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Inadvertent $1500 in app purchase Tap Zoo - warning!

124304 Views 477 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2014 1:58 PM by darcy11072 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
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mazstar Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 22, 2010 6:08 AM
My young cousin played some free games on my girlfriend's iPhone and somehow managed to purchase Tap Zoo (it must have logged in beforehand). Within this game, players can buy gold coins which I understand buys animals.

My cousin who is 8yrs old proceeded to make nearly AUD$1500 worth of purchases of these gold coins within the app, without any need for password or any warnings. Remember this game is designed for children.

I checked the developer's website and it appears they have acknowledged they have done the wrong thing and have supported people to seek refunds.

We have emailed iTunes support OVER 48 hours ago and no response. Can someone recommend what we can do as this is a lot of money and our credit card has been cancelled because the bank thought it was a suspicious purchase.

I have posted link to Streetview Labs - please be careful and don't let your kids play this till the developer fixes the problem which is over 10 days old and doesn't seem to be fixed yet.

*Any advice on how to get iTunes to respond all we have is an email and it has been 3 days since the first email we sent.*
iMac 21.5, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,720 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2010 6:32 AM (in response to mazstar)
    I can't help you with the refund but you can disable in app purchases. Go to Settings - General - Enable Restrictions - Disable in app purchase.
    MacBook , Mini, Airport Express, iPhone 3G x 2, Air, iPad, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Doctor Pangloss Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2010 10:05 AM (in response to mazstar)
    The best luck I had getting a response from iTunes support was via the Report a Problem link. Store ...View my Account ...Purchase History ...Report a Problem.

    That got an instant acknowledgement, and a satisfactory answer within 24 hours.

    By the way is this real money we are talking about? Has your credit card actually been charged? I don't know that app at all but the idea of Apple allowing $1500 via in app purchases for a game seems that it might be at odds with their strict developer guidelines.
    Core i7, Windows 7 13" MB Unibody
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,720 points)
    With games, you can buy as much as you want in app. Apple does not put a cap on how much you want to spend but they do give you the tools to disable in app purchases so your kids can't buy stuff.

    To spend that much in Tap Zoo, the kid was unsupervised for quite awhile. The max in app purchase is $20 US and he'd have had to do that 67 times to spend that much.

    Here is the breakdown of possible in app purchase for Tap Zoo:

    1Vial of Stars $0.99
    2Vial of Coins $0.99
    3Pouch of Stars $1.99
    4Pouch of Coins $1.99
    5A Can of Stars $4.99
    6Can of Coins $4.99
    7A Bottle of Stars $9.99
    8Bottle of Coins $9.99
    9Jar of Stars $19.99
    10Jar of Coins $19.99
    MacBook , Mini, Airport Express, iPhone 3G x 2, Air, iPad, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Doctor Pangloss Level 1 Level 1 (105 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2010 11:01 AM (in response to Tamara)
    Well something is definitely fishy. Even accounting for USD vs. AUD the app itself is only 17 days old. No way possible to run up a $1500 tab in that short time. Either the $20 per day limit isn't being enforced or something else is going on that we are unaware of.
    Core i7, Windows 7 13" MB Unibody
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,720 points)
    It isn't a $20/day limit. There is no limit to how many in app purchases you can make in a day so there is nothing fishy. It's just a kid that was left unsupervised with a game where in app purchases weren't disabled.
    MacBook , Mini, Airport Express, iPhone 3G x 2, Air, iPad, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • UtahMacFan Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2010 5:36 PM (in response to Tamara)
    The max in-app purchase is much higher. We had a charge for ONE in-app purchase ("Chest of Stars") for the amount of $149.99+tax. The problem is, neither we nor our children ever made the purchase. We also never gave our children the iTunes store password. And to add insult to injury, the one purchase was double-charged to our credit card.

    Unauthorized charges aside, why does a kids game even allow $150 in-app purchases in the first place?!?

    Beware this scam indeed. StreetView Lab's very business model seems to be to give away games like this and then rake in these in-app purchases for obscenely high amounts.
    iOS 4
  • Sing Jo Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2010 6:36 PM (in response to mazstar)
    We had a similar experience - my six year old purchased a 'chest of stars' for $199.99 (NZD) so yes it is possible to rack up a large amount quickly. We take responsibility and did not read the fine print properly (i.e. in the game description it makes note that you can purchase virtual items for real money and you must disable this) however what I am FURIOUS about is that my daughter was not prompted for my iTunes password (my experience with all other apps) which would have avoided this situation altogether. $200 for a virtual purchase - this game is a SCAM.
    iPhone OS 3.1.3
  • GFP63 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2010 6:11 AM (in response to mazstar)
    Has anyone received any reimbursement on these claims? I am assuming no as this thread is still open and given the iTunes/App Store 'Terms and Conditions'. I had a similar experience where my son purchased $9.99 of... something. Certainly not as bad as these other claims but nonetheless.
    Mac Mini 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • michuss Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2010 7:21 PM (in response to mazstar)
    WARNING DONT DOWNLOAD RESTAURANT HISTORY:

    my son who always downloads FREE games had downloaded this game called restaurant history were you help out in a restaurant I believe, well at the moment it said that it was supposedly free but they actually charged me $107.24 and itunes doesn't respond to my problem. *Be careful on what you download*
  • cecilpickard Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 23, 2010 4:10 AM (in response to mazstar)
    I have had a similar thing happen to me.

    This is illegal in the United States.


    This practice will be stopped. Like I said, it is illegal in every US state.

    <Edited by Host>
    Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,720 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 23, 2010 4:27 AM (in response to michuss)
    You do know that if you read the manual, you can turn off In App purchases so your kid isn't spending your money?
    MacBook , Mini, Airport Express, iPhone 3G, iPhone4, Air, iPad, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • miveson Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 27, 2010 11:16 PM (in response to mazstar)
    My experience is nothing like some of the others, but I had a similar problem with an app called Tap Town, had $8AUD charges. I simply reported a problem via iTunes store and within 24 hours I had the fees refunded by Apple and a nice link to disable the in-app purchases on the iPhone which I've now enabled.

    I'll admit that some of the FREE apps seem to encourage less than ideal behaviour when it comes to purchases, I mean who about the age of 18 would even download and play something like Tap Town, it's aimed at kids and played by kids, as if they know if they are or aren't purchasing information.
    MBP 2.5..4GB | iMac 2.92..4GB, iOS 4
  • alejandrogazmuri@gmail.com Calculating status...
    estimado, yo soy de Chile y nos paso exactamente lo mismo, tu has tenido alguna respuesta, de verdad es incomodo esta situacion, y preocupante, porque efectivamente son niños quienes juegan y no tenemos por que saber los costos si uno ve que es gratis
  • thomas-eastcoast Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 29, 2010 10:52 AM (in response to mazstar)
    You can rack up $200 fairly quickly, I do know that. This game has a feature that allows you to buy a "Trunk of Coins" for $99.99. Seriously- $99.99 for a single feature. My kid purchased this game because it was FREE, then bought a boat load of features and I ended up with $240 on my card in less than 2 minutes, with TWO transactions for $99.99 each, for a "Trunk of Coins." Look it up on the app. It's in there. This whole concept of "in-app-purchase" should be pulled. Most people don't know that they have to do that in order to prevent these kinds of charges. Apple shouldn't allow these apps to even get away with this total BS. Feels like a SCAM to me, praying on kids who don't know the difference then blaming the parents for not paying attention to something they didn't even know that had to pay attention to.
    mac, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
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