With the rise of smart phones and tablets we all knew that developers would jump on board and release numerous applications to help us through our day-to-day lives. There’s apps for pretty much everything after all, checking the show times at your local cinema, streaming your favourite shows from the BBC through its iPlayer app and even apps like “Fat Booth” that just makes you look fat… ok.
So with the rise of the “free-to-play” game has only gone from strength to strength. Those tiny little addictive games which encourage you to play them through push notifications on a daily basis and that reward you greatly if you spend real money through in-app purchases in order to level up your characters or get more powerful weapons for example. Which is exactly what five-year-old Danny did when playing Zombies vs Ninjas on the families iPad.
Whilst playing through the game, he purchases 333 in-game bombs at the cost of £69.99 before continuing to purchase other add-ons a total of eighteen times, buying twelve “333 keys” and seven “333 ecstasy bombs” all at £69.99 each. Ouch.
His parents, Greg and Sharon, were only made aware of this when they noticed that they had received many emails from the iTunes store and later received a call from their bank enquiring why so many transactions had been made so frequently at such large amounts.
The family obviously became very distressed regarding the matter with Sharon being reported of saying:
“That game is very annoying – and who would spend more than £1,700 on a game? It’s the first time any of our kids have done anything like this – and it will be the last.”
“Danny has been in tears when we told him how much money he had spent. Loads of parents in the playground said similar things had happened to them but for a lot less money.”
At first the family were unsure if they would receive a refund from Apple although when the story began going viral online Apple responded by issuing a statement which included an offer to refund the family in full.