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Eight year old buys £980 worth of virtual donuts on an iPad

Not even real donuts
Wed Mar 13 2013, 14:35

EXPENSIVE CHILDREN'S DISTRACTION STATION the Apple iPad has wreaked havoc on an estate agent's bank account because an eight year old boy wanted to buy virtual donuts.

This story, like the one last week, concerns a parent that put their password into the Apple iTunes store and gave the tablet to a person at the age when one eats mud and dashes about looking for toads and conkers.

Apple says that this is a bad idea, and so does common sense. But time and time again, iPads suck money out of people's bank accounts. And why? Because they have permission.

An iPhone or iPad will let you make purchases with just one password input, if you allow that in its settings. If you don't do this, the password is active for only 15 minutes, but then again you can spend a lot of money in 15 minutes.

Apple offers advice on parental controls like setting up locked down kids accounts on the device that don't let them spend money, or, and we like this one best, making sure that the password is entered before any money is spent.

The Daily Mail reports that what happened when Theo Rowland-Fry, 8, got his hands on his dad's iPad "was a scene straight out of the Simpsons, played out in real life".

Young Theo was advancing in The Simpson's game, "Tapped out" which presumably is another 'free' money pit app, and needed virtual donuts to proceed.

So he did what any other eight year old that wants virtual donuts to play a tap and spend game on an iPad would do. He bought some.

The Daily Mail said that his efforts at doing something with Homer and the rest of the Simpsons clan cleared out the family bank account by running up a £980 bill.

"Theo is only just eight and has no real concept of the monetary value attached," said dad Nick Rowland-Fry.

"We know others caught out by the same thing. A friend's little girl spent £350 on a horse game. One add-on was £69.95 for a little diamond to go in the horse's mane. It's outrageous. iPads can be great for keeping them occupied but there has to be more control."

Apple has refunded the donut money. Theo's iPad is in a drawer. µ


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