Parents Beware, Kids May Inadvertently Rack Up Charges by Use of Game In-App Purchases
The next time you hand over your trusted iPhone or iPad to keep the little one entertained, keep in mind that some children’s games come with in-app stores. According to a report by CBS 8, The Smurfs’ Village, a free game released last month for the iPhone, became the highest-grossing app in the App Store. How, you may ask? Well, buying a wheelbarrow of Smurfberries for $60 is a good start.
This is what happened to Kelly Rummelhart when her 4-year-old son inadvertently used the game’s in-app store purchasing one bushel and 11 buckets of Smurfberries for $66.88. Parents, including Rummelhart, are in an uproar over the The Smurfs’ Village and other similar games’ in-app stores, with some calling it a “scam.”
Capcom Entertainment, developer of The Smurfs’ Village, once it realized what was happening, added a warning about the option of in-app purchases to the game’s description in the App Store and have stated that it will also include the warning to the game, as part of an update. Needless to say, this may not be enough, depending on the child’s age and whether they understand the message in front of them.
Apple, who introduced the “in-app purchases” option last year, gave refunds to the parents who were contacted for this story, but were quick to defend their system, pointing out how the password system and in-app restrictions work.
To turn off in-app purchases from your device:
- Go to Settings
- Hit the General button
- Restrictions option
- Go down to Allowed Content and turn the slider to OFF for In-App Purchases
Butterworth, although content with the refund, is still convinced the game is a “scam.”
Filed: Free Apps • Games • iPad • iPadmodo • iPhone • News