A father in Singapore got the shock of his life when he received a telecom bill amounting to approximately $6,000. He later found that the cause of his hefty bill was in-app game purchases made by his six-year-old son.
The boy spent all this money on game apps – in just two days.
Sharing his story with Stomp, Jason said that his son was using his tablet for home-based learning from 2 to 4 July when he made the in-app game purchases.
Boy Spends Money On Game Apps And Leaves Hefty Bill For Dad
Image source: Stomp
On Monday (5 July), Jason was stunned to discover the $5,866.72 bill after his kid spent money on in-app game purchases.
He told the media outlet that the bill was a “heavy financial loss.”
Since the date for schools reopening in Singapore was postponed, he passed on his Android tablet to his son who is a Primary 1 student. The dad wanted to allow his son its use for home-based learning “to conduct some of his homework.”
After two days, Jason was shocked to find that the in-app game purchases through his tablet had crossed over $5,000.
Jason told Stomp that the charges were for a variety of games and the purchases were made without his knowledge. He also said that his son was not aware that he was making any financial transactions. The six-year-old said he “just randomly pressed without knowing that he was making payments to the game developers.”
The distressed father “had no choice but to pay” in full since the charges were deducted immediately.
“I contacted Google and tried to seek help. To my deepest disappointment, Google refused to investigate further. Neither did they provide the requested refund, even though I made the refund request within 48 hours,” said Jason.
The hassled father also tried to contact the game developers but was disappointed to find that they were also unable to give him a refund.
Dad Hopes To Raise Awareness Among Parents To Avoid The Same Experience
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After his six-year-old kid spent a large sum of money on in-app game purchases, Jason hopes to raise awareness and catch the attention of parents so they can avoid experiencing the same.
He also hopes to “highlight the important need for parents to be careful and pay special attention to how their children are using their mobile devices and computers.” Jason adds that this is especially important to look into now that home-based learning “is becoming the norm due to Covid-19.”
“The economy is really bad now and many are experiencing financial problems. Such issues only create more pressure on family finances,” added Jason.
Jason also told parents to be cautious with their budget settings on their Google Play Store account and maybe even add a password for in-app game purchases.
He has put a budget limit on his own account as well after learning this hard lesson.
He also brought to light the lack of resources when encountering such situations and appealed for greater assistance for parents who have experienced similar unfortunate instances.
Jason believes Google should “take the necessary steps to assist their customers, given that those in-game purchases were unauthorised and made without my consent.”
After what he went through, Jason says, “I would also like to plead with the relevant authorities to look into such issues and implement regulations or assistance, as such incidents are heavy financial burdens on households. This will help parents to avoid suffering such heavy financial losses, especially during the current economic downturn.”