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Twins spend more than $1500 buying virtual pets on iPad app

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by RaduTyrsina, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. RaduTyrsina
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    RaduTyrsina News Team

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    ipad_2688455b.jpg



    A six year-old boy and girl from St Ives, United Kingdom, have spent more than $1500 ( almost 1,000 British pounds) with a pay-in-game iPad app. The game extras bought by the two kids consisted in clothing and virtual pets.

    Ashley Griffiths, the mother of the two kids, said that requiring only a single password for in-app purchases is not enough, and developers should also ask for credit card details. In this case, fortunately for the family, Apple has refunded the amount as a goodwill gesture.

    ​​The father of the twins was shocked at how fast the kids were able to spend such a large amount of money:

    They were just prompted to enter the password, and that's what they kept doing. These games are aimed at children and the designers know exactly what's going to happen.There should be measures in place to prevent this, such as asking for credit card details.

    He also mentioned:

    Children don't understand the value of money, they just see it as a way of collecting more pets and clothes for characters in the games. I mean, who in their right mind is going to pay £75 for a virtual pet?

    What do you think, should there be added some extra authentication measures to avoid such situations?

    Source: Telegraph
  2. scifan57
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    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    All the parents have to do in cases like this is to disable in app purchases, making sure that the children do not know the restrictions password.
  3. anonbeep
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    anonbeep iPF Novice

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    I saw this article and it occurred to me how easy it is to get caught, being a newby and illiterate I downloaded a "FREE" app which to out to be a trial and then, £5.99 a month and that is not free, I don't think I wld let a child play with one. Off these if I was not there with them, beepsy
  4. Wayneb
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    Wayneb iPF Novice

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    I never link credit cards to anything, I just buy iTunes gift cards when I need to get something.
    I do the same thing with Amazon, I refuse to allow any company to have a credit card on file.
  5. ipadbraincell
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    ipadbraincell iPad Fan

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    This has been ongoing for many years, i think UK Trading Standards are looking into take action to prevent ir ban it.

    I don 't see how any game house can be serious where claiming selling duck egg's or banana coins is aimed at adults, though adults can make their own minds up what to pay and play, youngsters are more attracted to cute characters and bright moving colours, along with sounds.

    Those who day prevent with a password i agree with, but we also want to teach our kids that using strong passwords helps protects them in life, with many online transactions.

    If we set or don't give one they can use, they do not get into the habit and take it as when one is not required then there is no risk.

    Currently you need the only password just to download a free game or app, kids can drive parents bonkers and understandably give in - well it is only for free apps - then get rooked.

    Yes you can turn off in-app purchases, but that option is not so well known to be available to newer users, most believe its password at the time, so if not set you only need the same password to buy.

    Those who criticise say its their fault for allowing kids to use expensive 'toys', but if you wan't the kids to be device savvy because that us needed in the world they will inherit, then surely they have to let kids use them at an early age or risk them falling behind?

    To me it is a fairly easy step to stop most of it, a separate password needed for purchases, with response by reading a graphic and typing in the words, or if like PayPal any purchase needs confirmation, this can be by texted code to a dedicated phone number, responded to by typing it in.

    Now if PP can do that - then why not Apple?
  6. col.bris
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    col.bris Administrator Staff Member

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    Would you give your credit card to your children to go shopping I don't think so ... Allowing children access to your credit card is down right stupid. Apple implemented safe guards to prevent this issue and they work. As another member stated use iTunes cards on a separate account then the children may then understand the value of money .
  7. s2mikey
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    s2mikey iPad Addict

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    I agree. This falls squarely on the parent. But, I. This day and age, it's always someone else's fault and we are hardly responsible for our actions or miscues.
  8. HardMetalAlchemy
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    HardMetalAlchemy iPad Fan

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    So true
  9. kelB
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    kelB iPad Enthusiast

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    A simple last 3 digits of your card registered on top of asking password would be enough. I'm not a child but I've accident made purchases before.
  10. miket5au
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    miket5au iPad Fan

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    A lot of people blaming the parents here! The story is about how ridiculous the cost of in-app purchases is. Yes, you can prevent it by not having a credit card on the account but that was not the point of the article. Have you ever made a mistake? Is there a lack of empathy here?

    In-App purchases are a real problem. Games that would sell for $5 or $10 are now free but you cannot play the game properly without buying health or items. I downloaded Real Football 2012 and the players got tired and I was supposed to pay for some sort of health to play on. I uninstalled it and went back to RF11 (which I was happy to pay for).

    Why is it okay to charge over a hundred dollars for items so you can play the game properly? In a game aimed at young kids? The lack of morality is astounding!
  11. bd2e
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    bd2e iPF Noob

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    I also squarely blame the parents here. As the parent of a 12yr old, a 4 yr old and a 3 (today) year old I find it unbelievable that these parents have no sense. My 12 yr old was told when I bought the iPad that she could have the password but anything she bought she paid for. She has and is more than happy to pay up just like she would in any other "shop". My little ones obviously don't have the password so no issue. It's called personal responsibility.

    I would hate to have to supply the 3 digits of a card or whatever as I am happy and comfortable with the safeguards in place. Just like i am with my amazon and PayPal accounts. Asking for additional info each time in my mind is an unnecessary over the top pain.

    That said, I would like in-app purchases curbed as they are crazy. I would also like tv ads during children's programs curbed too but in reality it's wishful thinking as that's where the money come from.
  12. Gotmilk0112
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    Gotmilk0112 iPF Novice

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    "the designers know exactly what's going to happen"

    It's not the designers' fault that you're too stupid to disable in-app purchases...
  13. HardMetalAlchemy
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    HardMetalAlchemy iPad Fan

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    People want somebody else to blame for not figuring things out.
  14. kelB
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    kelB iPad Enthusiast

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    My 14 year old daughter has had the iPhone on 2 year contract, everything connected to my bank/card. Never spent unless asking permission first. Never gone over on the bill either. I guess its trust at the end of the day. But there are a lot of people who don't think/realise the settings within these devices and games. I had an oldish lady come into work the other day, with an ipad.. Couldn't get the wifi working. I noted that her apps were running in the background... She said yes the grand kids play on it. She had lots and lots of running apps, no idea how to get rid of them. No idea how to use the settings for wifi either lol but just shows some people don't have a clue. For all she knows she could land herself an iTunes bill after the kids have been on these games.
  15. anonbeep
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    @kelB. Exactly, I can't tell u how glad I am that I found this forum. This iPad is a brill bit of kit but can get you into all sorts of trouble. The shop that sold me this couldn't or wldnt answer my questions. It is a minefield and a lot to learn, especially for someone like me who was not brought up with computers and all this digital stuff. I am amazed by the technology, it's wonderful, but it is scary. I don't like all my info going online as you put it and like it or not personal stuff does hav to go online if u want to use it, it is knowing how much and when and where to put it. Thanks to u all on the forum and especially to the person(s) who thought it up, beepsy
  16. col.bris
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    col.bris Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome and thank you.... We appreciate your comments and yes our team try hard to provide answers and assistance to not only you but thousands of users world wide.

    The forum is part of a group of some 40 plus forums covering not only technology but many other interests. Each and every one of our moderators and resident admin staff are volunteers based around the world on call to answer question or problems as needed. Our team are passionate about Apple and are highly experience not only in the technology but also in the art of communicating with our users to resolve issues and at the same time give them confidence in how to use these amazing products but in saying that we also are proud to have a team of highly experience dedicated members whom treat our forum as a second home.

    I have taken note of the issue that has been raised regarding in app purchases and as a personal commitment will establish a sub forum that will explain and assist users in the best way to assist and help not only families but individual users like your self how to avoid an unwanted expensive iTunes bill.

    Thank you on behalf of our iPad forum team and the forumfoundry.com
  17. Rojas4
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    Rojas4 iPF Novice

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    That's a great idea you could purchase, I tunes gift cards at any Walgreens
  18. anonbeep
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    anonbeep iPF Novice

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    I'm lost here!!! To buy a gift card from ITunes would u not hav to put in yor card details?
  19. J. A.
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    J. A. iPad Legend

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    iTunes gift cards are also available in Apple stores, as well as different other stores (at least here in Austria). I guess it will be the same in other countries.
  20. anonbeep
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    anonbeep iPF Novice

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    @JA. Yes of course, my Apple store is 60 mile away in Southampton, but I get yor drift. I'm old JA, my age group is on still into cash, cards of any sort and buying online

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