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Ds1(9) has spent £305 on his google account, linked to dh's credit card.

(55 Posts)
Oblomov Tue 10-Sep-13 18:49:54

That's it really.
I don't know what else to say.

We bought ds1(nearly 10) a Nexus 7 for Christmas. He wanted Minecraft. In order to buy that, you have to set up a google account, which dh did, and do to that, you have to give your credit card details.

We also bought Funamo, as a parental guidelines settings. Obviously we have done something wrong, or not set it up correctly, because it has failed us.

Credit card arrives for July. In the last 3 days there are innumerable transactions, to websites we don't recognise. wierd sounding places. we ask ds1, say did you buy these by accident. He denies everything.

We go to our credit card company. it is disputed, then passed to fraud dept. then they come back to us, saying they think it was us and we must contact the websites.

we spend hours talking to our credit card. and hours researching.

Then the August bill comes in. 1st 3 days, inumerbale other transactions.
last 3 days of july, plus, first 3 days of august, add up to a total of £305.

dh looks through his google account. we see it all now. superman and spiderman games. £13.99 and £17.99. some cancelled. some appear to be the same game bought 4 or 5 times.

Dh and I are more upset at the lies. But my mum says once you say no, it is almost impossible to admit the truth later, especially for a 9 year old.

Then we look in his internet history.

There are other things that he should have not have downloaded. 'The joy of sex'. Dh and I are horrified.

There is worse still. But I have to go..

I have spoken to the school.

I know not what to do.
I am so angry with myself, that I allowed this to happen.

What a mess.

There is more to tell. I will have to come back.

I don't even know what to do with him

This month, our 3 car insurances and the home insurance are due. We don't have enough saved, as we normally do, to pay for these.
And then , this £300 on the top, we are going to struggle to find.

talulahbelle Tue 10-Sep-13 18:51:52

Sell the Nexus 7? Natural consequence of your DS's actions

tywysogesgymraeg Tue 10-Sep-13 18:55:57

I hate to say it, but that's what you get for buying a 9 year old a Nexus. I know loads of kids have tablets, but this is too young, IMO.

teatimesthree Tue 10-Sep-13 19:01:35

I can see how upsetting this is, especially the lying.

But really a nine-year-old is too young to take responsibility for that sort of thing.

It's really unfortunate that the parental controls didn't work, but it sounds like just one of those things.

I agree with Talulah that selling the Nexus seems like the best solution. And severe controls on internet access for the foreseeable future (i.e. only use of shared family computer under parental supervision).

If it was me, I'd try and do this and then move on. I suspect he will have learnt his lesson.

Blu Tue 10-Sep-13 19:02:28

Oh dear sad

I think that sometimes 9 year olds do not actually realise that clicking in something incurs a charge - you may be a victim of his naivity rather than his lies.

I don't think payment for hames is controlled by a parental settings programme, you have to disable the actual accont or somthing.

My own inabilty to understand this clearly is behind our ban on any card being linked to games at all - I am terrified of this.

You see so many posts about this, children running up massive bills - usually on for games on iPhones.

pingulingo Tue 10-Sep-13 19:02:41

Why have you spoken to the school?

bamboobutton Tue 10-Sep-13 19:02:55

I don't understand how this stuff can go unnoticed. ive bought games and in app stuff on my tablet before and every time I get an email receipt.

how did he know the google credit card password/details?

and yy to selling the nexus!

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 10-Sep-13 19:07:42

I expect the "worse still" and "more to tell" is porn unfortunately.

(Bunch of Year 4, 5 and 6 girls at the school I work at - so we are talking 8 to 11 year old girls - were looking at all sorts of awful hard core stuff last year. I know how horrifying that thought is).

If I'm right I think you need to have a lot more serious conversations with him rather then just worrying about how to punish him. In fact I would say the £300 is the least of your worries TBH.

I do hope I'm wrong!

worley Tue 10-Sep-13 19:21:36

Is this a new thing to buy mine craft you have to set up a google account as I did t have to do that for my ds's..

Can you not password protect like on the iPad ? So if they try to buy things another password has to put in..

a 9 yr old is going to be curious.. They won't know exactly what is meant by sex, but its just a funny word adults use or they read.. hence searching / downloading it..

he knows he's in trouble so going to lie to cover up...but he's only 9..

TSSDNCOP Tue 10-Sep-13 19:35:46

You have to calm down. Hard but you're going to need to.

Putting the money element to one side what are the seriousness of the "crimes" worst first?

Tackle each issue one at a time.

Determine a punishment and execute it.

You're also going to have to tackle your parental responsibility. Was he left alone with the tablet? What were the parental controls?

You do here about people claiming comp from games companies if the DC were able to download despite controls being in place.

Oblomov Wed 11-Sep-13 18:14:26

Thank you for all your comments.
Dh and I have agreed to sell The nexus.

Dh is e-mailing google at the moment, about how they stored his credit card details and how it was thus very easy for ds to use those details , in july, after the original minecraft purchase had been made in February. They have already refunded one of the £13.99's and are looking into the other 40 or so purchases.

I e-mailed the school, because he has aspergers, and the sn lady was horrified at what he has done.

No, the tablet was used in the lounge. But he was still able to do this.

Obviously we were too lax and the funamo parental controls , had not been set up properly by myself and dh, or altered. Dh and I are obviously to blame for this. I am ashamed.

TSSDNCOP Wed 11-Sep-13 18:18:28

Ob don't be too hard on yourselves, you aren't the first or last. DS age 6 can navigate around an Ipad faster than the way they demonstrate it in the adverts. It's bloody frightening.

youbethemummylion Wed 11-Sep-13 18:28:12

I have a google account on my tablet DS gets stopped everytime he accidentaly tries to purchase something as you need to enter a password, no parental controls needed.

I dont understand how so many people get caught out unless they give out the password to the DCs or set it so it doesnt ask for a password which is nit the default so you would have to go out if your way to do this.

donteatthat Wed 11-Sep-13 18:28:33

Please don't beat yourself up, you cannot continually look over a child's shoulder while they use a computer, there is no need to be ashamed. Yes it is annoying about the money, hopefully you will get some back, but I imagine that your son didn't realise he was buying things that you would then have to pay for. And it sounds pretty innocent, downloading the joy of sex was probably just the modern equivalent of seeing it in the library or a bookshelf and taking it down off the shelf for a giggle and a peek at the pictures, I very much doubt it was anything sinister. These things happen, give yourself a break.

youbethemummylion Wed 11-Sep-13 18:32:02

Didnt mean that to sound as harsh as it seems when I read it back, just astounded how often this happens. Dont be ashamed you are not the first and probably wont be the last.

Sonnet Wed 11-Sep-13 18:37:49

He is not the first and won't be the last

Confiscate tablet

This happened to a friend of mine and apple refunded the £1200 spent entirely

Sonnet Wed 11-Sep-13 18:38:26

9 too young for a tablet ( bit I am old with older kids)

sleepyhead Wed 11-Sep-13 18:44:57

I've also got a nexus 7 and I have to enter my Google account password each time I want to buy something. I also get an email receipt for each transaction.

Did he turn off the password option somehow? I'd have thought you'd need to know it in the first place to do this though.

I'd be interested in what you find out about this because although it's my tablet, I do let ds1 use it to play games and don't want to be in a similar situation.

Hulababy Wed 11-Sep-13 18:48:01

How did he come to have access to the account and, presumably, password?

My DD has an iPad, used to have an iPod Touch. She has never had access to the iTunes account and doesn't know our password. We only have one account. I have also disabled all in app purchases on her stuff too.

Does the tablet you have not have security settings?

EasyFromNowOn Wed 11-Sep-13 19:44:17

With the Nexus line, the parental controls are not on the device itself, they are a setting within the Google account used on the device. Instructions for enabling the controls are here

There would have been an email for every transaction, so I guess your husband created a new account for this, rather than using one he would check?

Just as a side note, you do not have to use a credit card with a google account, you can buy the cards, just like you can for idevices, and then you need never link your card to the device. This has the added bonus that if your child figures out your security details, they are still limited in what they can spend.

EasyFromNowOn Wed 11-Sep-13 19:47:24

worley - the google account requirement isn't related to Minecraft, it is tied to the tablet, in the same way that you cannot use an idevice without an Apple account.

Oblomov Thu 12-Sep-13 06:28:40

Google have just emailed. At 3am, from the US. The whole £305 has been refunded.
What a relief.
Ds said that, when he clicked, to buy, the numbers came up, with stars, (so presumably, the credit card number , with the last four digits, starred out?)
No password required.
The man from google, confirmed this.

I just don't understand.
But atleast this is something.
I now need to deal with all the other issues.

Oblomov Thu 12-Sep-13 06:33:10

Do people who have asked about security settings, hula etc, I am sorry but we thought we had it set up properly, but obviously not. There was a password, but it was never asked for.
And I do not THINK that dh knows it.
And easy thanks for telling me about the card and not linking to a credit card.
But to be honest, that won't now be a problem. Because ds1 will only be using the main computer, for school homework, with me sat at his side.

Oblomov Thu 12-Sep-13 06:41:22

I don't think that DS1 knows the password. But who knows. I feel like I know nothing and have questioned myself on many issues, in relation to this whole episode.

Gilbertus Thu 12-Sep-13 06:41:58

I wouldn't sell the nexus now they have refunded. I would give ds a bollocking and take off all credit card details so impossible to do in the future. 9 is awfully young to have this responsibility.

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