Tags: 3000 | itunes | bill | in-app | purchases

Kids' In-app Purchases on Free Game Rack Up $3,000 iTunes Bill

Tuesday, 23 Jul 2013 07:07 PM

By Robin Farmer

The app itself was free, but twin 7-year-olds racked up a $3,000 iTunes bill after making in-app purchases on a game they were playing, prompting their mom to warn other parents.

The game, Clash of Clans, is a top-grossing iTunes app, CBC News reports. The initial download doesn't cost any money, but within the game, there are many opportunities for purchases ranging from 99 cents to $99.

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Canadian mom Paula Marner said her sons were repeatedly prompted to make purchases.

“So that kept coming up consistently and they kept tapping it, because it's just tap purchase, tap purchase, tap purchase,” she told CBC News.

The incident occurred while Marner was out of town.

The average U.S. developer brings in $63,885 on in-app purchasing, according to a 2012 study by research firm Velositor.

Technology law expert David Fewer of Ottawa told CBC that app developers are taking advantage of in-app purchases, hoping parental permissions won't be set correctly.

“The $3,000, $5,000, $10,000 bills, people are really going to complain about that when they show up, because it's pretty noticeable on your credit card statement,” said Fewer, who is the director of the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.

“But if it's just $20 or $40, parents are going to go into that cost-benefit calculation. 'Is it worth my time to complain about this, or should I just pay it and tell my kid not to do that again?'”

Marner, who now wants in-app purchasing disabled on mobile devices, will be getting her $3,000 back, says CBC News.

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