In-App Purchases costing Parents a lot

Angry Birds 2 In-App Purchases

A recent article in GlobalNews shares how In-App purchases made by their children have cost parents dearly. Many parents will continue to experience this without a bit of education on the capabilities of their children’s devices. This even includes celebrities likes Kanye West and Jack Black who have both mentioned bad experiences with their children purchasing extreme amounts of In-App purchases without knowing until they saw their credit card bill. 

Why In-App Purchases?

In-App purchases have become the norm which allows developers of games and apps to get their apps downloaded with minimal friction (without purchasing anything) to the user. Once you’re using the app, certain function may not be available or your progress in a game will be slowed down until you purchase add-ons, via In-App purchases.

This is mostly an issue with young children that are playing games with In-App purchases.

As an example, Angry Birds 2 requires In-App purchases in order to progress faster in the game or else you very slowly accumulate Gems. Children are also drawn into these In-App purchases by constant reminders about adding more Gems. Some of these in-App purchases accumulate to way more money spent than when most games were $0.99 (and that’s all your spent!). Here’s an example of Angry Birds 2 Top In-App Purchases:

Angry Birds 2 in-app purchases

Angry Birds 2 – Top In-App Purchases

 

How to prevent In-App Purchases

The mobile devices that our children are given at earlier and earlier ages are full blown computers that do more than computers just 10 years ago! We have to be careful and educate ourselves. The good news is on iOS we’ve already showed you how to limit In-App purchases – find out here. For Android devices, there isn’t a true In-App purchase option to disable but you can password protect all purchases on your child’s device if your account is assigned to their Play Store account or use Boomerang to limit access to the Play Store. You can read more here about how to setup an Android device.

JP

Product evangelist for Boomerang, battling the constant love/hate with tech. I do my best to keep the balance in teaching our kids good tech behaviours. Boomerang is all about applying this and more.

This entry has 1 replies

  1. Vik Khanna says:

    Our iOS Boomerang Parental Control app which is now in beta by default restricts In-App Purchases. Read: http://ow.ly/YbPpo

    Leave a comment if you would like to take an advance look at our Boomerang and help us out by testing. We’ll give you a free one year license too!