An enraged parent is looking to start a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft in order to change their purchasing policy and receive compensation, after his son spent $4,500 in microtransactions on an unspecified version of EA's FIFA soccer franchise.
Writing in a post on Medium, Jeremy Hillman - Director of Corporate Communications at the World Bank - expressed his shock to find that his son had spent $4,500 on microtransations on Ultimate Team Packs, after he had purchased the game for his son on the Xbox Marketplace.
Hillman blames himself for not keeping an eye on his son and being a more responsible parent, but also points the finger at Microsoft for not having better controls and instruction for parents, as well as stricter policies for in-app purchases. In the post, Hillman also comments on how Microsoft doesn't prompt users to re-enter credit card details or actively flag extreme spending behavior.
"With all the brilliance of your engineers and sophisticated systems to protect data how hard could it be to put a realistic ceiling on what can be spent on in-app purchases before the credit card details and security code need to be re-entered? Most Apple iTunes purchases need a password to be re-entered for each new purchase.
How many users legitimately spend thousands of dollars on in-app purchases and just how much usage would it actually take for you to flag this as unusual behavior and require confirmation that the purchase is legitimate?
At the end of the post, Hillman states that he will happily sign up if there is a lawyer out their willing to file a class-action and force Microsoft to make changes and help the "thousands of parents who have fallen into this same situation".
This case is but one of many where kids and young adults run rampant with in-app purchases using their parent's credit card details. Last month, a mother on the BBC Radio 5 Live's Breakfast show stated "there should be more controls in place to ensure the cardholder or adult is aware of what's happening", after her 13 year old son spent £4,000 on FIFA 14.
Parents should monitor what their children do online and in digital stores, but should manufacturers not only provide better tools, but clear instructions for the more naive parents? Let us know what you think in comments!