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Submitted by karamsoul 779d ago | news

Microsoft Charges 50 Cents for Child Account Verification to Comply with COPPA

MariaHelFutura writes: "One user named pumkinut on the ArsTechnica forums came across an interesting issue when trying to create Xbox accounts for his 3 young boys on their new Xbox One. After registering himself, he came across a surprising policy whereby Microsoft charges 50 cents verification fees per child account (limited additions to 2 per day), when tying to the parent account. "

Moderator note:

Keep comments on topic of story not the submitter. Terms of Use If you have an issue you can submit a ticket (Microsoft, Xbox One)

Update Per Microsoft: “Microsoft and Family Safety comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) regarding online account creation for children under the age of 13. To verify that an adult is giving a child permission to create a new Microsoft account, COPPA requires that a small amount be charged to the adult’s credit card. We charge 50 cents for this verification. These charges aren’t refundable.”

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HolyDuck   779d ago | Personal attack | show
karamsoul  +   779d ago
COPPA mandates any minimal amount (even a cent). Microsoft set the amount to 50 cents, though it's all donated, so there's that.
darthv72  +   779d ago
Maria has a serious crush on MS and tries to hide it by finding or creating some really strange topics.

But like the profile says...."every great story needs a super villain"
4Sh0w   779d ago | Off topic | show
thorstein  +   779d ago
This is so weird. On the PS4, my kids aren't allowed to share their names due to their ages. The system prevents them from sharing with even the master acct.

No charge required.
JokesOnYou   779d ago | Off topic | show
mrpsychoticstalker   779d ago | Off topic | show
Anon1974  +   779d ago
You'll never take me alive, Coppa!
mk4002  +   778d ago
"Run!!! Go!!! Get to the Coppa!!!"
dredgewalker  +   778d ago
I'm gonna Coppa feel on you baby!
Pogmathoin   779d ago | Off topic | show
parentoftheyear  +   778d ago
Had to do this on our nabi also
RiPPn  +   778d ago
Yea my sons Nabi Jr made me pay this, I thought it was BS, but looks like it could be the industry norm.
SilentNegotiator  +   778d ago
This law has been around since 2000??

I remember creating a child account on PS3/360 (with restrictions, for visitors) and never being charged 50 cents...
#2.5 (Edited 778d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(2) | Report | Reply
Death  +   779d ago
"This policy was created to be in compliance with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), for any online account creations for children younger than 13 years of age. COPPA requires a small amount to be charged to a credit card (any small amount). Microsoft have themselves set this amount to 50 cents per child account. All fees received are donated to the National Center for Missing
and Exploited Children."

Sony became compliant to the same COPPA requirements in 2008 when they settled the lawsuit with the U.S. government for their infringements brought on by Sony BMG.

The credit card charge is made to show proof that a parent or guardian acknowledged the creation of the account. The $.50 Microsoft collects is then donated to charity. I have no idea if Sony complies the same way or where the money goes if they do.

A list of possible parent verification can be found here.
FamilyGuy  +   779d ago
There is no charge to create child psn accounts on Sony systems. PSN accounts are all 100% free, the only thing they charge for is PS+ and those are two different things: a PSN ID being the actual user account and PS+ being a subscription.
#4.1 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(14) | Disagree(15) | Report | Reply
Death  +   779d ago
What form of verification are they using to comply with COPPA regulations? There doesn't have to be a fee for the account to fall under COPPA guidelines.
#4.1.1 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(10) | Report
hakeem0996  +   779d ago | Well said
So Sony is breaking the law .how is that something to brag about?
@Death they said that COPPA requires an adult credit card to be charge so there has to be a fee even if it's just 1 cent.
#4.1.2 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(15) | Disagree(17) | Report
thorstein  +   779d ago

They are not breaking the law. The system prevents children from sharing personal information like their real name even with the master acct. I tried it.

How isn't that in compliance with the law?
FamilyGuy  +   778d ago
First of all who says I'm "bragging"? I was simply stating facts.
bornsinner  +   779d ago
once again bad journalism.. why must fanboys ruin n4g by voting up crap?
ziggurcat  +   779d ago
You know, MS could simply absorb that 50 cent charge rather than pass it along to the consumer, and still make the donation.

@ death:

Don't see how MS eating the fee instead of forcing consumers to pay would somehow make them no longer compliant.

And I don't recall hearing about sony charging a fee to verify a sub account.
#5.1 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(13) | Disagree(24) | Report | Reply
Sm00thNinja  +   779d ago
Or don't? Then fanboys wouldn't have anything to talk about on a slow news day
Death  +   779d ago | Well said
The credit or debit cardcharge is made to confirm a parent or guardian approved the creation of the account. If Microsoft didn't charge anything, they would no longer be in compliance with COPPA regulations. There are other ways they can adhere to regulations, but none are as convenient or quick. They can video conference with the parent, send a delayed email that requires verification, or send a letter to name a few.

Either way, $.50 is going to a good cause and keeps them in compiiance with federal regulations. I'm not sure how this can be viewed negatively.

Out of curiosity, does anyone know how Sony verifies/complies today?
mhunterjr  +   779d ago
Or people could stop complaining about paying incredibly small amounts of money in compliance with a law that is aimed at protecting children.

Or they could just give the child a full account and monitor their child's online activities on their own, instead of placing that burden on the service provider, then complaining about a one-time, minuscule fee; one that goes in full to a good cause.
#5.1.3 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(23) | Disagree(6) | Report
ziggurcat  +   779d ago
@ mhunterjr

The amount of the fee is irrelevant. And if it's such a tiny, minuscule fee, why can't a billion dollar corporation just eat the fee, make the donation on behalf of the consumer, and still be in compliance with "the law"?
mhunterjr  +   779d ago
There HAS to be a credit card transaction by the parent on behalf of the child in order for this form of verification to take place. MS could not simply make the donation in the parents place.

And even if MS could donate for the parent, there's no reason to expect that they should, billion dollar corporation or not. This is a standard form of verification and it's typically handled by most social networking services in this manner. It's by far the simplest and the quickest for all parties involved. To pretend that MS is somehow a bad guy for conforming to industry standards is pretty rediculous. There's no reason that the parent shouldn't play an affirmative role in ensuring their child's safety. To imply that the size of the fee has no bearing is also pretty rediculous. A parent shouldn't be averse to paying $0.50 to protect their child. The idea that 'service provider should, give me things for free' is just entitle bullcrap.
#5.1.5 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(14) | Disagree(7) | Report
slazer101  +   779d ago
Or MS could charge the fee for verification and then credit the card holder back the $0.50. Not that difficult really. It would be a win win for both parties.
#5.1.6 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(10) | Report
ziggurcat  +   779d ago
@ mhunterjr

Can you point to the exact part if the law that states a fee is required to be charged to a parent's CC? Because it's just MS saying they have to without citing the actual law, which is suspect.

Edit: I've never heard of parents being charged money for creating/verifying a child's account on any social network.
#5.1.7 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(11) | Report
JokesOnYou  +   779d ago | Well said
ziggucat Really bro its 50 cents, no for real it's 50 cents sure micro could have absorbed it but they didn't but it's 50 cents, no really it's 50 g-damm cents. Nobody is getting suckered here and micro isnt profiting, a charity gets some money= win win. With so many legitimate things in life to B* about It's really comical and at the same time sad how some people can find time to complain about something so inconsequential is beyond me.

It's articles like this and folks like you who re-confirm my belief that the main problem with gaming sites *members now is that so many "gamers" on internet are no longer in it for the fun of gaming but rather enjoy "the war" trying to settle some make believe score that no one will ever "win" because truth is if you believe ps4 is the right choice and that's what you bought you won already and I have my X1 so I've won already.
#5.1.8 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(21) | Disagree(7) | Report
ziggurcat  +   778d ago
@ jokes:

50 cents or 50 dollars, it doesn't matter. The issue isn't even about whether MS profits from this (it's been very clear that they're not), and this even about gaming, either. Parents shouldn't be charged to verify their child's account... Post a link verifying that it's a governmentally mandated fee, and not just a penny-pinching scheme from MS trying to cover their own costs.

You really need to come to the realization that your beloved company has a disgusting history of nickel, and diming their customers... This is just another example in a very long list.
#5.1.9 (Edited 778d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(13) | Report
u got owned  +   778d ago

MY IQ just dropped reading your comments. What part of the .50 cents charge Is to verify/confirm a parent or guardian approved the creation of the account. Jeez are you that blind that can't even see the logic here. Come on kid use your brain.
#5.1.10 (Edited 778d ago ) | Agree(8) | Disagree(3) | Report
hakeem0996  +   778d ago
So you bugging because they make you pay .50 cent that is going to be donated in the first place .are you for real? Also, you realize that Bill Gates is one of the biggest charity contributors of all time ? SMFH .This is why gamers will never be taken seriously EVER
Volkama  +   778d ago
Wow ziggurcat.... just wow.

A card transaction is necessary to verify an adult is authorising the account creation. You have to be an adult to have a credit card. Get it?

MS could charge more or less, and they could:
-Keep the money
-Refund the money
-Donate the money

Only the first option would qualify as "nickle and diming". And that's not what they're doing.

Most likely donating the money to charity gets them out of a little tax or fee on the CC transactions, or they're just being socially responsible.

As an aside, the parental control features on the One are really well implemented. That's the main reason my One will be front-and-centre in my house, and everything else will be tucked away where only I know they exist.
#5.1.12 (Edited 778d ago ) | Agree(4) | Disagree(3) | Report
sovietsoldier  +   779d ago
then it woudn't be n4g, but its something i have always hated and wished they would not allow.
givemeshelter  +   779d ago
Welcome to N4G.COM... The comical joke for gaming internet news
mhunterjr  +   779d ago
More deceptive headlines/articles from SpawnFirst. These guys are on a roll today! I'm really unsure how these articles make it through the approval process.
#6 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(18) | Disagree(9) | Report | Reply
karamsoul  +   779d ago
How is the headline deceptive? Is it not true? Also, everything is broken down in the article, including the COPPA mandate, and that the funds go to charity. Did you even READ the article, or did you skip over it and make a judgment without reading it?
Swiggins  +   779d ago
Oh no, I read it, I also read that bullshit sensationalist headline.
darthv72  +   779d ago
Because this is a COPPA thing, NOT just a MS thing.

You make it seems (by the title) that MS is the bad guy. Why do you need to sensationalize something like this that benefits a cause like COPPA?
mhunterjr  +   779d ago | Well said
Just because it's true, doesn't meant isn't deceptive. Upon reading the headline, someone would assume that Microsoft is out to profit from the creation of children's Xbox live accounts. And judging by the source, it was written that way intentionally.

A more appropriate title could have been, 'In compliance with COPPA, MS seeks $0.50 donation for child accounts.'

Or, the attached blurb could have mentioned the federal requirement , instead of focusing on the confused parent who obviously neglected to read the ToS, before complaining to the internet.

I read the article in its entirety. And while the whole truth came out eventually, it's clear the header was meant to invoke a negative reaction towards Microsofts practices in this regard. It's clickbait, it's flamebait, and it's undeniably deceptive. Most importantly, it's poor, unprofessional journalism.
#6.1.3 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(18) | Disagree(7) | Report
karamsoul  +   779d ago
Thanks for the helpful suggestion, mhunterjr.
hazardman  +   779d ago

Your right and thats all there is to it. Dont take to many of these fuckers in here seriously either. This is heavy PS territory. Any defending of MS is frowned upon here. Even when you go on Xbox thread its all PS fanboys. I dont know how $.50 is a big deal to verify child account. Oh and the $.50 goes for missing and exploited children.

I have kids and Im glad its not that easy for children to create an account and go online on Xbox without parents knowledge. Online gaming isnt exactly PG programming with all the shit thats said....
rainslacker  +   778d ago
Question to all. How would you write the headline to not be sensational. The general facts are in the headline.

1. MS charges 50 cents for child account verification.
2. This is done to comply with coppa.

This headline is probably one of the least sensational headlines from this site, which I admit is bad about it, but this time, any editor at a major publication would probably write it about the same way. It puts the main subject first, and a brief modifier as to why. It provides a description of the Who, What, and Why of the story story.

Do we really need headlines to become so over qualified just to avoid apparent sensationalism?

Otherwise: On topic. I don't see a problem with this if this is how MS feels it is the best way to comply with the regulations. From the looks of it they aren't just pocketing the money, and I'd prefer parents have some involvement with their child's online interactions.
#6.1.6 (Edited 778d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(8) | Report
LogicStomper  +   778d ago

Well first you understand the situation before writing a title. It should be in the form of:

1) What's changing
2) What's the reaction to this change

So if you read mhunterjr's comment, he's got it bang on the money.

"In compliance with COPPA, MS seeks $0.50 donation for child accounts."

So COPPA is driving this change, Microsoft have reacted by charging. If you write it as the title, it implies Microsoft is charging to try please COPPA.

Small things make big differences. Learn to write titles people!
darthv72  +   778d ago
@rain not to mention that the "original" title did NOT include any remarks about COPPA. Hence the reaction of the public saying the title was very sensational and deceiving.

If i recall, the title was something like "MS charges 50 cents for child accounts" or something to that effect. the title was left very open to question as to the real nature of the article.

when left with very little substance, many will fill in the blanks unless they read the article in the first place. But it was the attention grabbing nature of how it was presented. Not that it was presented to begin with.

does that help?
rainslacker  +   778d ago

Fair point, and good use of wording. I don't know if it's necessary to follow you're structure to avoid sensationalism, and I feel my view is just as valid, but I'll agree, your "title" is better. However, one must admit, people see sensationalism everywhere, sometimes where it doesn't exist(although it probably does here).

I also don't know how, but I completely missed that line from mhunter...Sorry.:(

Yeah, I actually realized that may have been the case after I posted my comment. Came in kind of late to the conversation. I decided to leave my comment though just to see if someone could expand on what a proper title would be.
Legacy212  +   779d ago
I have no clue man but I agree with you. This is purposely trying to misleas people. The title is made for hits to makr microsoft look bad. Lol
specialguest   779d ago | Trolling | show
Sm00thNinja  +   779d ago
Another non story. Why must fanboys be so adamant about making the Xbone look bad?
SlapHappyJesus  +   779d ago
Because the fanboys fear the power that Xbox still holds and the attention that it got last generation.

I am not for either console. I am on the PC, though I plan to own every console, at some point, for the exclusives. I just am constantly amused by the immature back-and-forth's you see from this site.
Death  +   779d ago
I actually started playing more on my PC lately. I turned the graphics down to 1080p to see what all the fuss is about.
hazardman  +   779d ago
You have seen the light then...

Your eyes must be hurting
#7.1.2 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report
sgtGanGreen  +   779d ago
That way they can be sure parent is creating child account because parent only can have credit card
True_Samurai  +   779d ago
How dare Ms! Oh wait it's to comply with COPPA and all fees are donated to a charity? Ooooh OK than

Maria tried to hard on this one
#9 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(22) | Disagree(5) | Report | Reply
Legacy212  +   779d ago
Lmao I know!! People need less free time on their hands. What a joke
Legacy212  +   779d ago
Now I know who works at spawnfirst and why it always has negative microsoft and pro sony articles lol. Sony site to the max!!! Trying to turn standard protocol into negative news. Lmao I swear its like a cult
Sm00thNinja   779d ago | Off topic | show
SlapHappyJesus  +   779d ago
Another Spawnfirst article.
Hmm. It's almost as if they have an agenda.
Stop with the sensationalist headlines and maybe, one day, you will be a real site with real journalistic integrity.

It's as people above me said, this isn't Microsoft charging consumers. This is them following guidelines.
hazardman  +   779d ago
Its Maria one of the biggest PS/Sony supporters on this site. Most articles are submitted by PS fanboys who call themselves true gamers because they play on playstation
ATi_Elite   779d ago | Immature | show
Software_Lover   779d ago | Off topic | show | Replies(1)
frostypants  +   779d ago
I have no problem with this. People should also be forced to review their child's activity and renew every 3 months or so. I should not be hearing so many 10 year olds playing games like GTA V.
frostypants  +   779d ago
I see some children disagree. Get off my lawn and out of online games you shouldn't be playing.
#15.1 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(9) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
PSnation4   779d ago | Trolling | show
assdan   779d ago | Trolling | show | Replies(1)
Belking  +   779d ago
lol... gee wiz. This s normal people.Coppa does this to a lot of companies. Its the law and has little to do with MS. You would be a fool not to cover your behind with something lke this because we all know if you give someone a opening for a lawsuit, they will take it every time.
#18 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(10) | Disagree(7) | Report | Reply
Pinkdolphinyfg  +   779d ago
This article is on the level of Fox News bad, twisted "journalism" and i use that word loosely.
Software_Lover  +   779d ago
Wow I lost a bubble for making a joke?

Yet the people who submit these Sensational headline articles and write them have bubbles galore?
LeCreuset  +   779d ago
I understand the COPPA compliance. What I don't understand is the policy of not refunding the money. 50 cents seems insignificant and they do say it's going to a charity, but I wonder is that money being provided to the charity by MS and what kind of tax write off they may be looking at from those donations.

Update: To clarify, I'm not asking if MS keeps the money. I'm asking if the money is going to the charity in MS's name so that they could be eligible for a tax write off on it.
#21 (Edited 779d ago ) | Agree(3) | Disagree(6) | Report | Reply
rainslacker  +   778d ago
Probably about 25-40 cents of that charge goes straight to credit card processing fees. Generally 50 cent charges aren't even worth doing for most businesses that accept CC. Unless MS is doing charges on the same scale as say Apple who procceses thousands of $1 charges all day, they aren't likely getting much of a break.
PFFT   778d ago | Off topic | show
Legacy212  +   778d ago
Spawnfirst and cinemablend 2 sites that came out of NO WHERE and ruined all their credibility to be a respected site lol move along nun to see here sony fan boys who made their own site so theu can post news as "credible"
N4GJD  +   778d ago
Just another reason not to buy an Xbox One, or anything Microsoft!
LogicStomper  +   778d ago
Looks like you just fell for the title...

Oh wait, nevermind. Just saw your comment history.
Now we are getting moderated on MS articles. Interesting. Headline was phrased poorly, story covered the whole truth but the fact that the moderator urged people to stay on topic implies to me at least that said moderator posted this article with its headline as flamebait and then expects Xbox owners not to notice and take whatever crap Sony fanboys say to them in silence. Great job.
karamsoul  +   778d ago
I'll agree the title was phrased poorly (which has since been corrected on this post and the actual article), but "story covered the whole truth"? What are you talking about? The story in the article did not change one bit, and explained (and linked to) all required information (even quoted the MS policy).

Edit: And no moderator posted this article. I did (and I am NOT a moderator). Actually, a moderator fixed the post title to include the part "to Comply with COPPA", to make it less sensationalist. The actual article's title reflected this change as well.
#25.1 (Edited 778d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(4) | Report | Reply
When I say cover the whole truth I mean it wasn't a flamebait article. Everything that was stated in the article is fact.
karamsoul  +   778d ago
Oh okay. I mistook the way you said "covered the whole truth".

My mistake, bro :)
inf3cted1  +   778d ago
This is old as hell and this was only created to get hits.
lassenwolf  +   778d ago
like there isnt tons of accounts make by under 13 yera olds . you can put whatever birthdate you want. another reason i will not ever get ms gold again or xbox live . they are idiots
SynestheticRoar  +   778d ago
Microsoft need to stop giving Maria so much ammunition. They make it to easy.
iron  +   778d ago
Looks like Maria is going under another alias as Karamsoul
Father Murder X  +   778d ago
MariaHelFutura wrote the article. what else is there to say?
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