I woke up this morning to discover I had 19 new iTunes bills. They added up to a large debt. I was shocked and thought it must be some crazy mistake. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the 'free' App my son had downloaded had 'in App' purchases and he had wracked up this huge bill. In two days.
He says he didn't know it was real money. He has no concept of just how many times he bought himself some 'essential' tool for the game. He doesn't get it at all really. He doesn't get that a sheepish "sorry" doesn't really cut it in this case.
Horrified, on so many levels, I began what will be a very long process of getting a refund. I started at the local Apple store, got fobbed off to a website, posted a complaint, got a call back from a computer that managed to tell me that the call centre was closed until Monday. I will be pursuing the issue with the energy of a dog at a bone. It is disgusting that this is even possible. There is absolutely nothing 'free' about this App.
I bet there are many people in the exact same position as me.
This situation has highlighted some major flaws in my online security. I have deleted the game, changed my password, and confiscated his iPod, so in the short term, I have solved the problem. I also need to change the settings on his iPod to disallow 'in app' purchases and get him off my iTunes log in.
I simply do not know what to do to adequately punish my son; to help him to understand the value of money. To teach him that a virtual 'gem' in a virtual world is NOT a good way to spend real life money.
This is the madness of the world we are now living in. You can go broke buying stuff that doesn't actually exist. What chance does a young boy have of understanding that?
Has this happened to you? How do you think you would solve this dilemma?