Boy's Xbox Spending Spree Bleeds His Single Mother Dry

This is Brendan Jordan. He's 11 years old and he racked up almost £1083 ($1744) on Xbox Live. And now, his 37-year-old mum, Dawn, is working two jobs just to make ends meet.

"When I put my card details in 18 months ago I thought it was just for his membership to play online with his friends," Dawn tells UK tabloid The Daily Mail. "A thousand pounds isn't that much to people like Bill Gates, but for a single mum it is a lot of money that I don't have."

Dawn claims that she's now working two jobs in order to pay off the debt her son racked up, and both the bank and Microsoft are blaming each other. "It has taken me ages to permanently get rid of my card details from the website," she says. "It was only when I made a complaint that they took all my details off."

That might be so and this might be The Daily Mail (yeah, I know), but shouldn't Dawn have gotten monthly statements from her bank or credit card company? And, you know, shouldn't she have looked at them? And shouldn't she have gone, Hey Brendan, what are you buying?

"Brendan is 11 and knows his times tables but it was only when I explained to him that he realised how much money he had spent," Dawn says. When she showed him how much he spent, Brendan unplugged the Xbox 360 and apparently said he didn't want the console anymore and started crying. She hasn't punished her son, because she says he feels bad and won't do it again.

"It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done," she says. "When he is in gaming mode he can't be thinking about the money. You can't put all that responsibility on a young boy."

"It is impossible to monitor everything your children do," she adds. "These companies should take some responsibility. They take advantage of vulnerable people.'

That's why there are parental controls on Xbox Live, Microsoft points out, adding that complaints of this nature are "extremely rare."

Boy, 11, racks up £1,000 bill on mother's debit card playing XBox online [The Daily Mail]


Comments

    I remember trying to remove my card from an xbox i loaned out and it was nearly impossible. I cancelled my xbox subscription however it kept my card details on the xbox, even though I called microsoft asking them to remove the card which they said they did(There is no way to do this on the xbox). When I gave my xbox to a friend whose sister just fired the system up. Re-established my gold subscription and bought things.

    It took over a month of constant harassing of Microsoft for them to remove my card off the account. They point blank refused to do this because it was an active account regardless that it was mine. I had to cancel the account wait for the subscription to finish and then I could remove my card. Luckily I could make sure they didn't just reactivate the account.

    However I did a charge back on everything she bought. Perhaps this mother should do the same.

    Common bloody sense people. As much as I dislike Microsoft and take every opportunity I can to pan them, this is ENTIRELY their fault. What does she want? 90,000 odd Microsoft employee's worldwide to individually ring over 50 million Xbox console owners to make sure their stupid offspring arent buying shit they shouldnt be? Give me a break. Welcome to the real world; if you buy something, you PAY for it. He knew EXACTLY what he was doing when he racked up that bill and a sobby story and picture isnt gonna change that.

      i agree with what you say, and i lol at stories like this, BUT...there was once when i purchased something on PSN my bank did call up to see if it was me who spent the 20 bucks.

      whilst it would probably be annoying if they did this everytime i made a purchase, i appreciated their gesture into this sort of thing, however little effect it may have (this was like 1 out of 30 or so internet purchases)

      maybe, just maybe, this mom's bank could've done the same

        Does XBL actually require you to store your credit card details with them? If not, then this woman has nobody but herself to blame for this. If so, then that seems pretty damn stupid to me. Why not give you the option of just entering your details when you want to make a purchase / renew your subscription rather than requiring you to store your card details with them?

        I'm pretty sure PSN gives you the option of entering your credit card details every time you add money to your wallet i.e. you're not required to actually store your details on there if you don't want to. Or you can just use cash to buy PSN credit from a retail store and never use your credit card at all.

    While I feel for any single parent struggling to raise a child, I disagree that 3rd parties need to take responsibility. There are parental controls to limit this sort of thing, and if she was more savvy, she would have been monitoring her bank statements more closely. I'm loathe to say it, but maybe she needs to take some of that responsibility too?

    Regardless of the ignorance leading to this, Microsoft really do have to shoulder some of the blame.
    As mentioned by Chris M they make it almost impossible to remove your credit card details from your account. It's almost criminal that Microsoft have no way to remove it from the console itself considering how easy it is to buy things.
    They're constantly shoving items in your face to buy as soon as you turn the thing on, and with it all in "points" rather than dollars or pounds, it's very difficult to keep track of how much actual money is being spent. This is a deliberate revenue-making ploy on Microsoft's part. They take advantage of their less-well-informed users and have no qualms about doing so.

    The kid knew he was spending money, it clearly displays how much points cost when you buy them.

    Microsoft should definitely make it easier to remove your card details but the mother should have been paying attention to what her kid was doing and reading her monthly credit card statements.

    Do Microsoft have a system like the psn with master and sub accounts? Where the sub account can use the masters wallet but not add funds from the card on it?

    You shouldn't be on XBox Live unless you have your own credit card- it would make CoD a lot more bearable.

      Bloody oath.

    This is why children should not own an xbox, this is absolutely ridiculous. Why cant they take responsibility for their actions? Microsoft system is floor i've fought with them numerous times but c'mon that kid knew and he got busted now he's "sorry". He's just like every other child on xbox live, talk big till mum comes in the room and catches them out. Unbelievable.

    To quote:

    “It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done,” she says. “When he is in gaming mode he can’t be thinking about the money. You can’t put all that responsibility on a young boy.”

    She said a mouthful there.

    YES, it is ridiculous to allow a kid to make payments, so why did she? She had to hand over her CC details to him at some point, and she then had to neglect locking down the console so he could do it unsupervised.

    and NO, you can't put the responsibility all on the child - she, as his parent, is fully responsible for his actions.

    I'm tired of people whelping undisciplined offspring, only to expect everyone else, be it the govt, the teachers, or in this case a business, to take responsibility for both their own incompetence at raising their kids, and the subsequent stuff-ups said unrestrained brats make. The media, in its infinite wisdom, then goes on to make martyrs out of these "woe-is-me"ers.

    Increasingly all I see are the signs of a population with an overwhelming sense of entitlement and a pathological gift for passing the buck.

    Time to switch on the benevolent robot overlords IMHO - they won't stand for such guff.

      +1, couldn't agree more. Extra +1 for use of the word whelping.

      Hey come on man, we all saw The Matrix

      "“When I put my card details in 18 months ago I thought it was just for his membership to play online with his friends,” Dawn tells UK tabloid The Daily Mail."

      As many people are saying, it's pretty much impossible to get your card details off of the console once you've put them in.
      She had no idea that they'd be stuck in there for him to use whenever he felt like it, especially since the 360 doesn't do any security checks for it.

      Yes, the kid should have known what he was doing. Yes, the mother should have done a bit more research before just letting her son go wild with it.
      But Microsoft are very much at fault for the way the 360 is designed to make wasting money so very easy.

    So that's why they call it Microsoft Points and not a real currency price tag... clever.

    @Louie G - Please stop whinging. You blame the parents because you have no self control.

    When was the last time you actually stole Mummy's card to buy an in-game pony or the like?

    The problem is three fold; Microsoft is sneaky and doesn't require validation of a card more than once, parents don't enforce rules relating to entertainment strictly enough AND, most of all, some leeches are crafty little things that have a sense of self entitlement and indeed, a "gift for passing the buck".

    When was the last time you took responsibility for a debt you had accrued and didn't simply say "Mummmmmmmy .... I need more money, now."?

    Damn Leeches.

      That's just rude. Hea giving a point about how parents *some* parents these days don't know how to raise their kids, look outside and you'll agree that it's true. It's obviously not everyone but just a small minority that seem to have the loudest voice.
      And how can you say that it's only the kids responsibility, the parents role is to uphold discipline in the household and to teach the child what's right and what's wrong. The moths obviously wasn't paying attention because she would have noticed somethings up when she saw a bank statement or checked her emails with the purchases ( because you need an adults email to create an account If you are under a certain age). I'm not saying the kid didn't have a role to play in this- how couldn't he, it's obvious when you are spending money on the 360 because it's telling you that you are constantly.
      But come on, have some common sense. There were signs, large ones. Maybe she'll be much more attentive now when he 10 year old is on xbox playing a game she didn't buy for him.

        I wasn't rude. I was responding directly to Louie G - and I'm more than entitled to do so.

        Some children ARE to blame. Do you know how many times I've turned my back on him only to find that he's bought another in-game mount or eaten 15 mini chocolate bars? Once already today.

        It's up to the mother, the child and to Microsoft - granted Microsoft is not responsible but at the same time even membership websites typically require validation for each use with a CVC. It's crap they don't, but again, I'm not saying it's just them.

          @Leechy's Mummy
          "Please stop whinging."
          "When was the last time..."
          "When was the last time..."
          "Damn Leeches."
          (and that was from your first post)

          "You blame the parents because you have no self control."
          This sentence basically invalidates everything you mention about parents in your following paragraphs/posts. It's incorrect to assume that just because someone blames a parent that the child has no self control.
          As an example: Recently announced in Australia was that 1 in 4 schoolchildren are overweight and/or obese. Are you saying the parents are not at all responsible for this? Or, if they aren't, who the hell is feeding their kids?

          "Some children ARE to blame."
          What the hell? ALL children are to blame. Thirty kids steal stuff from a shop (let's use this analogy since, in both instances, neither child is directly paying for the goods and/or services out of their own pocket). They are all to be blamed for their actions.
          The only time I let this argument slide is for toddlers or younger. Once you are at least smart enough to recognise right from wrong, you're to blame for every stupid thing you do.

          "The problem is three fold"
          "It’s up to the mother, the child and to Microsoft"
          Correct. But somehow you're distributing blame unevenly.
          The child -- always at fault.
          The parent -- mostly at fault. If you're stupid enough to give your Precious your credit card details, expect the worst. Learn to be stricter and if they don't like it, they can get out. It's your house; it's your rules.
          The company -- in this case, moderately at fault. Microsoft need to make sure their system isn't disingenuous. Removing details should be extremely easy, and MS points should refer to real currency costs.

            My first post was clearly far too subtle. My second post however was not and yet it still went right over your little head.

            Did it not strike you as peculiar that I talked directly to Louie G, and about him specifically eating 15 mini chocolate bars and buying in-game ponies?

            I'm his partner and I came to tease him after he showed me the article - so kindly remove that stick.

    lol yeah she should have been a bit more careful then shouldn't she.

    Really not that hard to remove your credit card details through MS Billing website

    I dislike stupidity with a passion. However, I'm supportive of the mother in this instance. Clearly she is not technically savvy and nor should she be. She's paid for membership only. An 11 year old kid has no notion of money and when you purchase stuff in Microsoft Points it becomes even more obfuscated. I place the blame squarely on Microsoft here. If it is a child account, the child SHOULD NOT be allowed to purchase stuff online with a credit card UNLESS the password for child protection on the account is entered. Shame on you Microsoft! May be grounds for legal action here.

      You can do that through child locks and such.
      It's a default setting. I'm guessing the kid knew the mothers password and did it himself.

    Haha I just noticed! He's got some softcore porn on his 360, the background image haha!

      fukn LOL! probably paid 50 magic points for the picture.

    It's her fault for not supervising her children and her credit card statement. As for her son, an 11 year old doesn't really understand the value of money.

    Isn't there some law (at least in Australia) preventing extremely young people from making this kind of purchase?

    A. she's a dumb bitch
    B. so is her kid
    C. what idiot puts their credit card details out online anyway. There are these things called pre paid gold subscriptions.

      A and B are totally debatable, but I have to agree. Give the kid a sense of value and belonging by making him work for his gold subscription. You want to play online with your friends, clean the house, wash the windows, whatever. On the flip side, you can't expect her to look up every detail of what xbox live is, I'm guessing she thought as long as he was happy, he was out of trouble. Boy did that backfire on her

    I really hate how the xbox and the wii use magical pixie points that don't quite add up to good hard dollars and cents. That's the great thing about the psn. If I'm paying $10 for a piece of DLC, I'm paying $10 hard and fast for it. Don't only give me the option of using 800 or so magic microsoft points (Or however much $10s is in microsoft land). Be up front and tell me how much I'm paying.

    Is that Jeff Gertsman?

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