Kid makes $4500.00 worth of in-App FIFA game on Xbox, Microsoft refuses to refend

Kid rakes up $4500.00 bill for virtual FIFA players through his Xbox, Microsoft refuses to pay it back to the father

This is one incident that you just cant take sides.  It is the father’s fault, the kids fault or Microsoft’s fault?

TL;DR. Jeremy Hillman who is a Director of Corporate Communications at the World Bank found out that his son had been making in-App purchases of virtual FIFA players through his FIFA soccer game on his Xbox. He approached Microsoft but they refused to refund him the money because he himself had given the credit card details to FIFA and Xbox.

Jeremy was surprised to see four consecutive entries of $109 in his credit card statement. A little investigating revealed that his son had been making in-App purchases through his FIFA soccer game on Xbox.

Deeper investigations revealed that his son had bought virtual FIFA players and ended up making a total payment of $4500.00.

Jeremy says,

“It’s been about a month since the incident. Things have calmed down at home and we’ve had many conversations with our son about why he did what he did. The answer to us is now clear?—?he became addicted to the game, spending $100 was as easy as clicking a button, there were no barriers, and it didn’t feel like real money even though it had a dollar sign on the screen. My wife and I accept our responsibility in this. We should have paid much closer attention to his video gaming, and my son accepts his responsibility and punishment. He has lost his X-box, he had been promised a table-tennis table but that is on hold, his savings have been forfeited. We are actually lucky. Losing $4,500 for many families would be a life-changing disaster. For us it is very upsetting and means we’ll have to tighten our belts and forego some luxuries but we will recover relatively quickly.”

Jeremy approached Microsoft to make a refund of the amount because his son is a minor. But Microsoft replied with following message

Our policy states that all purchases are final and non-refundable. A purchase confirmation email was sent to email: XXXX.XXXX@hotmail.com (my son) each time a purchase was made because that is the email that was designated as a contact email on the billing profile …….. you are responsible for any material that a user of your Services account accesses or is denied access to (including as a result of your use or non-use of Parental Controls). You acknowledge that use of our settings is not a substitute for your personal supervision of minors that use your Services account.

Jeremy himself acknowledged that he had entered his credit card details at the time of buying the game for his son, he states, “Yes, that is true, I had needed to do that to purchase the original game ($60) which is perfectly functional to play without any subsequent purchases. I had no knowledge that $100 in-game purchases could even be made and no wish for my credit card to be openly available for use for evermore.”

Now Jeremy is thinking of filing a suit against Microsoft for the refund. You can read his full story here and decide who is at fault in this $4500.00 case.

1 COMMENT

  1. It’s a double edge sword. While it is the fault of the purchaser for not protecting himself better from the phantom purchaser (his son)… Unless you’re a gamer who’s spending time on the console you’re really not engaged enough to spot these loop holes. Console makers know parents aren’t investing the time to understand the console and it’s dangers, because to parents its toy to distract their kids. If something so detrimental was possible it should’ve been more difficult for an unknowing parent to have their card charged without their permission. If I’m buying something on eBay it clearly asks if I want to save my PayPal information for quick payment authorization without logging in for a future purchase. That means, if I left eBay signed and unattended anyone can make purchases without my permission. Therefore, I should opt out if I frequently leave my computer unattended. This is similarly what console makers should have, not a pay 1-time then save my information for use by anyone at any time to use in the future for any reason and without my consent.

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