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article imageFive-year-old runs up £1,700 iPad bill in just 10 minutes

By Anne Sewell     Mar 1, 2013 in Technology
Bristol - In a case of what should have been "don't let the kid near your iPad", a five-year-old boy managed to run up a bill of £1,700 ($2,571) in a mere ten minutes, by innocently buying dozens of costly add-ons.
It was all very innocent. Greg and Sharon Kitchen were preparing to entertain friends at their home in Warmley, near Bristol in the UK.
Their five-year-old son, Danny, asked for the pass code to the iPad, so that he could download a free game, Zombie v Ninja, from the Apple Store.
The parents probably thought, good idea, it will keep him busy while we entertain our friends, and they eventually agreed to give Danny the pass code. Then they made the big mistake of leaving their son alone with the tablet computer.
It turns out that after Danny downloaded the free app, he somehow found his way around the game's online store and managed to innocently order dozens of very expensive add-ons, at a cost of £1,710.43 or approximately US$2,571.46.
It wasn't until the next day that his mother found out about the spending spree, when saw a batch of emails from iTunes, listing what he had bought. Apparently her credit card company then phoned to query the payment, and Mrs Kitchen realized just what had happened.
She explained to The Telegraph in the above video, "Danny was pestering us to let him have a go on the iPad. He kept saying it was a free game so my husband put in the pass code and handed it to him."
"It worried me when he asked for the password but I had a look at the game it said it was free so I didn't think there would be a problem."
"We had lots of visitors in the house and were both a little preoccupied. I woke up Monday morning and looked at my emails and had loads from iTunes."
"I thought it must be a mistake, so I checked my bank balance online and nothing had been taken out."
"I thought nothing of it until I my credit card adviser phoned and told me they had authorized the transaction."
"Danny had bought dozens of in-game weapons and keys on the iPad 3 including 12 purchases of '333 keys' at £69.99 a time and seven '333 ecstasy bombs' at £69.99."
He had apparently also bought five lots of "9000 darts" each costing £69.99, five lots of '4200 darts' at £5.49 each and additional ecstasy bombs totaling £3.22.
A mother-of-five, Mrs Kitchen said: "I realized what happened and told Danny he'd better get ready for bed and run and hide before daddy got home."
"He was crying, as the rest of the children were telling him we could have bought a house with the amount he had spent."
"He started to run and through his tears he turned back and said 'But where can I hide?' Bless him - that stopped me being angry but of course it's a lot of money."
"Loads of parents in the playground said similar things had happened to them but for a lot less money. I can't believe he was able to spend so much money."
"It was far too easy a thing for him to do and more should be done to limit stuff like this from happening. That game is very annoying - and who would spend more than £1,700 on a game?"
"It's the first time any of our kids have done anything like this - and it will be the last."
According to Danny, "I said to dad can you put the pass code for the game he said no and then I said it was free so he said yes."
"The next day it cost lots of money. I was worried and I felt sad. I was crying. I'm not sure how I did it, I thought it was free."
Apparently Apple are being kind to the Kitchen family and have said that they will refund the money. A spokesman for the company said that incidents such as this must be reported as quickly as possible. He also stressed that people should keep their pass code safe to prevent unauthorized purchases.
According to the MailOnline, Apple paid £66m to US parents for similar problems, so this is definitely nothing new.
Danny's dad, Greg Kitchen, 44, said: "I was livid - not amused at all. But Danny was very sorry so I couldn't stay mad at him for long."
"I'm relieved that they have said they are going to give us back our money. We had to give them so much information and it's taken three days, but I'm relieved."
And Danny himself? "It was a good game, but I will never do anything like this again. I'm banned from the iPad now, but I am still going to play games when I can, but I will be careful now," he promised.
More about iPad, five year old, Kid, Child, Bill
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