Something rotten at core of Apple games cash grab
I AM tempted to throw my iPhone 5 and every other Apple accessory in the bin.
The reason? An email we received while enjoying a pleasant Sunday morning.
The email was an invoice from iTunes for $109.99 we had spent on a free game we downloaded, Subway Surfer.
Doug and I saw the bill and nearly choked on our breakfast.
We allowed our kids to download the game and play on it, as we have done with AntSmasher and hundreds of other innocuous-looking, fun games.
But we've always believed we were safe from being ripped off as, normally, when they want to buy something extra for the game, it asks for our Apple ID.
Our kids don't know our Apple ID, it's the most closely guarded secret we have in our marriage.
So we were justifiably mortified that they had somehow clocked up this astronomical bill by buying we are still not sure what.
For the first time ever, I took a close look at the highly recommended game and saw you can buy "money" to make your trips more interesting. But we'd always assumed (as did our kids) this was monopoly-type money, not the real deal.
My Apple ire deepened when I tried to get hold of the company to get an explanation.
Have you noticed how hard it is to find a real person to speak to nowadays?
Instead of finding a contact number in the contact section, you are directed to leaving emails, or trying for online chats.
Finding a telephone number is becoming worthy of creative "treasure hunt" style app.
While Apple can invoice you on a Sunday, you can forget speaking to someone about it if you do strike gold and find a number.
Eventually I got through to someone who sounded human on the Monday morning. After listening to my complaint and agreeing it was tragic, shouldn't happen and should definitely be looked at - his remedy was to refer me to the website where I could email my complaint!
For some reason, my privacy is better safeguarded online than it is on the phone. Or at least that was the explanation given.
My phone is too costly to chuck in the bin, tempting though it may be. But I'll say this, I'm not appy.
>> LATE BREAKING NEWS ...
THANKS Apple, I'm appy again.
I have received five emails for Apple and iTunes in response to my complaints in regard to the unexplained $109.99 invoice for the Subway Surfers game my children love playing.
Not only have I received an answer and a refund, I have been able to get to the core of the issue.
And Apple has given me advice that will ensure it never happens to me - or you - again.
Apparently there is a setting in my settings, which is automatically switched on, which allows for inApp purchases - in some cases without requesting your Apple Id.
So if you want to save yourself heartache and stress, follow these simple steps:
1) Tap Settings on your device's home screen.
2) Tap General.
3) Tap Restrictions.
4) If necessary, tap Enable Restrictions and enter a pass code. This pass code will prevent restrictions from being disabled without your permission.
5) Scroll down to the Allowed Content section. Switch the In-App Purchases option to OFF. Enter your Restrictions pass code if prompted.