Danny Kitchen just wanted to kill some zombies.
The five-year-old asked his parents for the password to the family iPad to download a free game, only to accidentally rack up £1710 ($2535) in add-on purchases on his mother's credit card.
Danny downloaded the free game Zombies vs Ninja from Apple's App Store. His parents, who gave him permission to play to game, left their son with the iPad while they tended to guests in their UK home. Little did they know, young Danny ordered additional "darts" and "bombs" to battle the zombies, weapons that can cost up to $109.99.
His mother, Sharon, remained unaware of the purchases until she received 19 iTunes emails the following morning. Thinking it was a multiple send of one receipt, she ignored the message until her credit card company called her about the suspicious activity.
How many other people have been in this situation and not been able to retrieve their money?Sharon Kitchen
"I still find it incredible that he managed to do it," Sharon said. "He only had the iPad for 10 to 15 minutes, so he could've only done the deed within this amount of time. He thought he wasn't doing anything wrong."
Danny received the appropriate scolding from his parents.
"He was reprimanded and told off, but he was crying," Sharon explains. "He realised there were going to be consequences and I said, 'You better run and hide', and he says, 'But mummy, where shall I hide?' I felt so sorry for him and couldn't be mad."
"I was worried," the child says.
Sharon and her husband, Greg, contacted Apple to investigate the situation. After three days of communication, the company deemed the incident a mistake and refunded the full amount to the family. An Apple spokesperson told the Telegraph that keeping a device's password safe is crucial to preventing similar shopping sprees.
They gave the Kitchens a step-by-step tutorial on how to restrict in-app purchases on their iPad and explained parental controls.
But Sharon says such rules need to be commonly known and shared. The parents were unaware of the 15-minute window of access after entering their password, they believed it was solely for the one-time purchase.
"How many other people have been in this situation and not been able to retrieve their money?" she asks. "I think it's a learning process for us as parents to be more aware of these kinds of situations."
Have you had trouble with your children making expensive in-app purchases? Let us know in the comments.
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