then at least set a reasonable cap. 
    I came here to say just that.  "digital babysitting" in mid 2020 might be a necessity for the income earners to work!  
    rtbink
Sign In or Register to comment.