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

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 100
    This is shameful. 

    1. The mom takes majority of blame
    2. Apple and Chase need to take the rest.

    Make the cost 10% and allow it over a year. This is punishment enough for struggling families. You heartless soulless people rather see a family likely become ruined by this than any compromise or any glimmer of humanity to take place. Are you all proud when you look in the mirror knowing you rather see multi-billion dollar companies gave zero tolerance for error while a child and mother are ruined from this? What the hell is wrong with you??

    What if this was someone close to you you love that made a stupid mistake that they really didn't mean and had zero malicious intent? Would you tell them too bad guess you'll be homeless? Jesus Christ people, something is seriously wrong with this and anyone with a mote of empathy knows it.

    And we all know what people with no empathy are. 
    edited December 2020 cgar15ktappemuthuk_vanalingamforegoneconclusionosmartormenajrajl
  • Reply 42 of 100
    Apple needs to be broken up.  It’s become too big, too indifferent; a monopoly.

    The same for Google, Facebook and Amazon.  And get rid of their tax subsidies.  Brick and mortar businesses are going bankrupt.  We can’t all live in a virtual world.
    cgar15
  • Reply 43 of 100
    ktappektappe Posts: 808member
    tommikele said:
    100% Mom's fault. At first, I was a little sympathetic and started to think maybe Apple should give her a partial break. Then I read what she said. Apple should double the amount of the charges the kid wracked up.



    Good lord you’re an ass. Could you withstand $32,000 of unexpected charges on your credit card? No? Then why the hell do you think somebody else should? For the actions of a six-year-old. What the heck is wrong with you?
    ajlMplsPMacPro
  • Reply 44 of 100
    mobirdmobird Posts: 707member

    tommikele said:
    Apple should allow repayment of $500 a month.
    She lives in Wilton, CT - 'nuff said.
     
    Why?

    Do you know anything about the town she lives in? Her means? How much she has in the bank? What her house is worth?

    MplsP
  • Reply 45 of 100
    Marvin said:
    tommikele said:
    Although the mother is in part to blame, there really should be upper limits on the amount an app is allowed to collect for virtual currency. 
    Limits or lack thereof have nothing to do with this. She should not get some of the blame as you say. She should get 100% of the blame. The idea Apple or the developer is responsible is almost offensive.
    It's not offensive in the least to suggest the developer is responsible when they designed the game - a game aimed at children - with a bottomless pit of disposable and overpriced purchase options that are tied in with the gameplay.

    https://www.androidauthority.com/sonic-forces-speed-battle-android-800455/

    "Sonic Forces: Speed Battle is a pay-to-win game. The game has in-app purchases that cost anywhere from $0.99 to $99. These allow you to skip the cool down timer on the loot box you get for winning a race. These loot boxes contain in-game currency and power-ups that increase your performance during PvP battles. Since the more powerful player tends to win and gain even more currency and power-ups, you can see how this could be a problem."

    Sega is involved in the gambling industry, they have made similar revenue from actual gambling machines as they do from games. It's a dangerous combination to have a gambling company producing games for a large scale global audience of children with direct payment options:

    https://www.tweaktown.com/news/69459/sega-merge-pachinko-game-dev-branches-together/index.html

    Apple is a middleman but they share some responsibility as they are aware of the size of the transactions. There's no reasonable justification that anyone, adult or child, would pay $16k on a game in such a short period of time. Even people who spend $2k per month on Candy Crush are considered to have addiction issues. The gambling industry has regulations for this reason.
    She left a six year old unattended for months on end and it took months for her to pay attention to the credit card charges. She must have some load of money to not notice until it got well over $10k. $2500 in one day.Who did she think was running up the bills? The husband/partner? Seriously.

    I get what you are saying ... Wow. 
    As the linked article says, she claims the bank told her they were likely fraudulent charges originally - that could come from stolen card details:

    "The reason I didn’t call within 60 days is because Chase told me it was likely fraud — that PayPal and Apple.com are top fraud charges."

    She also assumed the charges could have been a mistake, there have been times companies bill people incorrectly and fix the error. If it was mistaken billing, there would be no reason to cancel the card. The bank rejected her fraud report after finding they were legitimate purchases. Sometimes there turns out to be more to these stories but there's absolutely no downside in having responsible measures in place to protect customers from this as a default and that's what the parent suggests. I can't see any legitimate reason why people would prefer there to be no protections in place, Apple could easily remove them on request.
    I disagree Apple shares some responsibility. How could she not notice these charges before they got up to over $16k? Credit cards have so many safeguards that I find it pure negligence on the mothers part for not paying attention to charges on her card. That's not Apple's or Sega's fault. Chase allows you to setup your account so you receive push notifications, e-mails, etc any time there is a charge on your account. Another issue I have is how could you not see the purchase e-mails from Apple? She must have received hundreds if not literally thousands and she didn't see one? I'm sorry, but this woman is a complete fool and I have no sympathy for her, especially reading her quotes and not taking any ounce of responsibility. 

    ondbsfoeiDaRev
  • Reply 46 of 100
    It seems to me that she does not have Family Sharing set up on her iCloud account, which also contains "Ask To Buy". Every time my kids want to make a purchase or even download a "Free" game, I get alerts on ALL my Apple devices at the same time asking if I want to approve the download. 
    DogpersoninTIMidator
  • Reply 47 of 100
    A story of an irresponsible and ignorant parent who ignored this for months who tries to shift the blame to someone else. Once she noticed the App Store charges she should have removed her payment information. Millions of other people manage to navigate the App Store and understand how their payment information can be used and that if they give a child access to it this could happen. What adult would spent $100 on virtual coins? You'd be surprised, this is an incredibly lucrative business model. The bigger question is what adult gets $20,000 deep in debt before realizing they should not have added payment information to an App Store account their child uses?
    macgui
  • Reply 48 of 100
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,192member
    Mom screw up big time. Then Chase may have screwed up, assuming the charges were fraudulent, but taking more than 60 days to find out they weren't.

    For Apple to "refund her money" would actually mean paying a debt incurred by her son and her negligence, especially considering 70% of that money when to the Dev, not Apple.

    Apple might have been "cold" to her, that's her claim. It could happen but we don't know that it did.

    It takes three days for me to get emails from all Apple media purchases. Emails regarding purchases of Apple hardware arrive anywhere from a few minutes to same day. But I get them.

    Even so, did the emails go to her son's email account (I've known of parents who's kids have them) or did she just ignore them when they came to her? Mine say Receipt in the subject line and are never ignored. Does he have his own Apple ID? Seriously.

    I do agree that many games work at "selling" the user on buying IAPs. To me this is like adding nicotine to cigarettes then claiming "they chose to smoke". 

    But Apple has put adequate safeguards in place for competent, concerned people to implement, for parents giving a kid a device that can make purchases on the parents' credit card. "I had no idea, I'm clueless" is not an adequate defense and Chase, not Apple has also fumbled. Let them fight it out.

    If it were my kid getting unsupervised access to an online device, there would be parental controls assigned, and all media purchases would be on the Apple Card. Purchases made on the AC get near instantaneous notifications that can't be missed, not to mention easy to see, granular listings of purchases. Plus, 3% back on $16,000 is nothing to sneeze at.

    Apple could institute spending caps, but their job is to sell. It's not as though they haven't taken steps to help a parent be a parent but apparently that's not enough for some people. Instead of Apple telling me I've reached my limit for the day, week, or month and need to do an override, I wouldn't mind them giving me the option to set my spending limits. But then like parental controls, I'd have to make sure they're enabled.
  • Reply 49 of 100
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,192member
    When the mother said it was like he was doing cocaine and just doing more and more she wasn't far off. 
    Well, mother knows best.

    Think about it, Steve Jobs didn't even allow his kids to use those phones. So while he's looking up at us from Hell laughing we're stuck with the repercussions of the monstrosity of a cell phone that was created. 
    That's hater spin for "a parent took responsibility for raising their child".

    I've been telling you all since the day it came out not to be getting caught up in this
    You are 10lbs of bullshit in a 5lbs sack. Congrats on your first post.
    roundaboutnowDogperson
  • Reply 50 of 100
    ktappe said:
    tommikele said:
    100% Mom's fault. At first, I was a little sympathetic and started to think maybe Apple should give her a partial break. Then I read what she said. Apple should double the amount of the charges the kid wracked up.



    Good lord you’re an ass. Could you withstand $32,000 of unexpected charges on your credit card? No? Then why the hell do you think somebody else should? For the actions of a six-year-old. What the heck is wrong with you?
    I think Apple and the developer can and should eat the cost on this, but only because of public relations and to be kind, not because they are really responsible, and because it is just virtual goods that didn't cost them anything. Who puts payment information into their App Store account without considering the consequences and then ignores the charges? This won't be the first time she runs into trouble on the internet or with credit cards, apparently they are too complicated for her. What really rubs me the wrong way in this story is how she tries to shift the blame, rather than owning up to being irresponsible, foolish and ignorant. If this had happened over the course of one month I would say, yes, Apple's practices are partly to blame, even though almost everyone else who uses the App Store manages to avoid it. It happened over many months? And she had no idea what the charges from Apple could be? As others have pointed out Apple goes to considerable lengths to inform parents of charges like this. They don't want to deal with disputed charges either. If all you had to do was disclaim responsibility, imagine how many people would run up charges for months playing their silly mobile games or letting their children play them, then get buyer's remorse and say they didn't understand?
  • Reply 51 of 100
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,192member
    ondbsfoei said:
    I think Apple and the developer can and should eat the cost on this, but only because of public relations and to be kind, not because they are really responsible, and because it is just virtual goods that didn't cost them anything. 
    Are you high? I think you watched Lost in America too many times, while in some diminished capacity.

    ondbsfoei said:
    Who puts payment information into their App Store account without considering the consequences and then ignores the charges? This won't be the first time she runs into trouble on the internet or with credit cards, apparently they are too complicated for her. What really rubs me the wrong way in this story is how she tries to shift the blame, rather than owning up to being irresponsible, foolish and ignorant. 
    This addresses exactly why Apple in particular should offer no consideration for the mother, except to offer an Apple One-on-One consultation on how to enable parental controls and monitor the child's spending your first sentence in the OP was sarcasm. If not, your cognitive skills need work.
    Dogperson
  • Reply 52 of 100
    This is shameful. 

    1. The mom takes majority of blame
    2. Apple and Chase need to take the rest.

    Make the cost 10% and allow it over a year. This is punishment enough for struggling families. You heartless soulless people rather see a family likely become ruined by this than any compromise or any glimmer of humanity to take place. Are you all proud when you look in the mirror knowing you rather see multi-billion dollar companies gave zero tolerance for error while a child and mother are ruined from this? What the hell is wrong with you??

    What if this was someone close to you you love that made a stupid mistake that they really didn't mean and had zero malicious intent? Would you tell them too bad guess you'll be homeless? Jesus Christ people, something is seriously wrong with this and anyone with a mote of empathy knows it.

    And we all know what people with no empathy are. 
    Okay, I definitely think it is the mother's fault for either not informing herself before giving an iPad to her kid, or for ignoring all the emails Apple sent when each IAP was made. However, I think to err is human. I know I'd lose my shit if I lost $16k and I'd hit out at all the things that led to the loss. 

    I really feel sorry for the mother and I hope she manages to survive this, but she does need to take responsibility for this.

    IAP is probably the worst thing that has ever happened to games and I hope something is done about it. Parental Controls and Screen Time help to some extent, but something needs to change with respect to IAP, especially for children's games.
    edited December 2020
  • Reply 53 of 100
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 1,226member
    Is the kid related to Macaulay Culkin?😉
  • Reply 54 of 100
    Ouch, some of these comments are brutal. I empathize; we get busy and things get overlooked. Been there; done that. 14 years ago my kids racked up my credit card with multiple purchases. I thought it was credit card fraud over 2 months and was expecting the charges of just under $1,000.00 reversed, until the day I realized it was my sweet little kids purchasing virtual coins for a popular game. They were about 4 and 7 and had no idea it was costing actual money. We live we learn. Be nice people; we all make mistakes.
    muthuk_vanalingamMacPro
  • Reply 55 of 100
    If the money gets refunded, then a precedent will be set. Anyone thereafter can claim it was “their child” who racked up a ton of charges and expect a refund even if it was their own addiction causing it. Business is business and these companies are trying to make as much money as possible. If you get burned by a completely avoidable business situation, then that’s on you. There’s a lesson for the parents to learn here, albeit a very expensive one. My kids, aged five and six, have their own iPad Minis with child AppleID’s that my wife and I have full control of. The child shouldn’t be punished either. They don’t know any better at that age. The parents in this case failed at parenting.
  • Reply 56 of 100
    glnfglnf Posts: 34member
    I totally see the mothers side. I, as probably most adults not familiar with these sort of games, would never expect the possibility of spending this ridiculous amount of money on loot-boxes and the likes for power-ups and fancy digital clothes.

    No-one in the right mind would throw over $10,000 into a mobile game. So why is it possible in the first place? For oligarchs? If I see a multi $1,000 item on my bill I either remember the purchase (eg. a new MacBook) or I expect a mistake by the bank or a fraud. I would never think of a mobile game my nice is playing.

    Remember the days when mobile phone roaming costs abroad could add up to the 10,000s? I have quite a lot of friends (here in Switzerland, we have borders everywhere) that walked into this trap. They simply had no clue, that their phone bill of a few $10 a month could explode into the 10,000s eg. by taking a walk close to a border and ending up in the wrong network. They never willingly agreed to these costs. You could argue, that they forgot to make the right settings on their phones but they where totally unaware of the possible costs involved. It is like buying chewing gum without looking at the price and being charged $1,000 at the till.
    goodbyeranchmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 57 of 100
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,360member
    You can get into the same trouble using Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft and Android. 
    Can you?  Android probably, but I've not seen the proliferation of pay to play apps on Xbox or Switch.  It seems like these monetisation tactics are very common on iOS, but unusual on other platforms.
  • Reply 58 of 100
    Apple has enough safeguards in place for this. Sorry but 100% of the blame is on the parent. I do feel sorry for the family. As it is, it feels like Apple is nagging with all the purchase emails and warnings that Apple does. If you had your way, we will be spending an hour to setup each device, which people will complain about, click through and the results will still be people who spend thousands and say I didn’t realize it was spending real money. Every single charge, I don’t recognize, I question. We get lots of emails about purchases. Have questions, contact Apple. They will get you proper help to refund things, and set things up. There is lots of parental controls. You can turn off all in app purchases for your kids and yourself. It isn’t the fault of the developers, as they are just trying to make money. 
  • Reply 59 of 100
    matteblack13matteblack13 Posts: 15unconfirmed, member
    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.
    edited December 2020 Fidonet127
  • Reply 60 of 100
    Man the majority of people on here are a holes, or simply don't understand how this stuff works.  In no world is it right that a company should make 16k on ..nothing.  This is  predatory.  Why is there even an option for a $99 purchase when the average AAA title is 60 bucks?  It because it's a system set to prey on 2% of the public; the addicted, or the young. These games/loot boxes aren't even games.  They're a gambling simulation wrapped in game appearance.  From the way they have 'limited time' sales, pair you off in battles (if you only spent $.99 more you can get the item to progress),etc.etc.  There are more classes now on the psychology of microtransactions and selling, oh excuse me, monetizing a game than building an actual solid game. Also, name any other case, based in reality that a 6 year old would be allowed to spend 16k by ANY other business?  Could he go in buy, say $2000 worth of steaks @ walmart and swipe his mom's apple pay tablet.  Hell no.  What if he ordered 16k of cigarettes using a saved cc# in a browser? What if he bought a car online, and it was delivered curbside?  Would the person hand off the keys to a 6 year old?  I feel like we're in Borat territory now. Yes she should have done due diligence, but still.  They should settle to 1k or less. Still close to 20x the cost of a normal game.  Loot boxes should be illegal, period. 
    scartartmuthuk_vanalingamglnf
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