Kid Rings Up $1700 Xbox Live Bill, Mom Blames Microsoft

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
45,698
0
0
Kid Rings Up $1700 Xbox Live Bill, Mom Blames Microsoft


A woman in the U.K. is blaming Microsoft for the fact that her 11-year-old son rang up a $1700 bill on her debit card over a six-month stretch on Xbox Live [http://www.xbox.com/en-US/live/].

11-year-old Brendan Jordan knows his times tables but he's still apparently a bit iffy on the concept of money. Let loose on Xbox Live, the youngster went on a spending spree that ultimately landed a bill of £1082 ($1739) on his mother's debit card. But his mother, Dawn, doesn't blame her son for the hefty charges. She blames Microsoft.

"When I put my card details in 18 months ago I thought it was just for his membership to play online with his friends," she said. "I work two jobs just to look after my family and pay the bills so I cannot afford all these extortionate charges. A thousand pounds isn't that much to people like Bill Gates, but for a single mum it is a lot of money that I don't have."

"I haven't punished him because he feels bad enough and I know he won't do it again," she added. "It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done."

She claimed the youngster started to cry when she explained to him how much money he'd blown through, after which he unplugged his Xbox and said he didn't want it anymore. She also said she wants her experience to serve as a warning to other parents.

"When he is in gaming mode he can't be thinking about the money. You can't put all that responsibility on a young boy," she added. "It is impossible to monitor everything your children do. These companies should take some responsibility. They take advantage of vulnerable people."

Ooh, close but not quite. It's true that the average 11-year-old has about as much going on upstairs as an untrained springer spaniel, and it is most definitely unreasonable to expect them to behave responsibly when they're left unsupervised with an online game console and a debit card. But that's not Microsoft's fault, nor is it Microsoft's responsibility to keep track of what the kids are doing when parents can't be bothered, or, for that matter, to keep an eye on the household finances and where all the money is going.

"Microsoft's goal is to provide parents and caregivers with tools and resources to manage their children's gaming and entertainment experiences so that they can play in ways that are safer, healthy and more balanced," a company rep told the Daily Mail [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1354490/Boy-11-racks-1-000-mothers-debit-card-playing-XBox-online.html#ixzz1DNRQHRUH]. "To accomplish this, we've built-in parental controls in every Xbox 360, work closely with retailers and recently launched the Play Smart, Play Safe website as an online resource for families. It should also be noted that LIVE accounts registered for children's use have online activity automatically defaulted to off, these can be enabled by the parent should they wish in the Family Settings section."

Sadly, nobody has figured out yet how to make parents automatically default to "pay attention to what your kids are doing."


Permalink
 

tomtom94

aka "Who?"
May 11, 2009
3,373
0
0
Oh good, I heard this story yesterday and I was waiting for it to be Microsoft's fault.

I shall blame the mother for not noticing or checking at any point.
 
Jul 22, 2009
3,596
0
0
I feel bad for her... and maybe the kid really didn't understand what he did... but still. Check what your kids are up to!
 

pretentiousname01

New member
Sep 30, 2009
476
0
0
Pretty sure this is a bad case of fire and forget parenting.

How dare microsoft not make the mother take a 3 week course on how to use an xbox.
 

Veloxe

New member
Oct 5, 2010
491
0
0
Hell I had a concept of money at 11, so did my younger sister. So either my parents are gods of parenting or this women...not so much. I haven't looked at the parental controls in the 360 but about 1/3 down the article I thought there must have been some sort of parental control to prevent this.

I wouldn't say the 360's menus are terribly complex so unless they just didn't care or didn't think about it, any parent should be able to setup a 360 to keep their kids from doing this.
 

imperialreign

New member
Mar 23, 2010
348
0
0
Yet another pristine example of blame shifting - god forbid someone actually own up to their own inadequacies, especially in the parenting department. It's just so much easier to point the finger at the massive corporate machine as being responsible than it is to own up and admit you've made some mistakes.
 

uppitycracker

New member
Oct 9, 2008
864
0
0
They don't take advantage of vulnerable people, just stupid people. As well they should. Good ole american moms, passing the responsibility on to the corporations. I wouldn't even go so far as to blame the 11 year old kid, although he had to have known wtf he was doing to rack up 1600 DOLLARS worth of crap. Blame the mom for being ignorant enough to leave this stuff in his control. If you put yer CC on anything, do yer damn research, and know just what the liabilities are.

edit: oops, guess they aren't american. just acting like it (yes i'm american, i just know our kind all too well)
 

alik44

New member
Sep 11, 2010
630
0
0
why do they always blame the game company other than them selves. u cnt say that u havent been checking your debit for over 6 months not to notice the odd changes to it.
 

Kapol

Watch the spinning tails...
May 2, 2010
1,431
0
0
So it's Microsoft's fault you entered your credit card information on the internet and your son took advantage of it? And then the kid doesn't even get punished for it? I mean come on... don't you have to actually add the funds to pay for things before you can buy them anyways? Which means that he must have purposefully been doing it. And hell, at 11, even I knew that over 1,000 in almost any type of currency was a lot of money that I shouldn't be spending without permission. I'm sorry, but I think it's both the child's and the mother's fault. But I guess trying to blame them for it is a good way to try to not have to pay...
 

Icehearted

New member
Jul 14, 2009
2,081
0
0
I can see how a kid and his parent might be confused because of the MS Points guff, which as I understand it was designed for that purpose.
 

Celtic_Kerr

New member
May 21, 2010
2,166
0
0
So she blames microsoft that she placed her card number on the internet and her son just kept buying stuff? She blames microsoft that a kid went on a spedning spree? How many people are on XBOX live? Can you imagine how many checks they'd need to send out saying "You SURE you have the money to buy this? You SURE you're not spedning too much?"
 

DasDestroyer

New member
Apr 3, 2010
1,330
0
0
Andy Chalk said:
"It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done."
Exactly, I mean what kind of mother would give her kid her credit card number and- oh wait, she's referring to Microsoft?
 

uppitycracker

New member
Oct 9, 2008
864
0
0
Siberian Relic said:
uppitycracker said:
Good ole american moms, passing the responsibility on to the corporations.
Reread the article. The mother and son are from the UK.
good catch, yeah, i guess i usually just expect this kinda nonsense from us americans haha
 

Woodsey

New member
Aug 9, 2009
14,553
0
0
"Sadly, nobody has figured out yet how to make parents automatically default to "pay attention to what your kids are doing.""

You know what? Fuck that.

MS have been charging me for XBL on a monthly-base, without asking permission and giving the impression that I was only going to pay for a month before being asked again, and the only way to cancel this little fucking scheme is to go out of my way to call them.

I HAVE TO CALL THEM TO GET THEM TO STOP TAKING MONEY FROM ME.

How about the fucktits call me?

Woodsey's 'bout to get medi-fucking-eval.
 

weirdsoup

New member
Jul 28, 2010
126
0
0
You have to remember that this story appeared in the Daily Mail. For those of you who aren't English and don't have the joy of knowing about this paper, it basically runs 3 stories: 1) Illegal immigrants/foreigners/terrorists (in the Daily Mail's world they're interchangeable) are coming to steal your job/house/children. 2) This thing gives/cures cancer. 3) This video game/music/film are evil and will turn you, your family and your pets into violent rapist serial killers.

As Microsoft said, the XBox's parental controls would have prevented the card details being stored and used. But what can you expect when people don't care what their kids are up to and would much rather let video game consoles and tv's babysit their kids. Then whine when the kids doing something fucking stupid
 

ironlordthemad

New member
Sep 25, 2009
502
0
0
If the kid actually turned off his xbox by himself after learning what he had done, then he isn't a bad kid, just a bit thick when it comes too the cash.
 

onewhiterabbit

New member
Feb 8, 2011
3
0
0
you would think her credit card company would have noticed all the payments going out and maybe told her before then but i guess even they dont check.