A 10-year-old child spent over $3000 on Roblox via the family iPad, charges applied after the child changed the account password.
Stories of excessive spending in a game by a child regularly surface, with parents complaining about the seemingly unjust charges. In the latest iteration, a 10-year-old managed to run up a bill of more than 2,500 pounds ($3,115) on the game Roblox, without her mother's knowledge.
Georgina Munday of Dyserth, Denbighshire, UK, had allowed her autistic daughter to play on an iPad for long periods, due to struggling in school, reports BBC News. Soon after, she started to see the transactions, and initially believed that the account had been hacked.
"We'd just seen hundreds of transactions, these payment confirmations, so then the panic set in - oh my gosh, whose card is this on?" the mother told the report.
Munday spent a week going between Tesco Bank and Apple to try and get a refund, but both sides refused.
"I rang up Tesco Bank and they said, because it was my daughter, they couldn't do anything about it," Minday said. "So I tried Apple again - they just read me their terms and conditions."
After contacting the BBC, Tesco Bank said she would receive a refund. The bank said there was a "further review" of the case that prompted the refund, and added an additional payment as a gesture of goodwill on top of an apology.
In responding to the story, Apple reiterated previous advice that accounts can have alerts set up so parents could be warned before a purchase could be made. Also, they said that parents should not disclose passwords, avoid adding their child to Face ID and Touch ID, enable Ask to Buy, and to use Screen Time.
Roblox said it "has a robust policy for processing refund requests where there may have been unauthorized payments from a person's account." Parents also have access to parental controls that can limit spending and to issue spend notifications for "increased visibility.
Munday is not keen on allowing her daughter to play the game in future, but admitted while she knew what she was doing in changing the password, "I don't think she understood the enormity of it." The mother asked parents to "be vigilant" and to take note of what children do on their devices.