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5 year old spends $2,500 on in-game purchases in just ten minutes

Posted: , by Alan F.

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5 year old spends $2,500 on in-game purchases in just ten minutes
5 year old Danny Kitchen was playing with his parent's Apple iPad when he asked them for their iTunes password. Danny wanted to download a free game called Zombie v Ninja. Danny's parents typed in the password and thought nothing of it since the download was free. But imagine the surprise and horror that they felt when emails started coming in showing that Danny had spent the equivalent of $2,500 in just 10 minutes, making in-game purchases of keys and weapon packs that were priced in $100 bundles.

Not Hell's Kitchen, but Kitchen's Hell

Not Hell's Kitchen, but Kitchen's Hell

While Apple did agree to refund the money, Danny did not get off the hook. When asked how he felt about the whole affair, he said, "I was worried and I felt sad." Danny also added, "I'm banned from the iPad now."

So how did a 5 year old rack up such an expensive bill in just 10 minutes? He purchased one bundle of 333 keys, one of 90,000 darts, and another of 333 bombs that each cost 69.99 GBP ($105 USD). A number of smaller purchases added up to the final total.

To avoid something like this happening to you, it is always best to go through the concept of in-app or in-game purchases with your young kids before you hand over your tablet or smartphone to them. Otherwise, you too can find yourself not in Hell's Kitchen, but in Kitchen's Hell.

source: BBC, Guardian via Gizmodo

49 Comments
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posted on 01 Mar 2013, 10:53 5

1. Ninetysix (Posts: 1094; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


Here comes the fandroids...dis gonna be gud :)
/popcorn

It's good that they will get their money back. Next time, don't let a 5 year old play with your device without supervision.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:01 28

5. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Why invite haters? Haters are always going to hate, but this isn't Apple's fault.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:23 30

12. 14545 (Posts: 992; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


I HATE Apple. But I am also reasonable in my hatred. This is not an "Apple" or "Android" issue, this is a "stupid parent" issue. As with the other in app purchase cases, apple should have said "tough sh!t, you should have been monitoring your stupid rugrats".

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 12:21 6

19. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


+10, LMAO! I'm with you on the reasonable hatred of Apple, the feeling is mutual for me! I'm in a love/hate relationship with Apple. I love most all of my iDevices but HATE the iPhone and the company's arrogance at times.

I will say though, Tim Cook seems to be a great CEO and I think he'll take Apple into a new direction with less talk and more action. If only he would put a stop to the BS lawsuits and bogus patents...

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 16:22 3

29. darkkjedii (Posts: 9361; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


Very true

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 00:17

42. meowcenary (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


Cook could take apple into a new direction....*coughs* yeah he's doing such a good job that apples stock closed at 430.47 with a -10.93‎ (-2.48%‎) loss. That's not including apple's high and it's present low. Yeah that's good directions alright, if I were the board I would be asking "what" and "why".

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 16:23 3

30. darkkjedii (Posts: 9361; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)


100% agreed

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 12:34

20. downphoenix (Posts: 2235; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Well it isnt their fault in a way, but their system still allows for minimal security (having to enter in the password to download stuff from itunes, but no such password entry for IAPs.)

In any case, it is the responsibility of the parents to manage this, and also wise to not have a credit card on file and instead opt for Itunes gift cards when they have little ones using it so they can control what can be billed to them.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:45 4

33. joey_sfb (Posts: 1995; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Apple fan boy so jumpy nowsday!! LOL!

And YES! most civilize world hate the fruit and fruit bearing people. Hahaha!!!

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:08 11

6. medicci37 (Posts: 554; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)


You need 2 get a life Ninetysix

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:18 5

11. rusticguy (Posts: 2812; Member since: 11 Aug 2012)


Well this just proves ... it just works :D

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:16 5

8. BREvenson (Posts: 192; Member since: 17 May 2012)


Actually, I was just going to agree with your view that young kids like that shouldn't be playing unsupervised with devices and programs that can ring up charges without the parent's knowledge or consent.

This kind of thing can also happen to Android phones as well, and I know if this happened on a Nexus or Galaxy Tab, we'd see the iFans jump on it. The contempt goes both ways.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:18 2

9. NexusKoolaid (Posts: 258; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


NinetySix, You're first statement makes no sense dude. This isn't an Apple issue, Android has its share of freemium cr@pware as well.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:18 4

10. 14545 (Posts: 992; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


What are you talking about? I am a droid user, and this is just stupid on parents part. Honestly, Apple shouldn't have refunded a dime. If you can't watch what your kid is doing on your ipad, that's your fault. No different than having an Android tab, there is no excuse for not watching what your kid is doing.

That being said, the concept of in-app purchases is just stupid. Personally, I wish they would do away with them. But you never give a kid your password. But hey, at least android supports multiple users to prevent this.

Parents are just lazy nowadays, and all they do is give kids these devices to they don't have to be bothered by them. That's their fault. NOT APPLES. Bunch of lazy POS parents. This is probably the same type of parents that let their kids run loose around a restaurant what everyone else is trying to have a nice dinner so they don't have to be bothered. Needless to say, I hate parents and kids.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:57 1

18. PhoenixWright (Posts: 99; Member since: 11 Feb 2013)


At least Apple still had the heart to give their[I mean, Apple's $2,500] money back to the parents for the "Innocent" mistake of the child, WHICH should have been avoided If it weren't for the unknowing[idiotic] parents.

Hey, at least have some space in your heart, don't hate the kids. Jeeeeeezzzz, it isn't their fault they have faulty parents nowadays XD

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:27 1

14. haseebzahid (Posts: 1775; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


why not ipad is for kids what else is it used for except games and pronos

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:38 8

24. Kal-el (Posts: 88; Member since: 14 Dec 2012)


I want to play right into this if i may....yeah it's the parents fault for not watching the kid but...WHY NEED A PASSWORD TO LOGIN IN FOR A FREEEEE GAME...android allows you to download free without accessing google wallet...the only time it would ask you if its the game/app costs something and then closes right after ...if there is an in game purchase it'll take you back out into the store and ask confirm the purchase...that make perfect sense 2 me at least....i'm not opening my wallet access to download a free game that could ask for money in the game and by accident while playing im smashing my thumbs to kill whatever and i press one pop up by accident...boom $100 gone? if apple implemented the password for when purchases are required I.E while playing in the game then the kid would have asked the parents for it, while playing,and they would have realized what it was for...So kinda dumb....just my opinion .........And yes i no how in game purchases work i'm agruing for programming implementation.....Still i think it's great that apple returned the money...i'll give it that

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 15:07

26. maier9900 (Posts: 257; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


well said!

And i would lock the "app store" with a password. Therefor after installing an app for the kid, he won't be able to open the "app store" to make in-app purchases. If jailbreak is necessary then just jailbreak the damn thing. Android users jailbreak their devices everyday and they complain about ios - pathetic.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:09 1

32. maier9900 (Posts: 257; Member since: 17 Dec 2011)


You vote me down without saying a word?... That hurts!

..."(Pu)(ss)(y)" !!

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 20:48

38. faisolbauuz (Posts: 121; Member since: 05 Jan 2013)


If your idevice is jailbroken just install IAPkracker and no worries abot your kids buying in app purchase for android user you can uses freedom or gamecih

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 10:55 8

2. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Another reason why I hate freemium games. A huge ripoff with very few exceptions.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:52 5

34. itunesssukkcs (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Mar 2013)


FREEMIUM bring FREE APPS for those that doesn't REALLY want to pay.

What's wrong in this story were... iTUNES require credit card. GREEDY Apple were opening a FREE STORE but keeping your credit card at their chest.

Whereas Android Play Store DO NOT REQUIRE credit number at all. So, you could buy android tablet, and let your kid download and play any game without worry at all.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 10:58 11

3. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


This in-app purchases should be stopped. They should make a regulation regarding this. Seriously, this is getting out of hand. If they want to sell the game, just put a price on it and don't make some post download purchases. It really is annoying. Especially that game, 'Real Race 3' -.-

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:55 6

35. itunesssukkcs (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Mar 2013)


IN APP PURCHASE WERE FINE...
It's ITUNES THAT'S THE ONE THAT NOT FINE

iTUNES were designed to RIP OFF USER.
Apple know that impulse buyer means lots of $$$$.
So, apple designed that you need credit card in iTunes & once you CAN'T password the purchase part alone.

Look at the android.
download free apps, not require any credit card
and YOU CAN PASSWORD THE DEVICE WHEN download non-free apps, or purchase freemium but still no require password to downlad free apps.

Play Store were designed to be fair
iTunes were designed to RIP OFF THEIR USER.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 20:26

37. downphoenix (Posts: 2235; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


Ive been playing Real Racing 3 and really it does have the whole freemium experience, but it is a skill based game. Buying the best cars, etc. only gets you so far, its still about skills to pay the bills. That said, the thing that annoys me abuot the game is the whole "timer" to wait for repairs and upgrades... that is just annoying. Its not bad for doing short sessions but yea...

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 03:24

43. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


that was made for people to have life besides gaming. haha

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 10:59 2

4. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


I thought Apple already fixed this. Maybe there running an older version of ios or something.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:08 1

7. Reluctant_Human (Posts: 813; Member since: 28 Jun 2012)


Yeah but once you input a password the default is that it stays active for a few minutes. You can always change it in the settings to prompt every time. Most people regular users aren't aware of this though.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:26 1

13. Whateverman (Posts: 3162; Member since: 17 May 2009)


Truebut I've been using an iPad for a while now and I figured out the password stays in for a few minutes upon activation and downloading of apps. I would have downloaded the game, made junior wait 5 minutes, make sure the password was cleared, then let him play until he passed out.

But like you said, general consumers are completly unaware of how these things work most times.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:42 1

16. 14545 (Posts: 992; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


"I would have downloaded the game, made junior wait 5 minutes, make sure the password was cleared, then let him play until he passed out."

Woah, a reasonable parent here. I was beginning to think those didn't exist. A reasonable parent would have made sure that nothing bad was going to happen while their kid is playing the game before just turning them "loose". Stupid parents. (not you, obviously, just the idiots like in the story)

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:30

15. haseebzahid (Posts: 1775; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


but the question is how the hell PA got this on news damn good sources they got

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 11:53 5

17. joeymk (Posts: 100; Member since: 26 Jan 2012)


Thats why kid's corner on Windows Phone is good Idea

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 14:06

25. hltechie (Posts: 85; Member since: 08 May 2009)


Something like kid's corner should be created for all mobile OS

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 17:58 3

36. itunesssukkcs (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 Mar 2013)


An empty corner where apps developer were reluctant to put anything there?

android play store is better. You don't need to put credit card at all in play store.

I REPEAT, YOU CAN USE ANDROID PLAY STORE WITHOUT THE NEED ANY CREDIT CARD NUMBER

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 12:41

21. bluescreen (Posts: 154; Member since: 22 Nov 2012)


well im not that big of an apple fan but atleast apple was nice enough to refund the charges....although stupid parents for letting him play with the ipad un supervised

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:10 2

22. Castanedaa99 (Posts: 28; Member since: 07 Nov 2011)


Dang, and here I was someone upset my 5-year old spent $2.99 on an in-app purchase. lol

But that made me go directly into disabling in-app purchases and asking for password everytime we want to download something. And of course, she doesnt have the password.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 13:18 1

23. lyndon420 (Posts: 1642; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)


I thought iusers were all well-to-do financially? Anyway...give the kid back his toy, the parents should get something better for themselves, oh...and tell the kid to either get a job or stick to playing on the PS3 or XBox.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 15:23

27. GoBears (Posts: 305; Member since: 27 Apr 2012)


As much as I despise Apple at least they did the right thing. The parents however, did not. If the kid didn't know he was doing wrong, he shouldn't be punished. As a parent of a very intelligent 4yr old myself, we go through these things together until I'm sure he understands what not to do. Give the kid back his iJunk and spend some time with him and actually teach him right from wrong. It'll pay off in the long run, believe me.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 12:03

47. lolioslol (banned) (Posts: 182; Member since: 10 Dec 2012)


apple did not do the right thing. They did the thing that keeps them from getting bad publicity

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 16:07

28. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 770; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


see this can't happen on the ovi store since you have to enter your password before each purchase lol jokes that place is close to death i thought apple and android did that too (this is very mutual btw) does wp do that ?

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 16:46

31. jacko1977 (Posts: 377; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


wait its not there fault they gave the pw so he could download a free game so thats telling me you only need to put pw in once to download a game but dont need to put pw in when buying in app crap after the first pw input so its apples fault

at lease google had brains to put a option to request pw when making in app purchases and to disable that you have to put account password in

so i think its fair apple should give the money back

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 00:09

41. meowcenary (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


Right responsibility, stupidty, and owning up to ones actions/mistakes should be forgiven then. Yeah that teaches kids alright. Regardless of the security feature, there is no excuse for irresponsible and stupid parenting. It shows character when you own up to your mistakes.

Dead is honor, responsibility, and owning up to ones actions/mistakes.

posted on 01 Mar 2013, 21:01

39. cheetah2k (Posts: 739; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)


In game purchases have ruined good games -> exhibit A - Real Racing 3....

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 00:02

40. meowcenary (Posts: 187; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)


That is why certain...or most people should not have children. Being a parent takes responsibility and if you can't do that then....oh well own up to the consequences.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 05:28

44. chemhaz (Posts: 155; Member since: 04 May 2012)


My son (5 at the time) managed to purchase $10 in air raids in a commando game and my daughter (3) $5 in Subway surfer on their android devices before I put a password on. Kids are innocent, it's the game developers that make it easy to rip of consumers. Now don't allow games on their devices that have in app purchases, or sneak in airpush ads.

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 10:13

45. Daniel.95 (Posts: 41; Member since: 20 Sep 2012)


Look at his father !!!!!!!!!!!! :D
He is so Angry

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 11:32

46. procopiojose (Posts: 132; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)


Dad to kid: "You're adopted!"

posted on 02 Mar 2013, 23:26

48. Darkerm (Posts: 100; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


Everyone blaming The Kid but no one blaming the AIP in games now-a-days?
I really miss those days where I only have to pay once for a game and enjoy the game without any dime ever again :(

posted on 05 Mar 2013, 08:09

49. preet27in (banned) (Posts: 173; Member since: 07 Jul 2012)


a question to htc............. why dont htc collaborate with CARL ZEISS LENS... COMPANY???? this is the best way to explore and invent new technology for cameras.htc make damn good phones but only lack in camera performence, so my view is ... they should iniciate this soon. good luck nyways

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