Connecticut Kid Racks Up $16K in Non-Refundable iPad Game In-App Purchases

Kid Playing iPad Game Credit: Raymond Vong Photography / Shutterstock
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Ever since coronavirus reared its ugly head, parents and their kids have been staying at home. To help pass the hours, it’s typical for parents to give their children some tablet time so that the adults can get a much-needed break. This plan works great until something goes awry.

For Jessica Johnson of Wilton, CT, a series of unintentional in-app purchases by her young son soured the iPad experience and cost her thousands of dollars.

According to the New York Post, Johnson’s six-year-old son George spent more than $16,000 in the iOS app store.

The youngster was playing the game Sonic Forces and made purchases for in-game currency. The purchases started in July and spanned for several months.

George’s spending spree ranged from $1.99 individual packs to $99 bundles. In one single day, the youth made 25 purchases totaling over $2,500.

Johnson did not realize the charges were in-app purchases and thought the charges were fraudulent. She contacted her card issuer, Chase, and filed a fraud complaint. Chase investigated the disputed charges and found them to be genuine.

Johnson finally connected with Apple and reviewed the charges with a support person. During this review, Johnson recognized the Sonic icon and realized it was her son who made all the charges.

Unfortunately for Johnson, Apple refused to issue her a refund because the time between the charges and when they were reported was more than 60 days.

Apple offers a variety of parental control options to prevent these types of unauthorized charges. First and foremost, parents can secure their Apple ID password and require the Apple ID password for every in-app purchase. Parents should also check their email as all iTunes receipts should be sent via email shortly after purchase.

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