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

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.

Catherine Cai is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, VG 24/7, RipTen, and The Game Fanatics. She has also worked as a lead producer for video game projects, a manager and lighting director for the stage, and a software engineer. Currently, she works as a Production Engineering Manager for Shopify.

  • DarkenMoon97
    I'll love to see the comments on this one.
  • nevertell
    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.
  • maqsabre
    so it took six months for the kid's parent to realise what his spoiled child was into,
    another example of bad parenting
  • southernshark
    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.
  • surfer1337dude
    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.
  • TheViper
    Kid doesn't know it was real money yet his father buys him Call of Duty?

    Yeah, blame Microsoft. GG.
  • plekter
    I haven't used the Xbox Live at all but isn't there any preventions of this happening?
  • teknomedic
    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.
  • 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??
  • john_4
    The father must be a liberal. Always someone else's fault is their policy and also sue, sue sue happy they are.