Kids and smart phone are a terrifying combo for parents. Tiny fingers can be a nightmare when it comes accidental phone calls and in-app purchases. Kids get their hands on your phone and can cause all types of damage to your bank account. Most apps are set to automatically charge your card at the click of a button, and any excited child just trying to get to the next level on a game or view their favorite cartoon or show can get a little trigger happy. A New York mom learned that lesson the hard way.
The insane spending spree, which was $16,293.10, happening over a couple months starting in July, the kid started purchasing add-ons in the game, some as low as $1.99 all the way up to a $99.99 bundles, reported by the New York Post. On July 9, 25 charges were made to her account, totaling in over $2,500.
Back in 2014, NBC NEWS reported on precautions Apple’s App store was taking to help provide a buffer for parents whose kids get a little too excited with their apps. Thousands of parents have gotten bills for hundreds or thousands of dollars after their kids racked up charges on games that let them speed up their advancement inside virtual games in exchange for real cash on the credit cards on their parents’ iTunes accounts.
At the time as part of an agreement they reached with regulators following the settling of a 2011 class-action lawsuit, Apple’s App store began emailing customers to let them know they can request a refund for any unauthorized in-app purchases children have made on their account. Users continued to receive the emails through today.
“We’ve heard from some customers that it was too easy for their kids to make in-app purchases. As a result, we’ve improved controls for parents so they can better manage their children’s purchases, or restrict them entirely. Additionally, we are offering refunds in certain cases.”
Well hopefully Amazon will follow suit. This past week a 4-year old in Brooklyn who loves Spongebob accidentally purchased $2,618.85 worth of SpongeBob popsicles from Amazon. He had them sent to his Auntie’s house. In total it was 51 cases, containing 918 popsicles.
His mom Jennifer Bryant social work student at NYU and struggling to make ends meet as is, so this insane new charge for sure took her by surprise. Even more surprising is that Amazon will not let her return the popsicles. Her friend Katie Schloss took to IG to ask people for help. “Ms. Bryant, mom to 3 boys, doesn’t know how she’s going to be able to pay this off, in addition to student loans and all of her family’s other expenses.” she said in the post with a picture of the smiling boy enjoying one of his Spongebob popsicles.