Above: Apple explains in-app purchases on the App Store.
We’re not quite understanding this right now. Another kid spent over $6,000 on in-app purchases. Apple didn’t refund the money at first, but after the father took to the newspapers, and publicized the story, the Cupertino company issued the refund.
Last year I had a roommate who had a 7-year-old child. Often times, I’d babysit the child, and she’d entertain herself on my iPad. She downloaded free apps, but she knew that she was not allowed to pick up in-app purchases. When she saw the prompt, she’d cancel it. This is because I taught her that those charge real money. She was an average second grader. However, all it took was for me to explain to her that those purchases would cost me real money, and she never bought anything. She’d simply play the game until she got bored, delete it and look for more free games. After a while, I trusted her with the iPad, and knew that she understood free vs paid and the concept of in-app purchases.
Perhaps it’s time to educate children, and teach them that these purchases cost real money. I don’t really blame the children. They’re, after all, just kids. However, it does seem to me that either 1) parents aren’t paying attention to what some of this stuff means, or 2) parents are underestimating their children’s abilities to understand the value of real-world money. It’s also worth noting that this was a regular kid, just like any other, who almost always wanted a toy or coloring book when we went to the store. Perhaps she just knew how to pick her battles.