Mobile bill shock through kids in-app purchases

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  • RuthnJasper
    RuthnJasper Posts: 4,032 Forumite
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    opaque wrote: »
    It's interesting that people are saying these are kids games.
    Sure a few of them are specifically aimed at kids but if you look at any of my grown up friends they would be playing the zoo, farm, diamond, bubble etc etc games like mad. And some people do buy the extras to give them the edge in high scores against friends.
    I play Candy Crush and I'm 37!

    They are games that are normally free and they make money by selling in-app items. Kids don't have credit cards attached to accounts do they, so in most cases I can't see how it can be aimed at them. We all like shiny flashy things whatever our age.
    It is the responsibility of the owner of the device, noone else and it is exceptionally lucky that people have got their money back from the companies. I would think legally they have no requirement to do so.

    Haha - me too Opaque! I'm the same age. On Facebook, Pet Rescue and Mahjong Saga are my current favourites and I can see how easy it is to get addicted. My (albeit minor) downfall was playing after I'd had a couple of glasses of 'jolly-juice' when my judgement was not what it would normally be. :o Easily resolved by not going on FB or computer whilst a bit squiffy.

    I totally agree with your point in your second paragraph. Children, most especially the littler ones, DO NOT NEED expensive mobile 'phones. Maybe for older kids, teenagers, etc., who go to sports clubs or other evening things, but a basic handset is perfectly fine for this. My little nephew is 7 and was pestering his parents for a mobile. They said no, were honest about why, and bought him a hand-held games console (with no internet access) for Christmas instead.

    It's a tough lesson for parents, but totally their responsibility.
  • Fire_Fox
    Fire_Fox Posts: 26,026 Forumite
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    DavidP24 wrote: »
    I did say DEFAULT option, there is NOTHING stupid about first time users not realising that a Free Hairdressing Salon game app charges your credit card when it offers your kids a conditioner for their clients.

    Oh and with other use of your credit card you have to quote your CVV. Of course it would be better if Apple added say £20 to an account rather than linking the card to endless unauthorised debits.

    But any parent should know that anything that can connect to the internet can connect to explicit material on the internet, films/ video or music lyrics. So you supervise your children and/ or you set up security - guess what? On the iPhone setting up age barring is is Settings/ Restrictions right next to blocking in app purchases.

    If you don't know how to use your own mini computer you really should not be permitting vulnerable youngsters to do so. How do you know they are not watching violent or sexual content, or speaking to dangerous people on social networking sites instead of playing that innocent hairdressing salon game? Do children even need to be playing games or is, all too often, the smartphone/ tablet acting as a free babysitting service?
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️⭐️
  • Hermia
    Hermia Posts: 4,473 Forumite
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    Tanta1ise wrote: »
    But what to do about children like my 4-year old niece who managed to somehow disable the parental controls and security settings (set at their strongest) on the family iPad and used up the credit on their iTunes account? We still haven't figured out how she did.

    Did you not set a PIN on the restrictions section? It does prompt you to do that when you go in to switch off the in app purchases. If she guessed your PIN I am impressed!

    I am surprised that any parent would allow a little kid to play with their smartphone when it is essentially a mini computer. As others have said a lot of the games that have in-app purchases seem aimed more at adults.I would rather pay for the game and not have the in app purchases.
  • Hermia
    Hermia Posts: 4,473 Forumite
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    Haha - me too Opaque! I'm the same age. On Facebook, Pet Rescue and Mahjong Saga are my current favourites and I can see how easy it is to get addicted. My (albeit minor) downfall was playing after I'd had a couple of glasses of 'jolly-juice' when my judgement was not what it would normally be. :o Easily resolved by not going on FB or computer whilst a bit squiffy.

    I play Hay Day and have the in apps purchase function switched off in case I click the wrong button. I have not seen any kids playing Hay Day. It mainly seems to be adults fretting over their virtual cows!
  • suky321
    suky321 Posts: 17 Forumite
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    A friend of mines 6 yr old son racked up almost £500 bill on buying games from his dads iPhone. The mum was in hospital due to illness, and complained about this to Apple, and the fact she was in hospital critically ill. Fortunately for her, she managed to get a refund after her explanation. Security has now been tightened on the iPhone, and the PIN number is inputted away from prying eyes.
  • RuthnJasper
    RuthnJasper Posts: 4,032 Forumite
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    Hermia wrote: »
    I play Hay Day and have the in apps purchase function switched off in case I click the wrong button. I have not seen any kids playing Hay Day. It mainly seems to be adults fretting over their virtual cows!

    Are you sure there aren't one or two virtual horses in there with your cows?! ;);)
  • Hermia
    Hermia Posts: 4,473 Forumite
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    Are you sure there aren't one or two virtual horses in there with your cows?! ;);)

    Sadly I don't have a horse yet - I dream of owning a pretend horse!
  • mr-mixalot
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    Sorry but I have to laugh at all these stories about kids running up bills, I have no sympathy for any of the parents or users

    IMO, if you don't know how smartphones work then you shouldn't have one and any charges are incurred are your fault 100% ...simples

    Anyway here are some tips to help with security

    1. Never let your kids uses you own iPhone or Android account, just set one up for them as you DO NOT need to register a credit card or Paypal A/C to set up a new Apple or Android account contrary to what they say, this way where is no way any account details can be accessed so no unexpected bills

    My kids have been playing on my smartphones for the last 8 years and I've never had an unauthorized charge in that time despite them playing all the usual games like Angry Birds, Bejeweled, Subway Surfers etc

    Its all down good processes and knowing what you can and can't do
  • If a 7 year old was to try and buy products in a store using their parent's credit card, regardless if they knew the PIN, the store would be acting illegally in accepting the payment.

    Why is it different for apple?
  • jaibaby
    jaibaby Posts: 4,001 Forumite
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    I have an iPhone and iPad (thanks to the comp section of this forum) and my children are ages 12, 9 and 3. I allow them to play on any games I have on there, admittedly most are games they have asked me to download for them. They know they can't buy games themselves, or in-app things, but even if they tried, my settings are set as such that they wouldn't be able to. As I have done, you can set it so you have to input your Apple ID password every single time you want to make a purchase - none of my children know my password.

    In all fairness, we don't have many games that have in-app purchases.

    And how easy is it to say that someone's 4 year old bought them instead of admitting they went over the top a little? :o
    Thanks to all posters :A
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