In-app charges: Parents fork out estimated £30m after children use 'freemium' online games
Parents have been forced to stump up an extra £30 million after their kids have got hold of their smartphones and iPads.
The problems stem from so-called ‘freemium’ games which encourage kids to buy extra goodies while they’re in the middle of playing.
A pop-up offers more ‘coins’ or other extras and all kids need to do is click a button. If parents haven’t put controls on their phone or tablet, children can often access credit or debit card details already stored, and simply buy all the extras they want.
The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into the issue but new research published today suggests the problem is getting worse with more than a quarter of British parents hit by bill shock after having to pay for unauthorised app purchases.
And eight-year-old children are the worst. They add on average £59 to parents’ bills, compared to the £34 run up by all kids.
Brett Siddons, of Windows Phone UK which conducted the survey, said: “Parents are worried about the impact of app and in-app purchases on their bills and this can cause stress. With technology becoming more and more intuitive, it’s important that parents can trust in the technology they use.”
But the research reveals that it’s not just financially that kids can get their parents into trouble.
More than a quarter of kids have sneakily updated a parent’s Facebook status, while one in five has updated their Twitter status.
One in ten kids has also hijacked a parent’s Facebook profile to comment on or insult their boss – which could be a difficult one to explain away the next day!
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Virus to kill 67,000 in Monrovia by December, claims academic study
Alexander Wang for H&M: Pumping video of the campaign filmed in London has been released
Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
What do the text messages between you and your partner reveal about your relationship?
Controversy over Queen's 'first tweet' at London's Science Museum
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Tony Blair 'says Ed Miliband will lose 2015 general election'
Putin: The US is to blame for almost all the world's major conflicts
- 1 Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified
- 2 McKamey Manor: This 'extreme' haunted house is the stuff of nightmares
- 3 Russell Brand says he will 'probably' give up acting to focus on his revolution
- 4 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 5 David Beckham's Haig Club whisky is exactly what’s wrong with the Highlands
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior Software Engineer - C#, VB.N...