A Connecticut mother is stuck with a $16,000 credit card bill after her six-year-old son went on a spending spree while playing a video game on her iPad. Jessica Johnson noticed $2,500 in charges to her card in July and thought the charges were strange. She contacted her bank, believing the unitemized charges from PayPal and Apple.com were fraudulent.
“The way the charges get bundled made it almost impossible [to figure out that] they were from a game,” she told the New York Post.
By the time she filed a fraud claim, the charges had topped $16,000. In October, she was told by her bank that the charges were legitimate and she needed to contact Apple if she wanted a refund.
A customer service agent explained that the purchases were for gold coins in the game Sonic Forces. It turns out her son George had been buying bundles of the in-game currency so he could upgrade his characters and get other in-game rewards. He started buying bundles of rings for $1.99 but soon started purchasing larger bundles for $99.99.
Unfortunately, Apple informed Johnson that they would not refund the charges because she waited too long to file a claim.
Apple refused to budge, even as she pleaded that she would be unable to make her mortgage payments. They told her it was her fault and that she could have used the security settings to prevent her son from making purchases.
While Johson figures out how she is going to pay back the money her son spent, she urged other parents to check the settings on their devices.
“Check your security settings. I’m appalled that this is even possible in these games and that Apple devices are not pre-set to prevent this.”