Father stuck with bill for son’s $8000 Xbox purchases

Brad Stephenson

Just Cause 3 on Xbox One

A father from Pembroke, Canada is paying the price for not staying up to date with his son’s gaming habits by having to pay around $8000 for purchases made on his family’s Xbox One console by his 17 year old son.

The son had apparently been using a credit card given to him for emergencies to make in-game purchases in one of the FIFA soccer games on the console. The son claims that while he was using the card without permission from his father, he had no idea that the game was charging the credit card he had on file for the initial game purchase and was apparently equally shocked.

While this is a story that probably sounds familiar to some, it’s also equally suspicious given the son’s age. How could a 17 year old not know about in-game purchases using real money, especially with the Xbox One’s habit of informing the users of a credit card or account being charged after each purchase? This does make one wonder if the son is claiming ignorance simply to get a refund. Microsoft appears to have had similar doubts and, in a reply to the family, released a statement reminding everyone of the numerous safeguards their consoles have in place to prevent children from spending all of their parents’ money.

“Purchases made using a parent’s payment account are legitimate transactions under the Microsoft Services Agreement,” the statement says. “We encourage parents to use the many platform and service features we make available to prevent unapproved charges.”

This situation could have been prevented easily had the father educated himself more on the technology his son was spending so much time on. The Xbox One’s settings make it very easy to grant access or restrictions to different system accounts and even if he had chosen not to change any settings after finding them, simply being aware of what games his son was playing (and questioning where he was getting them all from) would have easily raised a few red flags.

The father revealed his own extreme solution though; simply banning all consoles for the foreseeable future. “There will never be another Xbox system — or any gaming system — in my home,” he revealed.