Your Kids' Grubby Gaming Fingers Could Cost You Some Clams

If you've got small kids, you may want to keep them away from your iPad or iPhone, as many of the latest games on Apple's platforms could see them inadvertently racking up a fortune in credit card payments.

A report by the Associated Press points out that some of the App Store's biggest games, like Capcom's "The Smurfs' Village", have been costing some parents an arm and a leg when their kids make in-game purchases using their parents iTunes Store accounts.

How can they do that? Well, when making a purchase on one of their handheld devices, Apple's account security requires you only enter your iTunes password once every 15 minutes. So if a kid asks their parent if they can make an in-game purchase, and the parent agrees, the kid has 15 minutes to make more purchases without having to re-enter a password.

It sounds like a ridiculous thing to complain about, but these are games that are being played by small kids here. They don't know about accounts, and linked credit cards, and password limitations. They just wanna buy crap that helps them play a game, and will mash their dirty little fingers all over a screen until they get what they want.

To Apple's credit, inadvertent purchases made under circumstances like this are usually refunded. But still. That's a hassle you could do without.

The message here? Like any other form of video game, it's best to keep an eye on your kids while they're playing! Simple!

Kids go on expensive buying sprees in iPhone games [Yahoo]


    Never had this problem with the good ol Game Boy

    How about you plan these 15 minutes or make sure they're doing something under your eye for that short time afterwards? I've never had a problem with billing. My best friends couldn't rack up a single dollar if they tried. People who let their kids do this are either irresponsible, or just have poor impulse control and make some crappy excuse for a refund.

    This is exactly the reason why I stick with M$ points cards rather than putting CC details online - too many opportunities for kids to spend money on crap!

    As for the iPhone, just having one in the first place is like waving a red flag that says
    'wreckless consumer - fleece here'

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