In-App Purchases Are Dangerous; 5 Year Old Spends $2,500 on In-App Purchases in 5 Minutes

March 3, 2013 - Written By Alexander Maxham

We all kinda knew this would happen sooner or later with these freemium apps, right? Well a 5-year-old named Danny Kitchen was playing with his parents’ iPad, he asked his parents for their iTunes password to download the free game Zombie v Ninja. His parents typed in their password and didn’t think anything of it. Since it was a free game. Little did they know, the 5-year-old had racked up $2500 in charges in just 10 minutes. How? By purchasing in-game items like keys and weapons that are priced in $100 bundles.

Apple was nice enough to refund the money, Danny was still not off the hook. He was asked how he felt about the whole situation, and Danny replied “I was worried and I felt sad”, he also added “I’m banned from the iPad now.” Well being banned from the iPad is probably a good thing, since you can’t do much with it. Yeah I had to throw in a “Android is better” line into this post somewhere.

This 5-year old purchased on bundle of 333 keys, one of 90,000 darts, and another of 333 bombs. Each of these bundles costs about 69.99 GBP, which equals around $105 USD. He also made a few other smaller purchases that added up to the final total of $2,500.

It’s always good to go through the concept of freemium games and what in-app purchases are. That way your child won’t end up in huge trouble, like Danny Kitchen is. Now we just need Google, Apple, Microsoft and whatever other platforms allow in-app/in-game purchases to tighten the security on this. For example, require a password to make the purchase, not just to download it from the Play Store, iTunes, or whatever Microsoft calls their App Store.

Do you have any children that use your phone or tablet? Have they every bought anything that they shouldn’t have? Let us know in the comments below.