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Inadvertent $1500 in app purchase Tap Zoo - warning!

124276 Views 477 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2014 1:58 PM by darcy11072 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • tonefox Level 5 Level 5 (7,680 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 18, 2012 11:16 AM (in response to mdcallag)

    If I had a six year old daughter, (sadly my three babies now total over 120 years between them) I would read the description of the app in the App Store before installing it. The sentence "PLEASE NOTE: Tap Zoo lets you purchase items within the game for real money. Please disable in-app-purchases on your device if you do not want this feature to be available."  might have given you a clue.

     

    Great way to do parenting.

  • alanfromwickford Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 12:07 AM (in response to tonefox)

    The point being made is how much you can spend with no further checks.

    A very simple safeguard would be a texted code you enter to authorise a transaction - as is done with my PayPal payments, have you ask for it to be set up, but you can't use PP in the app store as yet! - WHY?

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,250 points)

    Nothing needs changing, just remember that you, not your daughter are the one responsible for her expenditure and act accordingly.

  • Leann O. Calculating status...

    You very well can use PayPal in the App Store. I use it.

     

    A simple safeguard is to require the password every time a purchase is made. This can easily be done in the Restrictions area of Settings. This has been pointed out numerous times on this thread.

  • mdcallag Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 7:46 AM (in response to tonefox)

    Yes that would have fixed the problem. Another solution is for Apple to change the default behavior of the iPhone to not remember the password for 15 minutes after it has been entered. It does that today so purchases can be made without entering the password immediately after downloading an app. It appears that some games have optimized for that by trying to sell as much as possible in that time.

  • alanfromwickford Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 19, 2012 12:55 PM (in response to Leann O.)

    this is new to e! but if so then i suggest to use this payment method - i'm off to adjust my payment method.

     

    Will M$ live follow this lead? add a credit card to you account to pay  £1 for a weekends gold and you open a vein direct to your funds, even auto renewal of 'live' at the highest tariff - beware!

  • Used to love Apple Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2012 11:34 PM (in response to mazstar)

    Yes, I'm joining this discussion as we have a 6 yr old and have also been caught out to the tune of  £156. 

     

    Yes, we were naive and thought we had learnt our lesson at £25: fortunately the bank stopped the additional attempted purchases (£131) and blocked the card.

    We breathed a sign of relief that the lesson had "only" cost us £25, called the bank to clear up the mess, and hastily set the iPad restrictions as well as deleting the offending kids game whilst the 6 yr old was in bed.

     

    Imagine our surprise the next morning when we found the total charges had gone up to £156.  It seems apple was able to re-submit the charges at some point after we called the bank.  There were absolutely no further attempts made through the app. How can this happen?  Who is to blame here?  And how can it possibly be legal? (BTW, I've had endless problems trying to re-submit a purchase for a genuine transaction in the past - is Apple not subject to the same rules as the rest of the world?)

     

    Isn't it time we started to lobby the powers-that-be (Apple?  Government?  Regulatory authorities?) to put an end to this ridiculous, immoral scam?  The only possible justification that Apple and these app-developers can possibly give for outrages charges in kids games is to con the unwary.  How many £millions will they make out of new users over Christmas? It's just plain wrong.  Where can I sign up?

  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)

    You cannot "lobby the powers-that-be" to make parents read the instructions for and correctly setup the devices they freely allow their children to use.

     

    Being "unwary" is no excuse. All the information needed and the safeguards that are necessary are provided, right in front of you, if you want to read and use them. No intervention by Apple, the Government or Regulatory authorities will change anything. Some parents will always want to blame others for their own mistakes.

     

    Would being an "unwary" driver be an adequate excuse for running people over in the street? Or would you expect someone in control of a car to have learnt how to operate it before using it?

  • Used to love Apple Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Utterly ridiculous argument.  It's not a question of wariness or safeguards.

     

    Who exactly are the intended purchasers of these add-ons?  What is the legitimate business case?

    Please let me know how many idiots - adult or child - will download a free app with the intention of then spending hundreds of real ££s on an imaginary bag of jewels? The very existence of these charges is immoral.

  • Julian Wright Level 7 Level 7 (34,835 points)

    The intended purchasers are the AppStore account holders like all AppStore purchases. Like any product that is sold, you have a free choice whether to buy it or not. There are a wide variety of "in-app purchases" in free games (extra levels, items to help your progress, upgrades etc.), which range in price from £0.69 upwards. They are entirely optional. You do not need to buy these optional purchases. You have a free choice whether to buy or not.

     

    Lots of game players freely choose to buy these optional extras for a variety of reasons. They want extra levels, they want to progress in the game more quickly, they want to enhance the game. Many other people choose not to buy these items and progress through the game more slowly, with the base set of features.

     

    The business case is simple. Games do not write themselves. They cost money to create. Developers need to make a living. Getting your game noticed in a highly competitive market is very difficult. Marketing budgets are limited for small developers. Giving the basic game away free, and then allowing players to buy additional items is one way of funding the development of these games. In-app purchases are not limited to iPhone/iPad games. Every games console (Xbox, PS3, Wii etc.) has similar systems, as do PC games. Even the Amazon Kindle may offer the first book in a series for free, and then charge you for additional books in the series.

     

    It seems that it is your level of understanding that is "utterly ridiculous". If you don't want to partcipate in these types of game sales, then don't. Your options:

     

    1) Simply don't download games with In-App Purchases (try reading the descriptions first)

    2) Use the provided iOS feature to turn off the ability to make In-App Purchases on the device

     

    The power is all yours. Use it. And stop trying to blame others for your incompetence.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,250 points)

    Used to love Apple wrote:

     

    Yes, I'm joining this discussion as we have a 6 yr old and have also been caught out to the tune of  £156. 

     

    Yes, we were naive and thought we had learnt our lesson at £25: fortunately the bank stopped the additional attempted purchases (£131) and blocked the card.

    We breathed a sign of relief that the lesson had "only" cost us £25, called the bank to clear up the mess, and hastily set the iPad restrictions as well as deleting the offending kids game whilst the 6 yr old was in bed.

     

    Imagine our surprise the next morning when we found the total charges had gone up to £156.  It seems apple was able to re-submit the charges at some point after we called the bank.  There were absolutely no further attempts made through the app. How can this happen?  Who is to blame here?  And how can it possibly be legal? (BTW, I've had endless problems trying to re-submit a purchase for a genuine transaction in the past - is Apple not subject to the same rules as the rest of the world?)

     

    Isn't it time we started to lobby the powers-that-be (Apple?  Government?  Regulatory authorities?) to put an end to this ridiculous, immoral scam?  The only possible justification that Apple and these app-developers can possibly give for outrages charges in kids games is to con the unwary.  How many £millions will they make out of new users over Christmas? It's just plain wrong.  Where can I sign up?

    Your child spends your money = Your responsibility ...... Man Up.

  • Csound1 Level 7 Level 7 (32,250 points)

    Used to love Apple wrote:

     

    Utterly ridiculous argument.  It's not a question of wariness or safeguards.

     

    Who exactly are the intended purchasers of these add-ons?  What is the legitimate business case?

    Please let me know how many idiots - adult or child - will download a free app with the intention of then spending hundreds of real ££s on an imaginary bag of jewels? The very existence of these charges is immoral.

    You allowed your child access, face your own responsiblities.

  • Canamuk Calculating status...

    Use to Love you'll find no love here.  I don't know if the trolls on this board are just exercising their cantankerous muscle or if they really believe the free-enterprise rigidity they spew.  I think the bottom like on this business practice is that it generates revenue and there is no Product Manager in Apple or Itunes who has the guts to implement safeguards that result in a drop in earnings. 

  • Meg St._Clair Level 8 Level 8 (37,445 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 21, 2012 4:24 AM (in response to Canamuk)

    Canamuk wrote:

     

    I think the bottom like on this business practice is that it generates revenue and there is no Product Manager in Apple or Itunes who has the guts to implement safeguards that result in a drop in earnings. 

    The whole point is that there are safeguards in place. If people don't educate themselves about them or chose not to use them, there's not a lot Apple can do.

  • sandhu2211 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 23, 2012 2:33 PM (in response to mazstar)

    It happened to us well. My 5 year old daughter accidently bought an APP while playing a free APP. SHe does not know the password, it must have stored somewhere on the phone. App developers know that this free game will mostly played by a kid and then they take them to APP store to buy it. Shame on Apple that they have not blocked developers from doing this. We are charged with 109 dollars. This is a clear case of SCAM and response from Apple has been pathetic, send me an email giving their terms and policy. Terms and policy is to get out of legal tangle but what about customer service. Very unhappy with Apple. I will think twice before i buy Apple products in the future.

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