Mum Shocked After Daughter, 5, Racks Up $1,500 Phone Bill
Her daughter had made over 200 in-app purchases on an online game platform called Roblox, popular with children under 16.
When she checked her July phone bill, a woman was shocked to find that her five-year-old daughter had racked up a $1,500 phone bill within a month.
The single mum in her 30s thought she had ‘child-proofed’ her iPad to prevent such online spending, Lianhe Wanbao reported.
With the device connected to the Wifi network at home, as well as the absence of a SIM card, the expenses puzzled the woman.
She initially thought that there was a mix-up in her StarHub bill, but it turned out that her daughter had made over 200 in-app purchases on an online game platform called Roblox.
Roblox, which allows users to build virtual houses, adopt digital pets and interact with other players, is popular with children under 16.
Records also showed that amounts between $5 and $8 were spent on each transaction.
“My daughter did not understand what was going on. The purchases just went through with a few taps on the iPad.
“She wasn’t aware that she had spent so much money,” the woman told the Chinese daily.
Her daughter had unwittingly splurged on various in-game items using the game’s virtual currency.
Referencing how verification prompts had popped up whenever she topped up the value of her domestic helper’s mobile phone line, the mum questioned why she didn’t encounter the same safety process when her child tapped on purchases in the game.
“I reached out to the customer service staff from both StarHub and Apple. But I still don’t understand where the problem lies.”
She also hopes that her experience will remind other parents to be more vigilant about their children’s online shopping habits.
The telco said it has contacted the woman to offer assistance.
Tips to prevent in-app purchases
To prevent accidental in-app purchases on mobile phones, try the following tips:
– Use direct carrier billing to charge in-app purchases to the phone bill
– Users of Apple devices can also disable in-app purchases, enable Ask to Buy function, or enter a passcode for in-app purchases
– Users of Android devices can set a password requirement for all in-app purchases
– Do not store credit card information in mobile apps and keep track of purchases in your credit card statement
This article was first published in AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Lead image source from Lianhe Wanbao.