Child spends $2,500 on In-app purchases in iTunes

I am sure that we as parents all do this.  Our child wants to play a game on our iPad or iPhone, we check that it is free, let them download it and then let them play it on their own, safe in the thought that we have done our duty to safeguard our iTunes account.  Well, this is what parents of a five year old boy from the UK thought when they let him download and play the free game “Zombies vs. Ninja”.  Apparently just minutes into his session he started downloading dozens of add-ons.  His mother discovered the extent of these in-app purchases when she checked her email several days later and found that she was on the hook for £1,700 (about $2,555).  Apple has subsequently told the family that they would refund the money, they added that these types of incidents should be reported as quickly as possible.  It is likely that the number of these incidents will rise in the future as most game creators are moving toward the “freemium” business strategy.  In this model, the games themselves are free to download but users must make purchases once in the game to enjoy its full functionality.

It should be noted that all iOS devices have built-in restrictions and parental controls.  Restrictions can be enabled on your device by going to the General section of Settings.  Once you enable it, you will be asked to enter a four number Restriction Password.  In the Restrictions tab you are able to control what can and can’t be done on your device, including In-App Purchases.  For example if you disallow iTunes under Restrictions, the iTunes icon disappears.

Source: iPhone in Canada

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