An iPhone game cost a doctor about £1,300 after his son made numerous in-game purchases, reported India Today.
The doctor was forced to sell the family car to pay the bill.
The incident took place in North Wales, UK, as seven-year-old Ashaz played Dragons: Rise of Berk, an iPhone game, for an hour. To maintain his progress in the game, Ashaz made several in-app purchases ranging from £1.99 to £99.99. The purchases ultimately amounted to a total of £1,289.70 (approximately Rs 1.33 lakh).
It wasn’t until later that his father, Muhammad Mutaza found out about this. The 41-year-old consultant endocrinologist was shocked to find that the free version of the game allowed unlimited purchases to players aged so young.
In an interaction with a news portal, he pointed out how the game allowed any number of transactions of up to £99.99 to players. Considering the game is meant for four years, and above, he argued that the amount of purchasing power is simply too much for kids aged that young.
Apple advises parents to take precautions
Apple, on the other hand, explained that its ‘Ask to Buy’ feature was on by default for children under the age of 13. The technology giant said that the feature allows the family organiser to use their device to approve or decline a request if children want to buy or download a new item. The spokesperson reportedly added that parents can use a number of features including Parental Controls, Apple ID per user and iCloud Family Sharing to ensure accidental purchases are not made.
Meanwhile, Dragons: Rise of Berk is based upon the popular How to Train Your Dragon movie franchise, and allows players to create their own version of the fictional Isle of Berk from the films. The game’s download pages advertise more than 600 dragons that users can discover as well as 60 unique islands. The download page also states: “Please note: Rise of Berk is completely free to play but offers some game items for purchase with real money’.