Article | Fabulous Women

Don't let your kids run up a £3,000 phone bill

Posted on 10/04/2013

Do your children play games on your phone or tablet?

I've been reading about parents being stung with mahoosive phone bills after their children inadvertently bought extras on the games they were playing.

Online games on iPhones, Android smart phones, iPads, tablets and other devices are a great way of keeping your little ones occupied in an otherwise dull situation (waiting at the doctors, or on a long car journey, for example). But by handing over your phone to your child, you are handing over your phone bill.

Would you give them your credit card PIN?

Is your phone locked down in such a way that they can't buy credits? Do they know your password to iTunes? Have you put any sorts of controls on what they can and can't do? No? Hmmm.

Martin Lewis, from MoneySavingExpert.com wrote about a parent who ended up with a£3,200 phone bill after their child played on their iPhone. In under 3 hours! Read Martin's article here. A similar story was reported by the BBC. And a quick Google search reveals many more instances.

Prevention is better than cure

So what can you do to prevent it?

  • Put a password on your phone so your children can't just pick it up and play with it
  • Don't tell them the password and change it regularly
  • Supervise your child  this is probably a good idea anyway, to safeguard them against other online nastiness
  • Make sure your phone is set up so that in-App purchases need a pin (Martin's blog gives details on how to do this)
  • Don't link your debit or credit card to your phone or iTunes  buy a voucher and redeem that instead (at least the spend will be restricted)
  • If you do get a big bill, talk to your phone provider (again, read Martin Lewis blog)

And here's a radical idea

Alternatively, don't let your children play with your very expensive, easy-to-damage mobile phone!

Back Author : Julia Elgar

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