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

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.

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

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48 Comments

1. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 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.

5. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

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

12. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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".

19. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 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...

29. darkkjedii

Posts: 31102; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Very true

42. meowcenary

Posts: 187; Member since: Apr 13, 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".

30. darkkjedii

Posts: 31102; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

100% agreed

20. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 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.

33. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Apple fan boy so jumpy nowsday!! LOL! And YES! most civilize world hate the fruit and fruit bearing people. Hahaha!!!

6. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

You need 2 get a life Ninetysix

11. rusticguy

Posts: 2828; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

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

8. BREvenson

Posts: 240; Member since: May 17, 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.

9. NexusKoolaid

Posts: 493; Member since: Oct 24, 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.

10. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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.

18. PhoenixWright

Posts: 102; Member since: Feb 11, 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

14. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

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

24. Kal-el

Posts: 96; Member since: Dec 14, 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

26. maier9900

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 17, 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.

32. maier9900

Posts: 272; Member since: Dec 17, 2011

You vote me down without saying a word?... That hurts! ..."(Pu)(ss)(y)" !!

38. faisolbauuz

Posts: 121; Member since: Jan 05, 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

2. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 2012

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

34. itunesssukkcs

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 01, 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.

3. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 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' -.-

35. itunesssukkcs

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 01, 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.

37. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 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...

43. neutralguy

Posts: 1152; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

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

4. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

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

7. Reluctant_Human

Posts: 913; Member since: Jun 28, 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.

13. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 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.

16. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 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)

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