Mum-of-2 slams Apple for refusing to refund £1,200 son, 7, spent on online games – including £900 on virtual cat food

A MUM-OF-TWO has slammed Apple after the tech giant refused to refund £1,200 her son accidentally splurged on online games.

Abi Smith had set a password on seven-year-old Harry's iPad but the clever child swapped it with his thumbprint to stop little brother Reggie, 4, playing on the device.


Horrified Abi, 40, later checked her e-mails to find Harry had made a string of more than 60 in-app purchases totaling £1,218.

Among the transactions were eight batches of virtual cat food costing a whopping £99 each.

Harry also made a handful of purchases on games such as Minecraft and Among Us.

The mum, from Bishop's Stortford, Essex, said she spent more than three hours on the phone pleading with Apple to refund the sum but was told she couldn't have her money back.

However, after being contacted by media outlets the tech giant reversed its decision and agreed to return the money.

Abi, who was furloughed from her job as a PA during the current lockdown, was forced to borrow money after the spending spree and is now calling on Apple to introduce better security measures.

She said: "These games are addictive and constantly encouraging children to spend more money. For me, Apple are enabling that platform for children to do that.

"I'm not the first person this has happened to and I won't be the last, however if they do put these extra security measures in place, such as a simple 'add your CVC on this purchase', it's going to avoid this happening for so many other parents.

"The security features are there but for me, it's not enough. To add something simple like the CVC is an extra measure.

"I had bills coming out and I've gone overdrawn. I had to borrow money to sort my bills out."

When Abi confronted her son about making purchases, the youngster was 'in tears' and offered to pay her back with his own pocket money.

She added: "When I confronted him, he was in tears.

"He said 'Mummy, you can take all the money from my bank. Please, if there's any money in my wallet, go and take it. I will do anything you want.'

"I had my son crying his eyes out before home-schooling and in an absolute state. It's caused a huge problem."

Apple declined to comment but pointed out an 'Ask to Buy' feature which sends a request to a family member whenever a child tries to make a purchase.

The parent, or account holder, can then approve or decline the request to prevent problems such as Abi's occurring.


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