A 10-year-old girl in Denbighshire, Georgina Munday, unintentionally racked up a bill of over £2,500 on the gaming platform Roblox after changing the password on her family’s iPad without her mother’s knowledge.
Georgina, who has autism, had been spending more time on the tablet while off school, and her mother initially suspected a hacking incident. However, it soon became apparent that Georgina had managed to alter the password, granting her access to make payments on the device.
Hundreds of transactions were discovered, with most being smaller amounts of around £20. Georgina’s mother, a nurse named Georgina Munday, tried to secure a refund from Apple and Tesco Bank but was initially unsuccessful. The situation caused considerable stress, especially as Georgina is currently unemployed and caring for her daughter.
Following intervention from BBC Radio Four’s You and Yours consumer program, Tesco Bank reconsidered and apologized, offering a full refund within a day. Apple suggested several measures to prevent unauthorized purchases, such as setting up parental alerts, avoiding password disclosure, and enabling features like Ask to Buy and Screen Time.
Georgina Munday expressed relief and gratitude for the resolution, as the refund lifted a significant burden off her shoulders. The incident serves as a reminder for parents to be cautious and proactive in monitoring their children’s online activities, particularly regarding in-app purchases and account security.
Tesco Bank has conducted a thorough review of the case and has now reached an agreement with Ms. Munday to provide a full refund. They expressed their apologies to Ms. Munday for the initial delay in resolving the matter and, as a gesture of goodwill, arranged an additional payment.
In light of the incident, Georgina Munday shared that she no longer felt comfortable allowing her daughter to play the game. While her daughter understood that she had changed the password, Georgina believes that she may not have fully grasped the gravity of her actions. Georgina emphasized the importance for parents to remain vigilant and be aware of their children’s activities and games.
Georgina also mentioned her surprise at the extent of the world within Roblox, which she initially perceived as an innocuous and simple game. She encouraged other parents to familiarize themselves with the platform and its features.
Roblox responded to the situation, highlighting their comprehensive policy for processing refund requests related to unauthorized payments. They also mentioned that parents have access to a range of parental controls that allow them to monitor and regulate their children’s spending on the platform.
Further information on this story can be heard on the You and Yours program on BBC Radio Four at 12:00 BST on Monday or on BBC Sounds.