5-year-old British boy spends £1,700 ($2,500) on in-app purchases with his family’s iPadMarch 2, 2013 0 Email article | Print article
Take a look at that little guy. Innocently playing his game on the iPad. But Danny Kitchen isn’t your everyday kid — he’s got a very special superpower: the ability to spend £1,700 ($2,500) on in-app purchases in just 15 minutes.
Kidding aside, unintentional in-app purchases by kids has been a problem for Apple ever since they introduced in-app purchases to iOS. Apple has introduced ways to block accidental in-app purchases (i.e. requiring a password before making a purchase) but this 5-year-old in the UK is an (extreme) example of how when things go wrong, they can go terribly wrong with in-app purchases.
What happened is, after begging his father to type in the password so he could download his free game, Danny went about doing his thing — playing the game. His parents didn’t think much of it because, after all, he has used the iPad before. However, the game, Zombies vs. Ninja, contained in-app purchases of about $105 and after 15 minutes of usage, Danny somehow managed to make $2,500 worth of in-app purchases.
Aside from the obvious “oh $h!t” reaction, I must say it is pretty amazing that Danny was able to rack up an amount more than twenty times the amount of total in-app purchases the game has. In 15 minutes.
Danny’s parents say they received emails the next day about the in-app purchases but ignored the emails thinking it was just a mistake. However, soon after their credit card company called them and informed them about the activity at which point they realized something went wrong. Fortunately for the Kitchen family, Apple has refunded the charges. But for Danny, things didn’t end so well: “I’m banned from the iPad now,” he says.