UPDATE: According to Eurogamer, Apple has since refunded the full £1710.43 'as the purchases were clearly unintentional.'
The Daily Mail has today highlighted the plight of a mum and dad whose kid has racked up am eye-watering £1,700 Apple App Store bill.
The paper reports that Danny Kitchen’s father happily handed over his password so the youngster could download free title Zombies vs Ninjas. Which he did.
The thing is, he also went on to download a £69.99 piece of DLC. 19 times.
However, whereas Apple has refunded in the region of £66m to US customers whose kids had cheekily downloaded IAPs without permission, the company has refused to refund the Kitchens.
In the Daily Mail’s (but sadly not the Kitchen’s) defence, the paper does point out that iOS devices have built-in parental controls designed to prevent just this sort of issue.
On the flip side, poor Danny – who has understandably been left “in tears” by the drama – surely cannot be held to account for what is a very easy misunderstanding?
Indeed, most parents will have either experienced similar problems first hand or at the least know other parents who have. In many instances Apple has agreed to refunds. Why it will not in this instance is unclear, particularly considering the stance it takes in the US.
“All iOS devices have built in parental controls that give parents and guardians the ability to restrict access to content, eg internet access and age rated content such as music, games, apps, TV shows, movies etc,” an Apple spokesperson explained.
“Parental controls also give parents and guardians the option to turn off functionality such as purchasing from iTunes and the ability to turn off in-app purchases.
“Our parents' guide to iTunes details the steps and measures parents and guardians can take to make sure younger players have access to the right content. The first thing we recommend is not to share your password.”