This 6-year-old racked up $16K in iPad in-App game purchases

Doree Lewak, New York Post:

Six-year-old George Johnson secretly racked up more than $16,000 in Apple app store charges for his favorite video game, Sonic Forces — leaving his mom in shock.


While working from home during the pandemic, Wilton., Conn., real estate broker Jessica Johnson, 41, didn’t realize the younger of her two sons had gone on a shopping spree on her iPad. Over the month of July, George bought add-on boosters — starting with $1.99 red rings and moving up to $99.99 gold rings — that allowed him to access new characters and more speed, spending hundreds of bucks at a time.


“[Apple] said, ‘Tough.’ They told me that, because I didn’t call within 60 days of the charges, that they can’t do anything,” said Jessica. “The reason I didn’t call within 60 days is because Chase told me it was likely fraud — that PayPal and are top fraud charges.”

Jessica got no sympathy from a customer service agent, even after confessing that she wouldn’t be able to pay her family’s mortgage. “They’re like, ‘There’s a setting, you should have known,’ ” she recalled.

All this assumes this is true and not a hoax.

That said, there is a setting. She should have known. If true, it is absolutely ridiculous that she is being forced to pay for this. It’s not like the money went to some sort of consumable good, or that someone’s labor was consumed. Seems like the game maker should step forward and make good on this, forgive the charge.

There’s definitely something wrong when a six-year-old can rack up $16,000 in charges playing a game. Something is broken here.