A five-year-old boy has racked up a $2,555.78 (£1, 700) bill in just 10 minutes on his parents’ iPad.
Danny Kitchen asked his parents for the passcode for the device so that he could download a game, Zombie v Ninja, from the Apple store.
Greg and Sharon Kitchen agreed when they were told the download was free and then left their son alone with the tablet computer as they entertained friends at their home in Bristol in the UK.
But — and that’s a big but — after downloading the free app, Danny managed to find his way into the game’s online store and unwittingly ordered dozens of pricey add-ons, totaling $2571.46 (£1,710.43).
The Associated Press reported Mrs Kitchen’s recollection of what happened.
“We were pretty distracted on Sunday with it being a family day,” she said. “He’d [Danny] asked my husband if he could have the passcode for a free download.”
She added,”My husband said ‘no’ and he [Danny] insisted. He said ‘Please, Dad, it’s only a free one.'”
Despite being sent a battery of emails from iTunes the very next day — which she assumed was an error — Mrs Kitchen says it was only after her credit card company called her that she realized what had happened. The company told her they had authorized the 19 transactions Danny had triggered in the online Apple store.
According to The Telegraph, Mrs Kitchen, who is a mom-of-five said:
“I realized what happened and told Danny he’d better get ready for bed and run and hide before daddy got home. He was crying, as the rest of the children were telling him we could have bought a house with the amount he had spent. He started to run and through his tears he turned back and said ‘But where can I hide?’ Bless him – that stopped me being angry but of course it’s a lot of money.”
“It was far too easy a thing for [Danny] to do and more should be done to limit stuff like this from happening. That game is very annoying – and who would spend more than £1,700 on a game? It’s the first time any of our kids have done anything like this – and it will be the last.”
Fortunately, Mrs. Kitchen says Apple have been “fantastic” in helping them get a refund for the money.
As for the under-age gamer, Danny said: “I just clicked on it because it said it was free. I gave it [the iPad] to Dad, he put the password in, and the next day it cost the money.” Asked what he had learned from the saga, Danny replied: “Not to do it again.”
His father said: “I have now barred the iPad from any more downloads, so that’s the end of that.”
For step-by-step instructions on how to disable in-app purchases click here.