First things first – today is my birthday! I’ve been treated to a weekend of celebrating and hugs and kisses from my boys. Anson made me a four-layer cake and Roan picked out some clothing for me. That poor kid. He really would like it if I would dress a little more like a stripper. He wants me to rock high heels and shiny dresses and all he gets are t-shirts, jeans and converse. Still, he picked out a few tops that are a decided compromise. Pretty, without being too much. My kid has style. Probably got it from his dad.
And now, in the spirit of all the times I’ve complained about Big Business – the Insurance Company, the Credit Card Company etc., I have another experience to share. But let me just say that the main character involved in this story is mortified with what went down, and has asked to remain anonymous. So. The six-year-old boy I’m writing about will be called: Mr. Blondie. Who you think it could be is entirely up to you.
Sunday morning, after I got my coffee and snuggled up to Mr. Blondie and Anson on the couch, they put down their Wii controllers, and said they had something to tell me. Mr. Blondie’s eyes filled with tears immediately as Anson related to me that Mr. Blondie had bought some Apps on my iPhone while playing on it, unsupervised. Before you start asking yourself if we, as parents, had been stupid enough to let Mr. Blondie know our iTunes password, the answer is “yes”. Let’s move on.
So Mr. Blondie had played on the iPhone and purchased some Apps. The receipt was emailed to Anson, and it turns out he had spent $70.00. I rubbed my eyes with one hand while trying to figure out how to respond. Was I mad? Yep. At Mr. Blondie? Yep. At myself? Yep. Ugh. Mr. Blondie sobbed that he was so sorry, that he didn’t realize he was buying them, that he was so sorry, that he wasn’t trying to be sneaky, and that he was so sorry. I didn’t quite believe him that he didn’t know he wasn’t buying them, until I looked at the program that the bulk of the money was spent on. All the purchases were labeled “Fish Bucks” instead of $, so he thought they were play money. So we arranged a system for Mr. Blondie to earn the money he had spent, through doing chores at home. His iPhone access has been restricted until it’s paid back in full, and yes, his brilliant parents have changed the password. I should probably write a book on parenting, what with all my skillz.
As sort of Hail Mary, I sent this email to the iTunes customer service address:
My name is Jodi Call. My son who is six years old, purchased $65.25 worth of apps on my iPhone yesterday, 04/08/10.
I’m wondering if there’s any way I could reverse these charges? He found our password (and is now suffering a fate of no computer use) and purchased these without our permission.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
My expectation was to get a form letter in a few days, outlining their policy that these purchases are final. As they clearly state in their information section.
But instead, within a few hours, I received this email:
Greetings from Apple iTunes Store support! My name is Ashutosh and I’ll be assisting you today. I am sorry to hear your son purchased apps under order number XXXXXX without your permission. I know this can be disheartening for you and I would like to help.
I have reversed the charge for this order. In three to five business days, a credit of $65.25 should be posted to the credit card that appears on the receipt for that purchase.
In the meantime, I strongly recommend you change your account password immediately. Changing the password will help to prevent anyone else from using your iTunes Store account to place orders without your knowledge. To increase the security of your account, choose a password that has at least eight digits and includes both letters and numbers. You can change your password using this website:
Jodi, I hope this helps you resolve the issue. If you have any concerns or queries regarding the same issue, please feel free to write back to me by replying to this email. Have a nice time!
iTunes Store Customer Support
Please note: I work from 07:00 AM to 04:00 PM CST from Sunday to Thursday.
Well. Holy cow. Not only did The Man get right back to me, he gave me what I asked for, was kind, and offered to help me with other stuff. So now, I must say that forever more I stand with Justin Long, I am a Mac. While Mr. Blondie is still fated to be indentured to me until he earns the amount of the purchases back, he feels immeasurably better that the money wasn’t charged, and had actually deleted all the Apps out of utter guilt and shame, even before they were deactivated. So it’s a happy story, with a lesson learned and no one the worse for wear. Except the shysters that labeled things Fish Bucks. Hope they didn’t spend our 70 Fish Bucks all in one place.