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Monday, 04 March 2013 08:56

Kid spends fortune on in-app iPad purchases

Written by Peter Scott



$2,500 worth of nothing

In a case of buyer beware, a 5-year-old boy in UK has somehow managed to run up a £1,710 (roughly $2,500) iTunes bill thanks to the magic of in-app purchases.

Danny Kitchen apparently got hooked on a simple iPad game, and since he was using his parents’ iPad to play it, he was able to buy loads of stuff in the app. One might argue that it is the parents’ fault, and to some extent it is, but then again, how on earth does anyone spend $2,500 on a single game, in just ten minutes? That sort of money can buy a pretty nice gaming PC, not to mention a console, and a bunch of AAA titles.

Here is how. Many app developers have become incredibly greedy, so they think they can get away with charging a fortune for content. Danny played Zombie vs. Ninja, a rather daft and unspectacular game with a retro design, the sort of stuff users expect to download for free. However, the developers are charging an arm and a leg for in-app purchases. A set of 333 bombs costs £69.99, as does a set of 9,000 virtual darts, or 333 virtual keys. To think that anyone in their right mind would pay that sort of money is a bit of a stretch to say the least.

Although there are safeguards to prevent such things from happening, and most parents should make sure their child can’t make transactions while playing around on a tablet or smartphone, it is quite hard not to blame the developer as well. Pricing virtual items at £69.99 is disgraceful and since practically no adult would spend that kind of money, it sounds like an awful ploy to make money on kids and careless parents who don’t check their bills very meticulously.

More here.

 

Peter Scott

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