The BBC has a recent report on an all too familiar sort of story of a young child racking up a hefty bill through In-App purchases in an iPad game. In this case 5 year old Danny Kitchen – from the city of Bristol in England – managed to run up a bill of around $2,500 in just a short time playing a ‘free’ game.
It turns out the game uses the freemium model – the game itself is free but In-App purchases are available and sometimes almost necessary to advance through a game effectively or relatively quickly. Danny apparently spent only around 15 minute with his game while racking up a large number of expensive In-App purchases at over $100 a pop.
The boy’s parents initially thought the iTunes receipts showing these purchases were just some sort of error and ignored them – and fortunately their story has a happy ending as Apple helped the family get a full refund.
It’s very easy to take away the ability for kids to make these sort of mistakes on the iPad – see my article on how to setup parental controls on the iPad for a step-by-step guide on how to do this. Stories like this one serve as a great reminder on how useful it can be to set some sensible restrictions on the iPad.