America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilisation in between. - Oscar Wilde
IN A WORLD WHERE PEOPLE would buy and sell magic beans, policeman Doug Crossan is furious that he might have to pay for the virtual crap that his son bought on an iPad.
Crossan, 48, got bit when he was contacted by his credit card company over a debt that he thought he'd paid off months before.
According to the local paper, This is Bristol, Crossan has a 13-year-old son, who bought a number of things from iTunes over a three month period.
It is possible that young master Crossan has a problem with maths, but apparently he had no problem with making many in-app purchases, including one worth about £80, and others adding up to £3,700.
Crossan, who has seen other stories where parents have not exerted enough control over their offspring and have not had to pay for it, contacted Apple and asked for leniency or a refund.
Apple, probably sick of being a nation's purse string holding nanny, refused, saying that sales on iTunes are final.
"We have asked Apple to consider our case in the same light, as the case is mirrored by him playing exactly the same free games, but Apple have refused by saying the sale on iTunes is final and no refund," moaned Crossan.
"Apple iTunes are now refusing to speak to me or give me an idea of why they will not refund. They sent me a copy of the terms and conditions stating that all purchases are final and further contact should be by way of a solicitor. None of us had any knowledge of what was happening as there was no indication in the game that he was being charged for any of the clicks made within the game."
We at the Inquirer have provided a handy guide to keeping yourselves happy and your credit card balance low when using app stores. We urge you to check it out. It has no hidden in-app purchases and is simple enough for those who get lost in Apple's own guidance.
If you don't want to read that, you could consider Crossan's strategy, which was to report the incident to the police and try to claim his money back. He says that this is a last resort, and claims to be calling Apple's bluff and making a scene.
"I just wanted to call Apple's bluff... I am sure Cameron had no intention to do it but I had to have a crime reference number if there was any chance of getting any credit card payments refunded," he added.
"In theory the local police station would contact me and ask for Cameron to come in to be interviewed. I could make it difficult of course and refuse to bring him in and they would have to come and arrest him. Really I just want to embarrass Apple as much as possible." µ