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Have Your Kids Ever Racked Up Charges Without You Knowing?

Posted by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM
  • 18 Replies

Apple Agrees to Pay Back Millions to Parents Whose Kids Racked Up Charges

by Jenny Erikson T

Have you ever handed your iPhone to your kid to occupy them for a bit while you got some work done, did the dishes, or hid in the bathroom with a chocolate bar and a gossip magazine? And then been horrified that your little munchkin somehow got into the app store and charged an arm and a leg that you were then responsible for?

You may be off the hook. Apple has agreed to pay back $32.5 million in unauthorized purchases to the app store. You know, like the ones made to “Dragon Story” and “Tiny Zoo Friends.”

Apple tried to fix the purchasing problem a while ago by disallowing purchases to the app store unless parents entered a password first. What they apparently failed to do, however, was warn parents that once the password was entered, there was a 15-minute window during which more purchases could be made.

So a parent might agree to a 99-cent purchase for their child, enter the password, and then hand the phone over to their youngster who then continues to make purchases unbeknownst to mom or dad.

According to the FTC, one customer reported that her daughter had spent $2,600 in “Tap Pet Hotel.” Other kids have racked up $500 or more in various purchases.

In other words, kids can spend a lot of money in 15 minutes.

Good on Apple for paying back these unsuspecting parents, who I’m sure had a heart attack when they saw the charges to their accounts. A little peace and quiet while your kid is occupied by technology shouldn’t be so expensive.

And let that be a lesson to all of us to teach our kids that they may not download anything without specific permission to do so. Our wallets may depend on it.

Have your kids ever racked up any charges without you knowing about it until after the fact?

by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:36 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by Emerald Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

 Fortunately my children have not.  Then again, we've talked about this multiple times and they know that they are not permitted to purchase anything, including free items, without my permission first.

by Ruby Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

 Nope. We don't have tablets, and they only get to play on my phone on rare occasions. (Dh does not have games on his phone). We have probably over-emphasized that they do not ever download anything w/o permission or their butts are in big trouble. It helps that the youngest was 7 when we finally got smartphones, so they all understand that rule.




by Tammy on Jan. 22, 2014 at 4:45 PM

 No, we don't have smart phones. My kids do have an iPod, but they have to ask first to download anything- or they will lose the device.

by Silver Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 8:03 PM

Nope.  The kids don't play with our phones and they know not to download anything to the tablets without our permission.

by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 8:09 PM
We have the App Store password protected and they know they aren't allowed to download anything without permission. They did it a few times when we first got smart phones but we made them pay us back for them. It hasn't happened since
by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:04 PM
When my daughter was 9 she had a bill of $118 on her cell phone from those astrological texts and stuff like that... I work for the company so I was able to get some of it credited back..and had her blocked from ordering anymore.
Now I have a prepaid credit card loaded to her iPad so she can't over spend. The iPad is provided by her school.
by on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:07 PM
nope. our kids dont play on our phones lol. they have those cheap mp3 players but no way to order anything.
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:12 PM

Everything is password protected. Even my 15 yr old still asks before she gets a free app out of respect for us as the ones that pay the bills

by Bronze Member on Jan. 22, 2014 at 9:32 PM

 I disable in app purchases on my iPhone. That 15 minute window doesn't matter. Parents should KNOW to do that.

by Mikki on Jan. 22, 2014 at 10:30 PM


family in the van   Mom of four

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