MSE News: Apple UK urged to refund kids' iPad and iPhone app cash

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  • duncanstevenson
    duncanstevenson Posts: 7 Forumite
    edited 27 February 2013 at 1:42PM
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    Giving your kids an iPad or iPhone (or iPod Touch) can be great from an educational perspective, and I genuinely believe that they can make a difference to a child's development.

    That said, if you do give your child one of these devices (or allow them to access your own) you need to understand the device and the various security features that are available. At some point you have voluntarily linked your debit or credit card to this account - it's not like this it out of the blue! You wouldn't buy a house then get annoyed when you didn't realise you were supposed to lock the door!

    Many of the games that have come under criticism are appealing to children, but are also targeted at young (and old) adults! There's absolutely nothing wrong with Developers charging what they want for an app, or for an in-app purchase. It's also worth pointing out that the £69.99 example is at the high end. That app also has lower bundles that cost only a few pounds.

    In any case, parents who give their children their password and then get annoyed when they buy things get exactly zero sympathy from me. Learn to use your device - Apple will show you for free if you pop in to an Apple Store!

    Should the government start limiting what developers can charge for their software? Absolutely, definitely, NOT.

    Should Apple (or Google) be forced to refund money to irresponsible parents? Again, absolutely not!
  • harvey03
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    One of my children ran up a debt of £214 on in-app purchases in the space of about 15minutes. We were only aware of it as the next day my credit card was blocked due to strange activity. We then realised that something strange had happened and investigated further.

    yes it is the parents responsibility ultimately but such things should not be targetted on games obviously suited for 4 year old - why on earth should they be able to 'buy' gems for a price ranging from £2.99- £74.99? especially when other bits of the games you buy things with pretend coins?

    We have been very fortunate in that Apple have refunded this amount back to us and due to our error in not realising there was such a button as 'in-app purchases' - this is now Permanently switched off. These devices don't come with instructions so you are unaware of exactly what to do with them. (yes again our fault for not looking thoroughly into this - before anyone says anything against us).

    Most of my friends now have high security set up on their devices since all this happened to us - of which i am now grateful because i have manged to help a lot of others too.

    We have been fortunate in many ways - our credit card company put stop to this in the first instance before the amount got even higher without us realising.
  • oshii
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    One thing that has worked for me is I switch my phone/ipad onto airplane mode before giving it to one of my kids. This stops the device being able to connect to the internet (or receive phone calls, which can be quite a nice break!) which means you can't make in app purchases.

    Might not suit everyone, but it's nice and easy.
  • Johnmcl7
    Johnmcl7 Posts: 2,818 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
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    AAAAA wrote: »
    From the article "occasions, kids simply remember their parents' password, which is the only security hurdle to overcome to make a purchase."

    So parents let there children know there password.The kids then purchase s*** loads of virtual goods,while the parents aren't watching them.Then the parents have the BALLS to expect a refund.Priceless.:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

    This was also mentioned in the previous article which I thought was ridiculous and I'm surprised to see it again, I can't see how it is anyone's fault but the parent if children have been given the password. It's like handing a child a credit card and then blaming the credit card company because the child spends money on it. No security system is going to work because parents can always bypass it for their children if they choose to. There is no way a child should know a password if it's not given and any hint they know what it is means it should be changed.

    I've perhaps missed it but I'm curious what Apple will be doing with these companies that have ridiculously high in-app purchases because I assume Apple are going to want to avoid this situation occurring any further if Apple are now giving out refunds. I'd assume they're going to take steps to limit in-app purchases in both frequency and value which should still allow legitimate purchases but cut out some of these ridiculous ones.

    John
  • StarM_2
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    How many times do we need to read "these things shouldn't be targeted towards children"? Seems a little redundant and foolish if you ask me.

    Should we also ban all internet ads that promote the latest toy? I mean, what if it leads them to a site where you've saved your credit card details?!

    If you're planning on giving your child access to anything that involves contact with the outside world, be it the TV, a phone, a smartphone or a tablet, you need to spend the time investigating the device and all the features that come with it.

    I'm anything but an Apple fan (now there's a rant no one wants to hear!) but bailing out irresponsible parents is a joke that they shouldn't have to tolerate.
  • d123
    d123 Posts: 8,633 Forumite
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    So, in MSE Towers, if a child steals money from their mother's purse, it's the purse maker who is responsible and should reimburse the money?

    This is just nanny madness gone mad, has personal responsibility left society?
    ====
  • kevroberts66
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    I dont think people realise that a lot of these games are free downloads and innocent games that children dont need a [password for to make purchases. my daughter ran up a bill of £150 on two purchases of pretend diamonds in a free game thjat required no password. I know because i went into the game to find out.. Apple gave me a full refund
  • rockin_plumber
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    I dont think people realise that a lot of these games are free downloads and innocent games that children dont need a [password for to make purchases. my daughter ran up a bill of £150 on two purchases of pretend diamonds in a free game thjat required no password. I know because i went into the game to find out.. Apple gave me a full refund

    It depends how you have the password set up....

    By default in app purchses are on and if the password has been entered it wont ask for it again for 15 minutes.

    On a side note it would have popped up that the purchases were going to cost £75 each and your "innocent daughter" would have had to click yes, even if it didn't ask for a password.

    My 7 year old son wont even download a FREE GAME without checking with us first that it is ok, so much so we can trust him with the password.

    And if he does decide to make his own purchses we have no credit card linked to the account and just use iTunes cards, and his iPod touch would be on eBay for him never to see again should he go rogue on us.

    That would more than cover the cost of a maximum £25 iTunes card, and I wouldn't have to go crying to apple because my child spent my money without me knowing.
  • BohemianCoast
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    I don't quite get where MSE is coming from on this, because as several people have pointed out in this thread, Apple do refund the charges the first time this happens to parents. They do it as a goodwill gesture rather than as of right, and I trust that nobody thinks they should refund the charges twice or more, right?
    Make £2023 in 2023: (all decluttering), current total £2860 me, £330 for friends & family, £468 charity donations.
  • kevroberts66
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    It depends how you have the password set up....

    By default in app purchses are on and if the password has been entered it wont ask for it again for 15 minutes.

    On a side note it would have popped up that the purchases were going to cost £75 each and your "innocent daughter" would have had to click yes, even if it didn't ask for a password.

    My 7 year old son wont even download a FREE GAME without checking with us first that it is ok, so much so we can trust him with the password.

    And if he does decide to make his own purchses we have no credit card linked to the account and just use iTunes cards, and his iPod touch would be on eBay for him never to see again should he go rogue on us.

    That would more than cover the cost of a maximum £25 iTunes card, and I wouldn't have to go crying to apple because my child spent my money without me knowing.


    I tried it myself and it never asked for a password or yes/no. it was a kids game designed to ripoff nothing more
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