Parent angry Apple didn't stop 10-year-old's $2,500 TikTok spree

Posted:
in iOS
A parent has complained about Apple's refusal to refund 23 successive in-app purchases made by his 10-year-old daughter, who was convinced to pay money to a TikTok creator.




Apple has repeatedly been the target of criticism from parents after children made high-priced purchases on iPhones and iPads without parental permission. In the latest story, it seems that part of the criticism should have been applied to video sharing app TikTok.

In a letter to the U.K.'s Telegraph, a reader identified as "AH" says they had given their 10-year-old daughter with autism and "learning difficulties" an iPhone as a Christmas present. Four days later, the child then made a considerable number of in-app purchases, buying 2,012 pounds ($2,486) in coins for TikTok.

The parent discovered the purchases only after Apple sent invoices to their inbox. The parent then went through various processes to try and get refunds for the 23 purchases, but they were refused. After attempting to contact the company, including its Irish HQ, they were then given a link to Apple's legal processes, which "gives very little information at all."

"This is such a lot of money to lose in the space of a few minutes in this way," writes AH. "I believe Apple has let me down by failing to identify the unusual activity on my account and protecting me by blocking the suspicious payments. I also feel its customer care has been nonexistent."

In investigating the purchases, the outlet's response reveals the parent didn't activate any child safety controls on the iPhone before handing it to their child. Such controls can prevent purchases from being performed, and limit what a child can do on their iPhone.

The parent had, to their credit, previously activated the controls on the child's earlier iPhone, but just didn't do so on the new model.

On contacting TikTok over the account the payments were towards, it was found that the user had four million followers, and was verified by the service. Initially, TikTok said it had investigated, and said no rules had been broken, but didn't explain what the payment was for.

When pressed further to investigate, TikTok then discovered the user, "Ohidur247," had breached guidelines relating to fraud and scams. They were taking payments in exchange for followers.

The report then contacted Apple, who agreed to refund the parent in full, as well as reminding them of the presence of parental controls. The reporter commented that the payment system "should have flagged up suspicious activity and blocked the payments," similar to anti-fraud measures performed by banks.

Despite the investigation and the return of funds, it seems that TikTok isn't actively punishing Ohidur247 for breaking its rules. Though that TikTok user has lost the ability to live-stream, the account is still active and verified.



Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    baconstangbaconstang Posts: 906member
    "AH" is lucky she only lost some money, and not her daughter.
    Alex1NKuyangkohwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 18
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 352member
    Parent hands child device with credit card linked to account, sets no child restrictions, then blames everyone and everything else when the child spends money. 

    It’s Apple fault!
    It’s TikTok’s fault!
    It’s the TikTok creator’s fault!

    It can’t possibly be my fault! 
    ITGUYINSDgenovelleAlex1NJaiOh81rob53Kuyangkohfotoformatdavmike1skippingrock
  • Reply 3 of 18
    NaiyasNaiyas Posts: 96member
    mr lizard said:
    Parent hands child device with credit card linked to account, sets no child restrictions, then blames everyone and everything else when the child spends money. 

    It’s Apple fault!
    It’s TikTok’s fault!
    It’s the TikTok creator’s fault!

    It can’t possibly be my fault! 
    But of course! In the age where personal responsibility has been replaced by a nanny state, it’s always someone else’s fault for not preventing your own actions from “hurting” you in some way.

    And as education levels gradually fall we come ever closer to the crazy world created in the film Idiocracy.
    williamlondongenovelleCluntBaby92maltztdknoxmagman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 18
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,355member
    No fucking excuse to not do seconds of research in order to enable IAP restrictions and parental controls. Too bad. And pretty shameless to publicize for negligence and stupidity in order to blame Apple. 
    Alex1Nfotoformatmichelb76CluntBaby92skippingrocktdknoxmagman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 18
    They are absent parents who shove their phone into their 10 year old daughter's hands to shut them up and to keep them busy. Who lets a 10 year old loose on the unfiltered Internet? Unsupervised???? 

    They deserved the "fine" and I agree with Apple's initial decision.

    Somehow not surprised that the "blame everyone but themselves" parents managed to weasel their way out of paying the charges in the end... (Insert sarcastic congratulations)
    edited May 8 Alex1Nfotoformatbaconstangmaltztdknoxmagman1979watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 6 of 18
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 993member
    Naiyas said:
    But of course! In the age where personal responsibility has been replaced by a nanny state, it’s always someone else’s fault for not preventing your own actions from “hurting” you in some way.
    Let’s lay that responsibility where it should lie—at the feet of our leadership. When you have public figures with no accountability, it sets the stage for an entire society. So, yeah, parenting mistake, but the bigger problem lies with the those who are running things. Period. 
    radarthekatfotoformatwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 7 of 18
    pjorlandopjorlando Posts: 25member
    Gurl please lol
    CluntBaby92watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 18
    dangaiohdangaioh Posts: 15member
    Dear parents don’t you know Apple’s Family Sharing has been around since 2014. One of its best features is that purchases must be approved by an adult. Of course, this is pointless if the child is using their parent’s Apple ID. Please get your daughter her own Child Apple ID account and stop letting her use yours. This doesn’t even require setting up parental controls or restrictions it’s the default. I have zero pity for lazy parents that hand out passwords like candy and then blame Apple.
    edited May 8 rob53radarthekatgregoriusmfotoformatsailorpaulskippingrockddawson100magman1979applguywatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 18
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,038member
    Well, here’s a vote for third party payments outside the App Store. Then Apple could tell this parent to take a hike. Apple didn’t collect the money, therefore Apple can’t refund anything. Go pound salt, parent. Take it up with Ohidur247.
    radarthekatKuyangkohdanoxapplguywatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 18
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,526moderator
    lkrupp said:
    Well, here’s a vote for third party payments outside the App Store. Then Apple could tell this parent to take a hike. Apple didn’t collect the money, therefore Apple can’t refund anything. Go pound salt, parent. Take it up with Ohidur247.
    Bingo!  
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 11 of 18
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 3,060member
    If Apple implements the following, would that be a decent solution?

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/20/12/22/apple-working-on-technology-to-finally-allow-ios-devices-to-support-multiple-users <--

    Is this something that could be announced at WWDC '22? Dub Dub Double Double.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 18
    KuyangkohKuyangkoh Posts: 829member
    lkrupp said:
    Well, here’s a vote for third party payments outside the App Store. Then Apple could tell this parent to take a hike. Apple didn’t collect the money, therefore Apple can’t refund anything. Go pound salt, parent. Take it up with Ohidur247.
    Bingo!  
    JACKPOTS 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 18
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 4,163member
    Kuyangkoh said:
    lkrupp said:
    Well, here’s a vote for third party payments outside the App Store. Then Apple could tell this parent to take a hike. Apple didn’t collect the money, therefore Apple can’t refund anything. Go pound salt, parent. Take it up with Ohidur247.
    Bingo!  
    JACKPOTS 
    Bingpot!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 18
    JapheyJaphey Posts: 1,410member
    I don’t really keep up on Android news, but are there ever stories about stupid parents blaming Samsung or Google or Microsoft when their unattended children rack up the in-app charges? Or is this just something that only Apple gets to enjoy? 

    The parent had, to their credit, previously activated the controls on the child's earlier iPhone, but just didn't do so on the new model.”

    I disagree. These parents get no credit at all. All this tells me is that they knew better and should bear all the blame here. 
    edited May 9 watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 18
    maltzmaltz Posts: 339member
    mac_dog said:
    Naiyas said:
    But of course! In the age where personal responsibility has been replaced by a nanny state, it’s always someone else’s fault for not preventing your own actions from “hurting” you in some way.
    Let’s lay that responsibility where it should lie—at the feet of our leadership. When you have public figures with no accountability, it sets the stage for an entire society. So, yeah, parenting mistake, but the bigger problem lies with the those who are running things. Period. 

    Um, you realize you're just adding a row to the "someone else's fault" list.  lol
    roundaboutnowwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 16 of 18
    maltzmaltz Posts: 339member
    lkrupp said:
    Well, here’s a vote for third party payments outside the App Store. Then Apple could tell this parent to take a hike. Apple didn’t collect the money, therefore Apple can’t refund anything. Go pound salt, parent. Take it up with Ohidur247.

    Well, that's arguably true anyway.  TikTok charged the money, not Apple.  When you buy something at Home Depot, get it home, and it's broken, you take it up with Home Depot, not Visa or your bank.  (Yes, you can fall back to them, but they're not the responsible party - they're not the ones you would sue, if it came to that, for example.  Purchase guarantees are just a service they provide.)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 18
    ddawson100ddawson100 Posts: 481member
    I've heard from so many parents who have had a problem with surprise in-app purchases by their kids. The parents clearly had an opportunity to stop this at the device that had access to the credit card and if teaching or supervising and the kid didn't seek permission and the device wasn't set up to block things then, welp, there's a lot of opportunities to prevent that. Kids get grounded, lose their device privileges, or something else. 

    This story is about someone seeking more avenues to recover their money once a bad mistake was made. For that kind of money I'd try multiple ways to claw back the money, too. I wish this sensational story included something about the other things they tried. Arguably, the things that made e-commerce take off in the United States is the policy that protects consumers via their credit card companies backed by the weight of federal laws. If someone's in a position to help and they refuse to that looks bad on them. 

    It sounds to me like they're asking for help from I can see that they'd want Apple's help but the policies are well laid out and there are tools that must not have been used and it's not surprising that they don't get relief from them here.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 18
    hammeroftruthhammeroftruth Posts: 1,196member
    So over a decade of this shit and people
    still don’t want to take responsibility for bad parenting or being absent minded.

    This one is especially bad because the child is autistic and one would think that a child like that should be protected from ANY exploitation. I have spoken to parents of autistic children and they do not ever allow their child to have a payment system on the device without being present to supervise the purchase and to verify that the child is purchasing the correct thing. 

    Some people still believe an Apple product is also a baby sitter. 
    watto_cobra
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