UK father and police officer Doug Crossan took an extreme measure when he discovered his 13-year-old-son had racked up £3,700 (USD$5600) via in-app purchases on the iOS App Store. After Apple refused to rescind the charges, Crossan decided his next best move was to report his son to the authorities for fraud.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, Crossman's son made more than 300 purchases in apps like Plants vs Zombies, Nova 3 and more. These freemium titles cost little to nothing to download, but include in-app purchases to unlock content within the game. Crossan said that he and his son believed the games were free and didn't understand that these in-game extras cost real money.
Crossan told the Daily Mail that he tried to work with Apple to get the charges reversed, but the company refused. Apple allegedly argued that it is the parent's responsibility to lock down their iOS device. There is a parental control setting that prevents errant purchases by adding a password lock to all in-app purchases or by disabling the feature entirely.
To get the charges reversed by his credit card company, Crossan had to report these purchases as unauthorized to the Action Fraud Hotline, which means his son could be held liable for these charges. Crossan admits he doesn't want to see his son arrested, but he does "want to embarrass Apple as much as possible."
Crossan isn't the only parent facing this problem of excessive in-app purchases. Earlier this month, a UK tot accrued £1,700 ($2500) in charges after his Dad entered his iTunes password to download a free app from the App Store.