Submitted by skowhegan 839d ago | news

Boy unwittingly ran up £1,150 bill by racking up 'Microsoft Points'

A 12-year-old boy accidentally ran up a £1,500 bill while playing Xbox Live - leaving his cash-strapped dad with no choice but to pick up the tab. (Culture, Microsoft, Xbox 360)

Credit url: eurogamer.net
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CustardTrout  +   839d ago
They do require card details though, maybe you should be careful who you give them to, you silly goose.
Nitrowolf2  +   839d ago
""An apology would be nice but I'm more interested in having this problem stopped so that we as parents can stop our kids from making payments on our cards."

OMG is he that dumb? He gave the kid his card, might as well have just given it to some random person. What did he expect; he's 12 and irresponsible, but judging from this so is the dad.
cpayne93  +   839d ago
I also kind of wonder if the kid really thought those games were free, or if he's lying to get out of trouble. What kind of 12 year old doesn't know that games cost money?
guitarded77  +   839d ago
Parents should consider getting their kids one of those disposable charge cards where they pay cash to charge the card, and that's the limit. That way they can limit their spending and teach them some fiscal responsibility. Once the money is gone, it's gone... or the kid can work around the home to earn some money to charge the card. It's a cheaper lesson for the parent, and teaches the kid some work ethic and responsibility. When I was a kid, I mowed lawns all spring and summer to pay for my NES games.

The pic for the story is funny... the dad's like "I love my son" and the kid's like "I got away with it". If it was me, it'd be a stop action photo of the kid running like all hell and me chasing him through the yard with the car.
#1.1.2 (Edited 839d ago ) | Agree(24) | Disagree(0) | Report
Campy da Camper  +   839d ago
My daughter is 14 and I have a smartphone with a 2Gb data cap for her. We have sat down and gone over how to monitor data usage as to avoid going over the cap. She understands, has never gone over and is very responsible with her phone, IE, never gets caught in class with it on, etc.

This is just bad parenting. 12 year olds are smart. You just need to be involved with them and explain life to them. Sure, once in a while they do bone head things but that is being a kid.

Also, the example he is setting by blaming MS is showing his son that if you mess up, blame someone else. This guy gets the "loser father of the year" award.
#1.1.3 (Edited 839d ago ) | Agree(27) | Disagree(1) | Report
blue7_7  +   839d ago
I know I always laugh at this kind of stories when the kid acts all innocent like he didn't know. Who is he kidding just because his dad is stupid doesn't mean everyone else is. He is an irresponsible kid I'm pretty sure he knew what he was doing he just didn't care because he doesn't understand.
Gaming101  +   839d ago
You mean to tell me for 6 months this kid racked up almost 1500 bucks Canadian? Is that even possible? Does Call of Duty even have 100 British Pounds worth of stuff you can buy? You need to buy the points, and it says how much the points cost in pounds since this is in the UK, so I don't buy it that they kid thought they were free for points for killing bad guys.
Also, anyone who doesn't check their credit card statement in six months could have been a victim of any other kind of fraud and would have also been oblivious, so this is just stupidity, and I'm having a hard time believing the father just pays the bill on the card when it's several hundred pounds over what it probably should have been given a typical month's worth of transactions, I mean wake up.
tee_bag242  +   838d ago
I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
The kid is as stupid as the dad for being so wreckless.
ChrisW  +   839d ago
This story would be quite useful for parents who are stupid enough to not educate their children about online transactions... However, I believe this has the look and smell of a fake article.
JackBNimble  +   839d ago
Parents should be educating themselves about how online transactions work when it comes to consoles. It's called parental control , but the problem is that alot of parents have no clue about any of this.

I am a parent, and my kids can't buy anything online with out either myself or my wife to do it for them.
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Wizziokid  +   839d ago
I blame the father for being stupid enough to let his son have his credit card details in the first place.
HammadTheBeast  +   839d ago
And for letting him play Call of Duty, and the kid for not realizing that the games werent free, what a bullsh*t excuse. And
Laxman  +   839d ago
The article says the boy spent £100 in one day buying new weapons in Call of Duty.

Not only is that not possible to do, but there's not even anything in the game that suggests in the slightest way that that is how you do it.
jeeves86  +   839d ago
@ Laxman

The kid was probably buying points and gifting them to his online friends.

As ignorant as the father is, the boy could have told his dad that the mythical game troll took the money and he had to play to get it back.
Snookies12  +   839d ago
Yeah the father is to blame here... It's not Microsoft's fault that he let his kid have the card info. Though, there's no easy way that I know of for deleting a card off of Xbox when you use one for something on the Marketplace. If the kid asked permission for one thing, after that he could get as much as he wanted without permission since it's saved like that.
Campy da Camper  +   839d ago
You cannot delete it. You have to call xbox support and have them remove it. Pain in the arse.
Waddy101  +   839d ago
You don't need to do that anymore, you can remove your card through xbox.com now.
PwnerifficOne  +   839d ago
Xbox.com > Account details > Delete Card info. That easy.
darkride66  +   839d ago
I'm not excusing the father for not being informed but I kinda agree with the article though. The father didn't give his son his card info, he put it on the Xbox to automatically pay for the online XBL fees. He pointed out that every other site out there that stores credit card information usually requires a password or pin before charges can go through. I think that's a fantastic idea, and this is a good article to help remind parents of what can happen online if they aren't up to date with how these systems work. Of course we're all gamers - we know these things but if you aren't a gamer, wouldn't you assume there'd be some sort of password or safeguard before credit card purchases went through?

I haven't looked this up myself on my Xbox, but is there a parental setting somewhere that could potentially block these type of accidents?
#3.2 (Edited 839d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
Parasyte  +   839d ago
I know you can set restrictions and such and even label an account as a "Child Account," but I'm not quite sure what that allows you to do.
theWB27  +   839d ago
Not an excuse, if he set it up then he should have checked the settings to make sure everything was right. Especially if he's cash strapped he should have double checked. Like other people have said, he could have bought a cash card to limit the spending. Too many avenues to stay on top of things. If he got his story out there, he sure as hell should have kept his money tight.
Slapshot82  +   839d ago
I agree that the father -- to some degree -- might not have realized that the card could be used for DLC/online purchases. The dude could have had a terrible day at work and blew through it without reading the fine details.

But, there's no way that I believe that the kid is innocent. I say this next part out of all seriousness and not a slam on the child, as my wife is a special education teacher: that is, unless the boy has a learning disability, or other reason for not being able to read the plain English that states you're about to make a purchase. I'm just not buying his innocence. I think he knows exactly what he did and his father is taking this route in the hopes that someone will pay for his child's mistake.

This is a common theme in the world today: blame someone else for your own mistakes. It's happening over and again, and had I been the one to write this story, that's exactly the approach I'd have taken.
Mutant-Spud  +   839d ago
You can block XBL access on your kid's profile but there's no way of blocking them from making transactions if XBL access is enabled.
The idea that a 12 year old didn't know what he was doing isn't credible, when my daughter was about six she got onto the computer when my wife fell asleep on the couch and subscribed to Club Penguin using her mum's credit card, she also ordered about $500 worth of makeup on e-bay one time but we got out of that one.
cone   839d ago | Spam
green  +   839d ago
What an ignorant parent. Forget the charges, he just admitted to allowing his 12years old son to play Call of Duty. Games which clearly are M.
-Mika-  +   839d ago
You and the people commenting on the story at eurogamer need to stop acting like you haven't played an m rated game when you were a child or a teen.
Ravenor  +   839d ago
True say.

MK didn't make me a crazy person, I just have a fear that all pits have spikes at the bottom.

Anywho, the CoD playing is the least of the kid and fathers problems.
Elderly_Cynic  +   839d ago
I can honestly say I never did. The ESRB didn't exist when I was a kid, so there weren't any ratings.
Pozzle  +   839d ago
I did. I was also monitored by my parents so that they knew exactly what type of games I was playing and whether or not I could handle them. It's just irresponsible to let an underage kid play an M or R rated game without at least checking to see what the game is about or whether the kid can handle the themes that are present. Every child reacts differently to adult themes, and just because one kid is ok with things like violence and gore, doesn't always mean another kid will be ok with it.
mysterym  +   839d ago
Hands up guv i watched Robocop when i was 12 too.

All kids watch films and play games over there age boundary.
mysterym  +   839d ago
Plus my 14 year old lad will run rings around you in gears 3 multiplayer :P

It's down to the child, my children are intelligent (the eldest has just finished school, is expecting top grades in every subject and wants to be a doctor) and have brought them up to know the values of right and wrong and i've taught them that games are just that - games.
JBSleek  +   839d ago
This is a joke right?
Nevers  +   839d ago
If by "this" you meant "parenting" then yes... parenting these days is a joke.
Pozzle  +   839d ago
"I didn't even know that it was storing my information, and even if that thought had entered my head I would have thought there would be something in place so it wasn't so easy to spend money."

WTF? The dad is definitely to blame here. The terms and conditions make it very clear as to what the Marketplace is, and that your credit card details are needed for actual irl purchases. How could someone knowingly enter their credit card details into ANYTHING without realizing that those details will (1) be stored, and (2) be used to purchase items. I mean, what the hell did he think they were going to be used for? o_O
#6 (Edited 839d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
FredEffinChopin  +   838d ago
I'm not saying the father isn't 100% responsible for what happened, but let's not act like anyone here reads the terms and conditions attached to the vast majority of purchases they make. I'm sure you yourself could have easily signed your soul away dozens of times without knowing. Like everyone else, you scroll to the bottom and hit "agree".

The father is obviously not very tech-savvy and (surprisingly?) has little experience with paid console services. He let his son use the card thinking he was just purchasing his XBL subscription, not realizing that the card would be kept for his son to freely access.

I think it's easy for a bunch of people whose main hobby is gaming to sit here and act like the guy is a complete idiot. The truth is he could be any of our grandfathers. He just didn't know better and the kid (most likely, in my opinion) took advantage.
ChunkyLover53  +   839d ago
Sounds to me like the father is to blame, nice try passing the buck though. I mean if you have a teenager and he calls a phone sex line, that isn't their fault, its your fault.

These days parents just look for anything or anyone else to blame but themselves. Sometimes you need to just say "Hey, I messed up".
mushroomwig  +   839d ago
Modern day parenting at it's finest, putting the blame on something else rather than accepting the responsibility of your own bad parenting.
caffman  +   839d ago
should've had a family account. Noone can purchase points on my family account except myself.
Ravenor  +   839d ago
You actually look into things and have an understanding of what you're doing with your credit card information. You're someone this guy could clearly learn a thing or two from.

Call me crazy, but I would think a moderate level of interaction with my son would tell me that he seems to be playing games I do not remember purchasing for him.

I feel bad for the kid more then anything.
jeeves86  +   839d ago
Why feel bad for the kid? He knew well enough what he was doing. It's impossible to go through the process of purchasing more points and 'not' know that the points are being paid for with a credit card which had his father's name on it.
GaryOak  +   839d ago
Am I missing something here? Why does MS owe him an apology?
Dlacy13g  +   839d ago
Agreed... I think he owes MS an apology for blaming them for his lack of parenting and foolishly believing his son's "didn't know" BS.
hkgamer  +   839d ago
Just the way how things work in the UK.
If your phone bill is crazy high because you txt or browsed too much, just complain and say you didn't know it cost money, you will get your money back. Or a big discount anyway.

Im guessing Microsoft or his credit card will not pay him back so all he is asking for is an apology, is it Microsoft's fault? Definitely NO!!! But should Microsoft apologise to an Angry father? I'd say yes, just to make the father atleast feel that he got something out of complaining.
Mutant-Spud  +   839d ago
Heh, that's why you British guys get good service, you complain, in Australia nobody complains about anything, the service here is terrible and phone companies just rip people off left and right.
DudeJets  +   839d ago
People saying the dad is entirely to blame are idiots. Removing card details from the xbox should be made alot easier. On top of that even if details are stored the cards security number shouldn't be so that each purchase required you to add those 3 digits again.
Ravenor  +   839d ago
It isn't that hard, it just takes a bit of clicking. Don't defend a guy who doesn't pay attention to his kid, then blames the console when it goes awry.
mushroomwig  +   839d ago
The majority of people commenting are idiots? I don't think so, ever heard of parental controls? Surely you're not that naive to believe we're all idiots when he's clearly at fault here.
despair  +   839d ago
If you can't remove card details from the Xbox then you shouldn't be allowed to have a credit card and you definitely shouldn't be allowed to raise children.

People need to own up to their own mistakes and stupidity instead of blaming everyone else.
nukeitall  +   839d ago
If you aren't planning to spend money, why are you putting in card information into Xbox Live?

As the article states, there are plenty of opportunities to see you are being charged. If you aren't responsible enough to have a card, and raise a child, the problem isn't MS (or anyone elses)!

Not requiring those 3-digits is by design. The vast majority, don't have issues. Isn't it clear who the problem is with?
raytraceme  +   839d ago
"If you aren't planning to spend money, why are you putting in card information into Xbox Live?"

He put in his card for an xbox live gold subscription read before you talk. And as someone who had to go through the hassle of canceling and removing the card, you can't do it w/out calling MS.
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nukeitall  +   839d ago
"He put in his card for an xbox live gold subscription read before you talk."

I did read, maybe you yourself should learn to read before you write.

He wasn't planning on spending money, why put card information in? Obviously he spent money for Xbox Live Gold and makes it possible to buy other stuff. This is how practically every website or service works. It's called convenience!

Even more idiotic is the parent didn't notice the XBL charge until 6-months later? You know as the charges kept accumulating EVERY month!

Removing your credit card is pretty darn easy on XBL. I never had a problem, but hey I'm not one to judge others.
#11.4.2 (Edited 839d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(4) | Report
MacDonagh  +   839d ago
There are no words to describe this except "GOOD JOB!" ¬_¬
Mkai28  +   839d ago
By the look of the picture, they look like the victims. (sarcasm)The father looks like he saying" What are you going to do about this Microsoft, what are you going to do? This story was similar to this http://www.lazygamer.net/xb... I bet the little snot sneaks and watches porn too:)
#13 (Edited 839d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
Dlacy13g  +   839d ago
LOL...by the look of the picture they look like victims? I surely hope there is sarcasm in there somewhere in that statement...
Dlacy13g  +   839d ago
I am sorry but this is just stupid... Dad your son went on a spending spree. He bought points... not games on demand games... he physically looked the market place, clicked add points and saw how many points = how many dollars. The points market place is clear as day and they even give you a second screen confirming the purchase for real money so you can back out if you didn't mean to.

This kid just thought Dad wont find out cause its on my xbox... Kid was stupid and dad is foolish for thinking his son "had no idea".
Mikefizzled  +   839d ago
He is basically saying I lied about my Kids account age as you CANNOT purchase anything without permission from a parents email address
mochachino  +   839d ago
Don't worry, with all the CPUs and GPUs going into the NextBox people will require a retina scan before making purchases.

Wait, a finger print scanner could actually work..on the controller, to reduce hacked accounts.
HmongAmerican  +   839d ago
MS is implanted a facial scan through Kinect for their next console confirm.
Kran  +   839d ago
There are parenting controls you know, and if he's just going to buy his son an Xbox 360 and neglect them, then he deserves to have lost all that money.
Clarence  +   839d ago
The farther is a idiot. He should blame himself and take responsibility for letting his use his credit card.
despair  +   839d ago
why is this even considered news, this should be just another example of stupid people.
LoneWanderer09  +   839d ago
*facepalm* at parent and kid, mostly the parent
Donnywho  +   839d ago
If I had parents this dumb I probably wouldn't be alive.
Urbz7870  +   839d ago
If its anybody fault its the parent. Take responsibility for your own actions instead of blaming other ppl for your wrong doing.
Dms2012  +   839d ago
The kid could have easily blown more than that at Nordstroms or something, would that department store owe an apology? What a warped sense of right and wrong some people have.
TheObserver  +   839d ago
$1000 dollars a month for Children's Online Daycare (CoD) sounds about right. LMAO

Parent who treat videogames as a daycare will not raise very good kids.
TheBrit  +   839d ago
XBOX Community blames DAD for being such a douchebag by shutting his kid up with an over 18 video game instead of going outside and interacting with him - KID should have racked up 2K in charges.
NeoTribe  +   839d ago
So it took the father 6 months to catch that kinda spending on his card? Does he even look at his card statements. Not sure who's more irresponsible, the kid or the dad.
Nada Nuff  +   839d ago
This whole story sounds fishy. Son claimed he didn't know it was costing money (yeah, right), father claiming he didn't know son's account was linked to his credit car (sure), and father claiming he didn't notice the activity for 6 months (wow).

Personally I check my accounts at least once a week. Cards that I don't use too often send statements once a month. This is a joke.
jjb1981  +   839d ago
He should just buy him point cards with an allowance every so often... What a freak!
Dms2012  +   839d ago
People with lots of expendable income sometimes don't keep track of these things, the father sounds like a well off dbag anyway.
bobshi  +   839d ago
If you look at his statement he is overdrawn.

So clearly not well off unless he has riches in other accounts.
Shadowstar  +   839d ago
I dunno, if I weren't well off, I'd notice a steady stream leaving my bank account when it started happening, not 6 months later. If it were an account I didn't use often, though, because I had lots of money and that one wasn't my main one and didn't have much in it, I'd be far more likely to forget about checking it for half a year.
SITH  +   839d ago
I have discretionary income, and I check my accout every single day.
Dms2012  +   839d ago
I did put "sometimes" in there.
Kidmyst  +   839d ago
Nobody can be this stupid especially a grown adult. He must send money to all the E-mails claiming he has won the lottery and needs to send cash to pay the fees. Sheesh. But this where our Society is headed, "It's not my fault, it's your fault".
TaitaiSparks602  +   839d ago
Amen no one is that stupid if this grown ass man expect me to believe that then the sky is orange and the earth is flat lol they trying to scam the system and the media is encouraging this kind of behavior even reporting ignorant mess like this shouldn't be in any news and the child is holding a controller in the pic no sympathy from this guy right here ever in this or any life sorry no not really I can see a scam or a publicity stunt when I see it well they got thier time in the lime light for being D*ckheaded Douche bags with the intelligence of pocket lint F*ck these guys
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