How My Son Racked Up a $1681 iTunes Bill in One Month

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How My Son Racked Up a $1681 iTunes Bill in One Month

Nathan and the iPod

Last Sunday I sat down at my laptop to pay our bills. I logged into my credit card account to get the balance payable (We put everything on our MasterCard and pay it off monthly, because I like free groceries). The total alarmed me, and as I scrolled through the transactions, there were pages and pages (and pages and pages) of $11.18 iTunes charges.

My first thought was that I'd been hacked, because each of my kids have iPods and their own Apple IDs, but do not have my credit card in their settings. I thought wrong.

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I called the Apple 1-800 number on my statement and after finally getting through to a real person, they heard my concerns and put me through to iTunes. I was put through to a lovely agent who nailed down that the purchases came from my middle child's iPod. She walked me through setting up parental controls and then when I needed to log into his account, I needed his password.

He was sitting in the truck, because we were supposed to be leaving for church. As soon as I came outside, he started to cry because he had figured out that the reason I was worried about my credit card statement probably had something to do with the purchases he had made in Clash of Clans.

I must have added my card for him to buy an approved App, and then missed deleting it.

The agent was so great. She could hear him being so upset, and me comforting him, and told me to tell him that it would all be okay. She would get the charges reversed. It was above her limit to approve, so she told me to put the call on speaker phone and go about my day. It would probably take about thirty minutes. I laughed and told her that we were supposed to be heading to church -- my husband is a children's and families pastor -- so we'd be late and that was fine if the charges were going to be reversed.

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Five minutes later, she came back on the line.

"Angella? Good news. You're going to make it to church on time."

She then told me the total of all of the charges. $1,681.52. One thousand, six-hundred and eighty-one dollars, and fifty-two cents. I don't know your story, but we cannot afford that. I'm beyond thankful that they reversed it.

Apple provides refunds for purchases made without parental consent, which is great, but the agent sent me a link about how to set parental controls that all parents should use to prevent having the heart palpitations (and lengthy phone calls) I had. The more you know, people.

Has this ever happened to you? How did it all play out?

If you like this post, check out How To Use Points Cards To Save Money On Groceries and When Should Kids Get Their Own Cell Phones