5-year-old sorry for racking up $2,500 iPad bill in 10 minutes

Danny Kitchen asks his parents for their iPad password so he can play a free game. It turns out not to have been quite so free.

Danny Kitchen. Focused. Telegraph Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Weapons cost money.

This is something we hear all the time in discussions about budgets cuts.

It's also something the Kitchen family discovered when they gave their little 5-year-old Danny the passcode for their iPad.

Danny, you see, wanted to play Zombies vs. Ninja, a game that somehow has passed me by. Still, the future brigadier-general of the British army explained to his parents that the game was free.

Greg and Sharon Kitchen of Warmley, England, were busy entertaining, so what better way to keep their little 5-year-old quiet than to bury his fascination in an iPad?

As the Telegraph reports, everyone had a lovely evening.

The following Monday, however, the Kitchens received 19 e-mails from iTunes. They had allegedly spent 1,710.43 British pounds (around $2,570) through the iTunes store.

Oh, and then their credit card company called, reminding them of their sudden expenditure on bombs.

Yes, these were virtual ecstasy bombs. But ecstasy bombs can be expensive.

The Kitchens seemed to have bought a lot of virtual keys too. They had surely not been partaking of a key party.

Sharon Kitchen quickly realized who the culprit was.

She told the Telegraph: "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."

Children can be cruel, as well as expensive.

Kitchen believes it was far too easy for Danny to go to town on the bombs. For his part, Danny admits to having cried and isn't even aware how he bought so much stuff.

He also added: "I'm banned from the iPad now, but I am still going to play games when I can, but I will be careful now."

The timing of this unfortunate incident is quite eerie. Just a couple of days ago, Apple settled a lawsuit brought by parents who thought it far too easy for their kids to make in-app purchases.

In the Kitchens' case, the company refunded the money, saying that they had alerted Apple quickly to the issue.

An Apple spokesman also told the Telegraph that parental controls exist on all iOS devices. He added: "Our parents' guide to iTunes details the steps and measures parents and guardians can take to make sure younger players have access to the right content. The first thing we recommend is not to share your password."

May I translate?: "You must be mad if you trust your 5-year-old with your password. Have you any idea what 5-year-olds are like?"

 

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