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Boy, 7, In Tears After Apple Refuse To Refund £1,200 He Accidentally Spent On Online Games

Boy, 7, In Tears After Apple Refuse To Refund £1,200 He Accidentally Spent On Online Games

A seven-year-old boy was left in tears after Apple refused to refund the £1,200 he accidentally spent on online games.

Little Harry had accidentally made more than 60 purchases on the family iPad totalling £1,218, which included eight batches of virtual cat food priced at £99 each and on games such as Minecraft and Among Us.

Mum Abi Smith, 40, from Bishop's Stortford, couldn't believe her eyes when she saw the purchases, and desperately tried to get a refund from Apple.

But after spending more than three hours on the phone, she was told she couldn't get her money back.

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Harry was left in tears after making the purchases (Credit: Kennedy News and Media)
Harry was left in tears after making the purchases (Credit: Kennedy News and Media)

Abi - who is currently on furlough - was forced to borrow money after the incident and is now calling for Apple to introduce tighter security measures.

Although the iPad was password protected, little Harry had managed to swap the password for his thumbprint.

"These games are addictive and constantly encouraging children to spend more money. For me, Apple are enabling that platform for children to do that," said Abi.

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"I'm not the first person this has happened to and I won't be the last, however if they do put these extra security measures in place, such as a simple 'add your CVC on this purchase', it's going to avoid this happening for so many other parents.

"The security features are there but for me, it's not enough. To add something simple like the CVC is an extra measure. I had bills coming out and I've gone overdrawn. I had to borrow money to sort my bills out.

Abi was left having to borrow money (Credit: Kennedy News and Media)
Abi was left having to borrow money (Credit: Kennedy News and Media)

"The only purchase I'd ever made on that account was for 99p and I was absolutely unaware until they told me that your card details automatically save.

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"There should be a choice and if there had been, I'd say no. That completely avoids this happening with kids. This is what I'm trying to get to with Apple.

"I had [security settings] in place and unfortunately I've got a very clever boy who managed to put his thumbprint on there.

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"I do change the password often because they do look. [Harry's] not been devious or naughty, he's a child - that's what they do. They are curious.

"I didn't realise he did it and I didn't realise that when he does that it overrode all the security settings I had in place.

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"Even on online shopping, it saves your card but each time I go on I have to put in the CVC. It's an extra security measure that protects people from this happening."

And little Harry was so devastated, he broke down in tears when Abi asked him about the purchases.

Harry managed to make the purchases with his thumbprint (Credit: Kennedy News and Media)
Harry managed to make the purchases with his thumbprint (Credit: Kennedy News and Media)

"When I confronted him, he was in tears. He said 'Mummy, you can take all the money from my bank. Please, if there's any money in my wallet, go and take it. I will do anything you want.'," Abi explained.

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"I had my son crying his eyes out before home-schooling and in an absolute state. It's caused a huge problem."

Abi initially tried to refund the purchases online, before spending hours on the phone trying to resolve the situation.

"Initially I went online and had to click to refund each one. Then it came back saying 'sorry, we need more details'," she said.

"After I put in all the information, it said 'sorry, you are not eligible for a refund'. Then I phoned [the following day] and spent over three hours talking to two different advisors. It really just sounded like 'computer says no'.

"Apple's argument was they class it as a consumable so they wouldn't refund it. I said 'if those points are still there, surely they can be taken back?'"

Apple has now reversed the decision and agreed to refund Abi the money (Credit: Kennedy News and Media)
Apple has now reversed the decision and agreed to refund Abi the money (Credit: Kennedy News and Media)

Apple has now reversed the decision and agreed to refund Abi the money.

The company declined to comment, but pointed out the 'Ask to Buy' feature which sends a request to a family member whenever a child tries to make a purchase. The parent, or account holder, can then approve or decline the request to prevent problems such as Abi's occurring.

PONOS, the developers of The Battle Cats, Microsoft, who own Minecraft, and Inner Sloth, who developed Among Us, were all contacted for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Kennedy News and Media

Topics: Life News, Parenting, Apple

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Lucy Devine

Lucy is a journalist working for Tyla. After graduating with a master's degree in journalism, she has worked in both print and online and is particularly interested in fashion, food, health and women's issues. Northerner, coffee addict, says hun a lot. Get in touch at [email protected]