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14yo DS 'accidentally' spent £600 on itunes and now acting the victim

(49 Posts)
Bucks48 Thu 23-Jul-15 09:42:22

We just got our cc bill and the biggest shock! DS has had phone for almost 2 months and not used to his own itunes account. Just found he has spent £600 on in app purchases etc. He claims he thought he was using itunes cards and I sort of believe him + I've read elsewhere how easily this happens. We're trying to get Apple to take some responsibility but the point is that ds is acting as if he's being punished when he just made a mistake. Actually we haven't hit the roof but it's clearly not a small issue. Phone is confiscated and that is causing the victim behaviour. I am peacemaker between dad and DS - any advice on how to get DS to step up and accept that s**t happens and must take responsibility?

Wolfiefan Thu 23-Jul-15 09:45:14

He had £600 in iTunes cards? No? Then he was obviously spending real money and at 14 I'd sort of expect him to figure this out.
If he was mine he'd be finding himself spending the summer doing chores to the value of £600 to pay me back!
(But why didn't you talk to him when he got the phone or disable in app purchases?)

dingit Thu 23-Jul-15 09:45:29

Sorry, but at 14, he would have known how much he was spending, he didn't have an iTunes card for hundreds of pounds, did he?

TinyManticore Thu 23-Jul-15 09:47:57

You could try appealing to Apple to see if they'll waive the charges but tbh I don't think you have a keg to stand on - he's not a small child who doesn't understand the concept of money, and unless he had bought hundreds of pounds of iTunes gift cards, he knew that he was spending money that wasn't his.

TinyManticore Thu 23-Jul-15 09:48:19

Or even a leg, if you prefer.

SoupDragon Thu 23-Jul-15 09:48:34

There is no way. 14 year old did not know he was spending £600 he didn't have.

Apple might refund you but it really isn't their fault at all, it is yours.

DSs phones are linked to my iTunes account. I get an email every time something is spent on it (which, interestingly, is virtually never.) they are 14 and 16 and know how it works, and have done since about 12 when they first had access to iTunes.

Degustibusnonestdisputandem Thu 23-Jul-15 09:48:36

Hang on, why was his iTunes account linked to your card? shock To be fair though my parents made that mistake with my (teenage) brother's iTunes and x-box accounts…he was made to repay it all.

RepeatAdNauseum Thu 23-Jul-15 09:49:33

Ask him to present a case on how this happened, like he'd need to at work.

He's come up with a half-baked excuse about iTunes cards and you seem to have accepted that, but it doesn't follow all the way through - unless he's got a £600 iTunes card, in which case you could sell that to make up some of your losses.

He's 14, not 4. He knew how much he was spending, and if it occurred over two months, it wasn't one night of madness. He just hoped you wouldn't notice when he got away with it the first time.

Ask him to explain how it happened and what he is going to do to fix the issue. Don't let him involve Apple - if they get involved, that's less for you to worry about, but they might not as he is more than old enough to know better, and you can't teach him to rely on third-parties to fix his errors. Keep the Apple dealings between you and his Dad and let him take responsibility for the whole £600 on his own.

You seem to be letting him hide behind some rubbish excuses when infact, this is a huge issue, hitting the room would have been well justified. React as if he'd stolen your credit card and spent £600 on it, because that's pretty much what he did.

Whichseason Thu 23-Jul-15 09:49:44

Why is your credit card set up on his phone? You need to take that off now.

FenellaFellorick Thu 23-Jul-15 09:54:08

He needs to understand that people are still responsible for their mistakes. Saying it was a mistake does not absolve a person of responsibility. It doesn't mean it's not up to them to put it right.

It's like when people say "oh it was an ACCIDENT!" - meaning shut up about it. Well yes, it wasn't an 'on purpose' but that doesn't mean the person who did it isn't responsible for it! People do a lot of things without first thinking you know what, I'm going to set out to do X. They still have a duty to sort it out.

It's a good lesson on accountability for him. You make a mistake - it's on you.

Just out of interest - what itunes cards did he think he had, where did he think he got them and what led him to believe that they were worth £600?

I have read that Apple can sometimes negotiate when it comes to things like this. Hopefully they will be willing to come to an arrangement.

LIZS Thu 23-Jul-15 09:59:06

Do you not get receipts for in app purchases? £600 over a few months seems rather a large amount to unnoticed. Did he not even think spending a lot on iTunes cards might be a bit silly hmm

swisstruffles Thu 23-Jul-15 09:59:13

I imagine he wasn't counting and just kept buying, buying, buying.

I can see how that happens.

Once, a long time ago, I was the same with my debit card and would just use it until it was declined, without checking the balance - probably only a little older than OPs DS. It does happen, but you don't want him to get into the habit of it.

Has it left you in financial difficulties? I definitely think he needs to pay for it, through work if not money.

Bucks48 Thu 23-Jul-15 10:29:35

thanks for the quick responses - we do realise it's as much our fault. it's just happened so quickly and mounted up so fast, but lesson learned. iTunes account now disconnected from cc (I think it was attached because we needed to put on cc details at the time of setting up an iTunes account). Emails re purchases went to his (new) email address which he doesn't access (about to change that to mine so I can see everything).

I accept that this was poor parenting and also obviously accept that there must be consequences. He does have around £150 in iTunes gift cards from xmas/birthdays so I can (just about) see how he might have thought he was making (lots of little-medium) purchases and iTunes was letting him, so he must have credit left. Ugh, the whole thing is horrible.

EE123 Thu 23-Jul-15 10:29:42

BTDT but with cellphone charges. Got a lot of excuses from DC. In the end we fought the charges with the carrier they would not back down, we used the ombudsman service. My assumption is Apple is more customer service oriented and hopefully you can come to an agreement.

swisstruffles Thu 23-Jul-15 10:31:29

It wasn't poor parenting, it was a series of mistakes on all parts.

You're doing fine. Don't worry! These things happen. I'm a secondary school teacher and I've heard a lot of similar stories recounted at parents evening with grim looking mum and sheepish looking DS (who is usually an angel in school, by the way!)

I know you will want to kill me for saying this but you WILL live to laugh about this!

Bucks48 Thu 23-Jul-15 12:22:28

swisstruffles - thank you. I feel terrible about it all and your reply really helps smile Hopefully we'll get through this and valuable lessons will be learned!

Tryingtokeepalidonit Thu 23-Jul-15 12:23:24

You do still seem to be enabling him to avoid all responsibility. Please don't because it will lead to misery for both of you. 40 years ago he was of an age deemed mature enough to leave school and work. You do sound as if you are supporting DS rather than DH. There is a lot of difference between £150 and £600, you need to accept that DS knew he was getting away with something. Whether he thought it was Apple or you, he was deciding to be dishonest and that needs to be nipped in the but. Good luck.

Floggingmolly Thu 23-Jul-15 12:26:59

Apple don't have to "take some responsibility" - you do!! Honestly hmm

horseygeorgie Thu 23-Jul-15 12:30:35

I can understand how he would have thought that, if he didn't realise it was coming off the CC he would assume the iTunes purchases would be declined once the £150 had run out. Lots of small purchases and he probably never thought about it if he didn't check how much was remaining. Still bloody daft though and he needs to pay you back. I don't think apple will refund and tbh I don't see why they should. It isn't their mistake. chin up!

SoupDragon Thu 23-Jul-15 12:33:11

ds is acting as if he's being punished when he just made a mistake.

He needs to learn that even mistakes cost money and money has to be worked for. If he were my DS, he would be "paying" it back by doing chores for a nominal amount off the debt.

wannaBe Thu 23-Jul-15 12:34:27

My twelve yo ds spent nearly £100 of his own money on iTunes recently and I still hit the roof. But the difference was that it's his money and now it's gone, and I have told him that he won't be getting any money paid into his bank account until he can learn to be responsible, which clearly he isn't.

I can see how kids get carried away with paying for apps and in-app purchases which is why linking your credit card to his account was never a good idea.

I don't see tbh why apple should take any of the responsibility.

Mama1980 Thu 23-Jul-15 12:37:17

Apple email you a receipt for your purchases, my cc is linked to my daughters account (incidentally she pays for anything she buys) and she gets a email every time she buys something so she can keep check and know what's what when I go through the card statement. Did your son not get this? Because if he did there is no excuse for messing up that badly. By £50 yes by £450 nope.
Apple changed their system to the email thing so it cannot happen unless emails are being purposely ignored. I don't see they did anything wrong sorry.
Lesson learnt all round.

ratbagcatbag Thu 23-Jul-15 12:40:43

So does he have the �150 of vouchers left? if yes, you need to sell them to recoup some of the costs, or is it he spent the �150 and then a further �600?

You need to make him realise that this is his issue, no one elses, not apples or yours, he spent it without being responsible and now needs to pay it back throughout the summer through defined chores.

FWIW my DSS did exactly the same with an xbox account, he spent �170 on fifa players. He was made to pay it back with pocket money and chores and we do now laugh that although he spent all that, he still had a rubbish team and got beat regularly.

LeBearPolar Thu 23-Jul-15 12:41:02

Why are you trying to get Apple to "take some responsibility"? I may be being incredibly dense but I can't see what they have done wrong?

NerrSnerr Thu 23-Jul-15 12:42:15

It was daft of you and your son but this is not Apple's fault. It's your responsibility to pay the £600.

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