Beware in-app charges

Nathan Bourdon (left) with his sisters Sarah and Renae and mother Leonie, were shocked when Mrs Bourdon was charged hundreds of dollars for an Apple game download.
Nathan Bourdon (left) with his sisters Sarah and Renae and mother Leonie, were shocked when Mrs Bourdon was charged hundreds of dollars for an Apple game download. Lee Constable

WHAT do you do when playing multimedia games costs you money instead of 'lives'?

That was the question that went through Leonie Bourdon's head when her credit card statement revealed she had been charged more than $400 for an Apple game download.

Mrs Bourdon, of Eimeo, downloaded Zoo Tap 2, a free game from the Apple application store, on her eight-year-old son Nathan's iPod last Monday.

"I'm always cautious with putting my credit card details on the internet so you can imagine my surprise when I checked my statement (last Tuesday)," Mrs Bourdon said.

"About eight Apple iTunes transactions had been charged; some $78, some $48, which totalled $468.

"My first thought was that someone had hacked my (Apple iTunes) account.

"I asked Nathan and he thought he was playing with game coins... it was in fact money that was debited straight out of my credit card.

"But I hadn't given authorisation for it (or) put in my pass code."

Mrs Bourdon contacted Apple Support last Tuesday night and was told the automatic charges were in-app purchases.

An Apple Support representative talked her through the actions to disable the in-app purchases, which will prevent automatic payments being made without her authorisation.

The fault was classed as an accidental purchase and she received a full refund.

"It was cleared up in matter of three days and the money was refunded into my account by Saturday," Mrs Bourdon said.

"Apple was very helpful and supportive and they got the matter sorted. I've got no complaints with them.

"It's more so that I was debited without having to put a pass code in to authorise that transaction.

"I just want to get it out there so other people are aware of it and it doesn't happen to them."

Topics:  apple apps downloads games ipod itunes

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