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Kid Racks Up £1150 Xbox Live Bill, Father Blames MSFT

By - Source: Eurogamer | B 72 comments

Click to buy is a scary feature, guys.

It's not exactly unheard of, a child racking up huge money on an account they don't foot the bill for. This time, the unfortunate father is Sam Ghera, whose son Nik spent £1150 (roughly $1790.32) on Microsoft Points over the past six months.

Nik protested that he had no idea that he was using real money on Xbox Live. After all, games like Call of Duty and FIFA all come for free, right? However, rather than kicking himself for not taking a look at his personal finances for months or being more observant about his son's gaming activities, Ghera points the finger of blame at Microsoft.

According to Ghera, Microsoft makes it too easy for his son to make purchases: "He didn't realise it was costing real money. With sites like eBay and iTunes it always asks you for a password before you make a purchase, but with Xbox Live you just press a button and then your money's gone."

He's contacted Microsoft in regards to the issue, seeking a refund, but all he's really seeking is an "apology" and "having this problem stopped so that we as parents can stop our kids from making payments on our cards."

Ghera wasn't aware the charges that his son was racking up on his card until it was overdrawn: "I went to the bank to take some money out with my credit card but the machine said I had insufficient funds. I was standing there thinking that I'd been hacked in to, but the bank came back saying they were legitimate charges." It took him six months to notice the spending after buying Xbox Live for his son to play Call of Duty.

We're not sure Microsoft will be willing to refund Ghera or even issue out an apology, as the company isn't exactly at fault. Sure, you might not expect your son to be racking up thousands of charges on your card, but this could have been prevented if Mr Ghera had kept a close eye on his credit card statements.

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Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    nevertell , July 17, 2012 10:15 AM
    I can understand where the father's coming from, but I think the idea of linking your credit card to the same xbox live profile your child uses is substantially idiotic.
  • 23 Hide
    maqsabre , July 17, 2012 10:18 AM
    so it took six months for the kid's parent to realise what his spoiled child was into,
    another example of bad parenting
  • 21 Hide
    teknomedic , July 17, 2012 10:52 AM
    here's a thought... don't link your CC to the account. Purchase MS points and membership cards at the store that way he can only spend what you give him.
Other Comments
  • -9 Hide
    DarkenMoon97 , July 17, 2012 10:07 AM
    I'll love to see the comments on this one.
  • 30 Hide
    nevertell , July 17, 2012 10:15 AM
    I can understand where the father's coming from, but I think the idea of linking your credit card to the same xbox live profile your child uses is substantially idiotic.
  • 23 Hide
    maqsabre , July 17, 2012 10:18 AM
    so it took six months for the kid's parent to realise what his spoiled child was into,
    another example of bad parenting
  • 20 Hide
    southernshark , July 17, 2012 10:33 AM
    I can understand and to an extent agree with the father's position.

    Let's look at Steam where there are several steps required to make a purchase. To me that system does it right, whereas MS does it wrong.

    At least go the Amazon route where one click shopping has to be intentionally enabled by the user.
  • 13 Hide
    surfer1337dude , July 17, 2012 10:34 AM
    It also could have been prevented by the father not giving his kid his credit card number, or by teaching his son some responsibility and taking charge by explaining the entire deal. Not even going to get into a child playing call of duty that cant understand msft points cost real money.
  • 19 Hide
    TheViper , July 17, 2012 10:41 AM
    Kid doesn't know it was real money yet his father buys him Call of Duty?


    Yeah, blame Microsoft. GG.
  • 5 Hide
    plekter , July 17, 2012 10:42 AM
    I haven't used the Xbox Live at all but isn't there any preventions of this happening?
  • 21 Hide
    teknomedic , July 17, 2012 10:52 AM
    here's a thought... don't link your CC to the account. Purchase MS points and membership cards at the store that way he can only spend what you give him.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , July 17, 2012 11:03 AM
    Yeah, aren't there already some parental controls on the Xbox 360 that would have prevented this? I've never messed with them myself as I don't even use Xbox Live, but I would imagine that if he set up the parental controls, the Xbox wouldn't let the kid just go crazy buying points??
  • 11 Hide
    scannall , July 17, 2012 11:18 AM
    I'm not familiar with the Xbox live thing. What in the world would $1790 dollars worth of 'points' have gotten you?
  • -1 Hide
    soldier37 , July 17, 2012 11:29 AM
    The crapbox lol. I blame the father for allowing the kid to have an account with apparently an open credit card attached to it. Pay up dirtbag.
  • 8 Hide
    back_by_demand , July 17, 2012 11:44 AM
    This guy needs to be bound over as a ward of the state, he is clearly incapable of reading or handling money. He had to put his card details into Xbox Live and agree the T&C for click to pay
    ...
    Yet another example of the stupid general public obfuscating all responsibility for everything, I would make this guy pay TWICE just to teach him a lesson
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 17, 2012 11:57 AM
    What exactly did he think he was linking his credit card to the Xbox for. Getting stuff for free, he saw his son purchasing things for points and he thinks these points come for free. How can you get it so wrong !

    He deserves the bill!
  • 3 Hide
    tehTyrant , July 17, 2012 11:58 AM
    The thing is, he could be like a lot of parents who have no idea about how this stuff works. Not every parent knows shit about consoles or computers. A lot of parents don't know the CC info SAVES in the account info. Even when you just subscribe for Xbox Live gold, the CC info is saved and can be used for further purchases. I am not sure if parental controls can stop that or what extent parental controls have. And it doesn't even tell you the INFO is saved on the console. How could have he had known?

    He could have set up his kids account, payed for it with his CC, and never knew the info is now stored on the Xbox. I mean shit, it's actually "hidden" pretty hard in the Xbox settings to remove payment options and then if you aren't bombarded with a errors trying to remove it (like I have been "unable to retrieve information").

    Granted this could have been prevented if he watched his account info.
  • 1 Hide
    mayne92 , July 17, 2012 12:03 PM
    M$ is not to blame. Somebody needs to understand the system a little bit better - maybe take the time to read? Maybe also look into what it means to have an open credit card with a system like Xbox Live?
  • 9 Hide
    djscribbles , July 17, 2012 12:07 PM
    john_4The father must be a human. Always someone else's fault is their nature and also sue, sue sue happy they are.


    fixed.
  • -7 Hide
    peroludiarom , July 17, 2012 12:10 PM
    I'm a developer, and I don't agree that Consoles like XBox, that are made for children's mostly, have click-buy function. MS should fix this asap, and they are for blame.
  • 7 Hide
    daglesj , July 17, 2012 12:14 PM
    Not only is this guy dumb for letting his son run riot on his creditcard and not checking his accounts...

    ...he withdraws money using it!

    He's part of the reason the world is in financial crap.

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