Your Kids’ Unauthorized Purchases Cost More Than You Think

Jake Rheude on Sep 12, 2016

Unauthorized Purchases

If your child has a mobile device or computer, you’re probably doing everything you can to keep them safe online. However, there might be an element to your parental controls that you’re missing.

The fact is that not using a child monitoring software might be costing you. We know this software was initially implemented to keep kids safe online, but with online shopping and the growing use of apps, many parents are finding their bills skyrocket with unauthorized, and even unintentional, in-app and online purchases by their kids.

The apps may be free, but sometimes the games inside aren’t. Often times, kids end up buying “lives,” “tokens” and other game add-ons, not realizing that they are actually charging it all to your credit card. Other times, kids are filling up their parents’ online shopping carts to order and download things without their knowledge. Both of these situations leave parents with a bill they don’t want to foot, and sometimes can’t even afford.

Unauthorized and unintentional app and online purchases cost you money, time, and peace of mind. Here, we’re going to explain how a parental control software can change all that.

Saves you money

If you think these in-app purchases are a dollar here, dollar there, you’re sorely mistaken. These in-app purchases add up — and fast. It typically works like this:

Your child downloads a “free” app, like a game. But once they start playing the game, they’re prompted to purchase “gems,” “lives,” and “coins,” among other things, in order to advance in the game. These in-app purchases can even trick an adult who is not so tech-savvy, let alone a child.

One of the original parents in the lawsuit against Apple for their unauthorized in-app purchases said their child racked up $1,400 in charges without their knowledge. Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon used to not require a password to make these purchases, meaning kids were buying these game add-ons without their parents’ knowledge, until the bill came, of course.

Recent lawsuits have ordered these companies to refund parents for their children's unauthorized purchases.

Money Talk News reports that, in 2014, the FTC ordered Google to refund parents $19 million for unfair and unauthorized purchases by children. Like we mentioned above, Apple also had to go through the same ordeal, agreeing to refund a minimum of $32.5 million. Amazon is the latest tech giant to be ordered to refund their customers similarly. At this time, though, it’s still unclear how much will be refunded to Amazon customers stuck with unauthorized purchases.

Still, these rulings don’t mean that these unauthorized purchases aren’t happening anymore. By installing software on your computer and children’s devices, you can better ensure that any download or attempted purchase by your child goes through you first — sign up to Familoop Safeguard trial to get more control over the games your kids play, and ultimately your wallet.

Prevents headaches

By launching a security software for your kids’ devices, you’re not just stopping your child from spending the money in the first place — you’re saving yourself the headaches of dealing with companies that might not honor these accidental purchases by your children.

We know that the giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon have been ordered to pay parents for their children's unauthorized in-app purchases, and those companies can afford it. However, accidental and unauthorized purchases from smaller companies might be more difficult, or even impossible, to refund. And these purchases aren’t limited to in-app purchases — kids are also ordering and downloading things online.

In the logistics industry, we call this a mispick, and these mispicks are costing companies a half-million dollars a year. An unauthorized order and shipment that needs to be returned and reprocessed costs a company worker hours, reduced inventory, and shipping and processing costs. Some companies may be willing to honor a refund for unauthorized purchases, but for some, it might just be too costly to facilitate.

On top of that, smaller companies don’t have the same visibility as the bigger companies, meaning they don’t have the PR pressure to accommodate your unauthorized purchase. While it’s not right, you might be stuck with the bill whether you like it or not.

Gives you peace of mind

In the end, this parental control software not only keeps your kids safe, but it keeps them from spending your hard-earned money. If that’s not a win-win, we don’t know what is.

But it doesn’t end there. You should always be sure to have an open and informed conversation with your kids about online spending, because while this software is going to protect you from purchases you don’t want and can’t afford to deal with, your kids should understand why you’re protecting them from it in the first place.

Essentially, a parental control software is going to prevent any of these unauthorized purchases from happening in the first place, meaning you don’t have to worry about getting in touch with the company and figuring out how to refund the purchase. This means you have peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to argue with someone on the other end of the phone about whether or not they’re going to refund your unauthorized purchase.

If more parents had control over their kids’ purchases with safeguarding software, it would put companies at ease too, as part of their $500,000 mispick costs go towards unauthorized purchases every year.

Ultimately, having a parental control software is going to give you peace of mind, save you time and money, keep your patience in check, and prevent headache — sign up to parental control software by Familoop trial to protect your children online effectively and focus on actual parenting!

Have your kids ever racked up huge charges on your credit card bill with unauthorized purchases? What did you wish you knew before that? Let us know in the comments below.

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