Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Preschooler and the App Store

Hubs learned a bit of a pricey lesson on the weekend. It could have been way worse though.

I was out - let's make that clear. Little Boo and the Teen were hanging with their Dad on his first day back from his 3 week trip. Apparently they were each engaged in their own screen time on various devices. That's just how we roll around here.

Little Boo had the iPad and he, as usual, wanted to get a new game. So, hubs ok'ed a free app and proceeded to download it, entering his iTunes store password. And handed the iPad back to the wee one.

Did you know that your iTunes store password persists for a period of time after you make a purchase? He did know, but he wasn't thinking. And apparently, Little Boo managed to spend $70 inside one of his games by buying game coins or premium costumes or something.

I'm a little hazy on the details. Little Boo is very upset, and really didn't realise he was spending real money. Hubs and I are not mad at him, though hubs is mad at himself - for leaving Little Boo unattended with the technology and for leaving his password active. I guess there was one duplicate purchase, and Apple has refunded that, to the tune of $25, so we're down to $45 now.

It really could be worse. He could be calling Australia long distance or something, like Bart Simpson did.

But I am here today to share our experience so you too may benefit from this lesson learned. I don't know how long my password persists after I enter it, but I will be taking precautions from now on, as will the Hubs. When you open the App Store on your iPhone, scroll right down to the bottom of the categories or Top 25 page. You should see your Apple ID listed there if you are signed in. Touch that and sign out. This is what I will now do after each purchase or update, if Little Boo is waiting for a turn to play.

Also, hubs has his credit card connected to his iTunes account. I personally think this is probably not a great idea if the kids might get access (although it certainly makes on the fly purchases a lot easier for the adults). If the credit card hadn't been connected, then Little Boo wouldn't have been able to do any damage. I have iTunes credit in my account, from gift cards, but at least that's a defined amount I could stand to lose, as opposed to the limitless Amex.

Just some things to think about.


  1. Nice! I can just imagine the shocked faces at your house at the discovery. Glad it wasn't too costly of a lesson learned for you. :)

  2. Crazines hey? I'm glad hubs led with the dollar value, so I didn't panic too much.


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