Well, add yet another thing to the list of "situations my parents didn't have to deal with".
got Buddy an iPod Touch for Christmas. Princess has had one for almost
a year (she bought it with her own money) and we haven't really had to
put many restrictions on hers. She has a set "bedtime" for it, she
can't use it during home school studies, etc. She has a few games/apps
and some music, but she mainly uses it to take pictures and to text her
Buddy is all about the games. ALL about the games.
We loaded a few on the iPod when we gave it to him, but he asked last
week for a couple more. I helped him get online with my Apple ID and he
purchased one then he downloaded a couple of free ones. No biggie.
He's been happily playing ever since.
And he's been listening to some music. And playing a few more games.
Then I got the receipts from the iTunes/App Store.
I forgot to log out. Buddy's been downloading songs and clicking on
game apps for three days. He honestly thought that 1) he was
downloading songs from his other iPod and 2) the games he was clicking
on were free. Luckily he didn't go on a huge shopping spree. He
clicked on a few things and then enjoyed them for a while. Then went
back. The grand total of all three receipts (shopping sprees) was less
than $35, but that would have taken all of his saved allowance and then
some. He looked completely surprised and then horrified when I told
him. But he did not whine or cry. He first said that he would just
delete all of the games, but I told him that it didn't work that way.
Even if he deleted them, we'd still have to pay for them. So he sucked
it up and asked how much. He took responsibility and was willing to
I told him that I would contact Apple and let them know
what happened. Since I caught it so early (within three days) and we
haven't had an instance like this before, I thought it was worth a
shot. If not, we'd work something out. After all, I was the one who
forgot to log out.
Let me tell you that Apple has a fantastic
customer service department. My requests were handled quickly and
completely. AND one of the customer service reps went out of her way to
outline how to activate more parental controls and warnings on the
iPod. So when I do go in and buy another app or game for him, there
will be several warnings that pop up both on the iPod and on my e-mail.
I love it! (So does Buddy!)
I love that, in this case, Apple
has such a personal and flexible policy. I'm sure they get this kind of
stuff all the time. It's got to be time consuming for them, but it's
SO nice as a parent to be able to have this measure of grace as we learn
the ins and outs of technology with our kids. I guess this is the 21st
century version of calling an 800 number and signing up for the
Columbia House Record Club while your mom was vacuuming down the hall!
(Not that I ever did that.)