Although I support the right of developers to make money, I’ve often told parents of young children how to turn off in-app purchases in order to kid-proof their iTunes accounts.
I never took my own advice though — I thought my kids were old enough to know better. Then, yesterday my 9-year-old son accidentally bought a bunch of gems in a free app. He thought he was just looking at them. (I hasten to point out that this story has a happy ending. The only lasting damage was to my pride, not my wallet.)
Here’s the receipt:
Naturally, I sent a note to iTunes support:
My son was exploring a free app called Dragonvale. He was looking at gems and not realizing he was committing to buy them. Can you please remove these ridiculous charges, totaling $118.94, from my account? I could buy real gems for that kind of money.
I understand that the purchase of “Trunk of Gems” was unintentional. In five to seven business days, a credit of $118.94, plus any applicable taxes, should be posted to the credit card that appears on the receipt for that purchase. Please note that this is a one-time exception, as the iTunes Store Terms and Conditions state that all sales are final.
The moral of the story is obviously this: turn off in-app purchases now. Here’s how:
1) Tap Settings on your device’s home screen.
2) Tap General.
3) Tap Restrictions.
4) If necessary, tap Enable Restrictions and enter a passcode. This passcode will prevent restrictions from being disabled without your permission.
5) Scroll down to the Allowed Content section. Switch the In-App Purchases option to OFF. Enter your Restrictions passcode if prompted.