In an incident that showcases what can lead to unsupervised gaming sessions, a father was recently forced to sell his family car after his 7-year-old son spent Rs. 1.33 lakh (£1,289.70) on iPhone game. Muhammad Mutaza, who serves as a doctor in UK, was recently slammed by in-app purchase bills that ranged from £1.99 (Rs. 205) to £99.99 (Rs. 1028).
While smartphones in this day and age is almost a necessity and in-app purchases are getting more common by the day, there’s also a flip side to it all. On the flip side, letting children play on their smartphones without supervision and parental lock, or having your bank accounts connected to those games can dig a massive hole in your pocket.
If you don’t take us by the word, ask UK based doctor Muhammad Mutaza.
Meet Dr. Mutaza and his 7-year-old son Ashaz
An endocrinologist from Colwyn Bay, North Wales, UK, Mutaza was handed a whopping Rs. 1.33 lakh (£1,289.70) Apple iTunes bill. It was his son, 7-year-old Ashaz, who unwittingly made several in-app purchases while playing a game called Dragons: Rise of Berk, developed by DreamWorks.
In the mythical monster game, unlimited in-app purchases up to £99.99 are available which led to several bills racked on top of each other. These bills ranged from £1.99 and went up to a jaw dropping £99.99.
How Did 7-year-old Ashaz make in-app purchases?
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Mutaza is of the belief that his 7-year-old son somehow remembered his iTunes password when he was entering it while looking over his shoulder. Mutaza only realized that he had a mountain of bills awaiting him when he received 29 emails for transactions ranging from £1.99 to £99.99.
Mutaza claimed that Ashaz was ‘pressured’ into getting in-app purchases, that too multiple times, because the young boy was scared of losing the game of having his characters die.
The father of the 7-year-old also explained in his interview to the Daily Mail that he doesn’t check his email regularly where his iTunes account is connected.
“Could’ve spent million pounds in 30 minutes”: Ashaz’s Father After Selling Car
The UK based doctor also pointed out a glaring problematic side of in-app purchases. Mutaza claimed that as the in-app purchases are not restricted to a particular time, and that with just one click, purchase can be made, a person can spend millions within minutes.
“It’s not even limited to one click a day, you could click ”purchase” 10,000 times and spend a million pounds on it in half-an-hour,”
-the doctor said. Ultimately, Mutaza had to sell his Toyota Aygo to cover the cost of the in-app purchases made by his son.
“You’re ripping my child off”: Mutaza to Apple
Mutaza, who lives with his wife Fatima, and his children Ashaz, Areefa and Aliyah, in his interview with Daily Mail said that initially his first thought after receiving the bills was that he was scammed.
“I never thought it would be possible to spend that much money on a kids’ game – the game is four plus,”
Soon, Mutaza complained to Apple and was indeed given a refund of £207 by the over $2 trillion market cap company. The father of the 7-year-old said that the in-app purchases had maxed out his credit card.
As most will be, Mutaza was clearly not happy about the hole in his wallet and with the tech giant. He said-
“I’ve been an Apple customer since 2005, I just said to the customer services man on the phone ”Well done you’ve ripped me off, congratulations you have succeeded in ripping my child off. You’ve tricked him.”