It can happen to the best of us

5-year-old Bristol boy runs up £1,300 iTunes bill

Full story in The Post and on here the direct link

I heard this story last night while at a liturgy meeting with Sharon, and I was really interested to read this story in the papers this morning. Sharon is one of the best parents I know, always taking a leading role in their development at school and church. If she can get caught like this then anyone could.

For those of you that don’t have smart phone or tablets this is what’s happening. There are games written by development companies that are given away free. They are designed to be quite addictive and the player is encouraged to build things, towns, gardens, armies, etc. Everything in the game costs game money, and you get given an amount of money at the start of the game and you can earn more as you play, just like you would in the board game monopoly. The problem is that the really nice and fun items you want for your town, garden or army cost huge amounts of money that would take you days, weeks or months to earn while playing the game.

They therefore allow you to purchase in game money with real money. That’s one way they make a profit from the game. The problem is that while most games on iTunes cost small amounts £0.69 to £2.99 some of these in games charge huge amounts of up to £69.99. I can’t see anyone, who earns money and owns the credit card that is registered with iTunes, reasonable spending £70 quid on a game, so these games and purchases have to be aimed at children.

I have nothing against computer games, or against people and companies making a profit, but I do object to targeting children with such inflated prices. Apple is normally very good at protecting their users and it’s possible they just haven’t realised yet the way some of its partners on iTunes are taking advantage of families and children. If you would like to offer any feedback to Apple their feedback web page is here


  1. Our middle Son Sterling managed to clock up £140 in about a week, we thought that was going some, £1300 in a day is amazing!

    Sterling wasn't even given the password, if you put the password in for them for a free game it won't ask for the password for the next few minutes hence they can run up the bill. One long call to Apple got our money back.

    Now Sterling has his own iPod, with his own iTunes account, which has no payment card linked to it! I guess in a way Apple has still won.

    1. Hi Normy, I have been surprise by the amount of people telling me it happened to them as well. I am glad you got your money back. I think Sharon and Greg are going to get their money back now as well, at least that was what Chris Evans said on the radio this morning. So if this story is getting Radio 2 coverage I am thinking £1300 is getting close to a record.
      God Bless,