App for That

Parents, Guard Your iPads: 5-Year-Old Buys $2,554 Worth of Apps in 10 Minutes

The kid stays away from the iPad.
(Photo: NSPT4kids.com)

(Photo: NSPT4kids.com)

If you’ve ever seen a child use an iPad, it’s actually kind of terrifying. The ease with which they learn the swipe gesture; the comfort they clearly take from sinking into a Winnie the Pooh puzzle game. There is no adoption curve whatsoever: place a tablet in a child’s hand and watch as they effortlessly cue up apps you didn’t even know you’d downloaded.

It is for this reason that you should never give a child your iTunes password.

The Telegraph reports that a 5-year-old named Danny Kitchen (cutest name) racked up a 1,700 pound (about $2,554) iTunes bill in just 10 minutes. His father gave him the password so he could download the free Zombie Vs Ninja game, but it was a slippery slope. After blowing his way through the free add-ons section, Mr. Kitchen found his way into the paid section, and before his mother could stop him she had an iTunes bill totaling more than most people’s monthly rent.

According to The Telegraph:

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 also bought five lots of “9000 darts” each costing £69.99, five lots of ‘4200 darts’ at £5.49 each and additional ecstasy bombs totalling £3.22.

Luckily, Apple was kind enough to refund the Kitchens their money, since nobody needs a billion costly weapons in Zombie v. Ninja, no matter how bad you are at it. (If only all of Mark Pincus’ customers were so willing to throw down for virtual shit.)

“It was a good game, but I will never do anything like this again,” little Mr. Kitchen said. “I’m banned from the iPad now.” Poor kid.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com

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