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

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

By RaduTyrsina on Oct 1, 2013 at 2:55 PM
  1. RaduTyrsina

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    Jun 22, 2012
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    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
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Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by RaduTyrsina, Oct 1, 2013.

    1. scifan57
      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.
    2. anonbeep
      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
    3. Wayneb
      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.
    4. ipadbraincell
      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?
    5. col.bris
      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 .
    6. s2mikey
      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.
    7. HardMetalAlchemy
      So true
    8. kelB
      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.
    9. miket5au
      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!

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