Update (05/05/20): Matt Glucksmann said Apple refunded all of his money.
CHICAGO (CBS) — With schools closed, parents across the world are resorting to iPads and apps to keep their kids entertained. A father in Wheaton has a warning for fellow parents, after Apple charged him $700 for in-app purchases he didn’t authorize.READ MORE: Parents Of Michigan School Shooter Arrested And Charged After Manhunt
CBS 2 Morning Insider Tim McNicholas shows us what went wrong.
If you’re working from home, an iPad can be a parent’s best friend. It was for Matt Glucksmann.
“During an important call, or something my wife and I have to do for work, you know you give the kid an iPad and he or she will largely be quiet for a little bit,” he said.
Then he got his most recent bill from Apple. They said he owes more than $700 for a long list of purchases in two gaming apps.
He thought his kids, ages 7 and 3, only downloaded a couple free games — Roblox and Kick the Buddy – but his bill showed premium features Robux and A Pocketful of Gold.
“These app developers give you the option of just paying for the bucks, or whatever, the fictitious coins, or whatever is being used in the game,” Glucksmann said.
You guessed it, his little ones made the purchases without telling him, and without realizing the consequences. He said Apple agreed to refund about $35, but the rest of the purchases are non-refundable.READ MORE: City Colleges of Chicago Creates Scholarship Honoring Civil Rights Activist Timuel Black
Glucksmann said his family can afford the bill, but he’s worried about others that can’t.
“I wouldn’t feel good about myself if I didn’t bring this to the attention of other parents and media outlets, so they can get that out,” he said.
Parents can block in-app purchases in the settings of their devices. You can find that feature by clicking “screen time” in your settings menu, and then “content and privacy restrictions.”
Apple has faced criticism, and even a lawsuit after a 9-year-old in Pennsylvania racked up $200 of in-app purchases.
“I don’t think it’s an acceptable business in non-COVID times; but the fact that it’s going on during COVID is why I reached out to CBS,” Glucksmann said.
Glucksmann said you should also make sure your Apple ID password is strong, and your kids don’t know it. He said his son got a hold of his, and used it to make the purchases.
Apple said families can even set up an “ask to buy” feature, where an adult has to approve purchases their kids make.MORE NEWS: 2 Killed, 6 Wounded In Weekend Shootings In Chicago
More than a week after CBS 2 first aired Glucksmann’s story, he said Apple refunded all his money.