I lost $200 bucks at a school. It wasn’t a lot of money in the grand scheme of things but it was to us. And the thing is it was my fault and I should have known better. At home I hope you can learn from my mistakes and save some heartache and trouble.
The Story :0(
We were 3 months in to a brand new and shiny iPad program – giving iPads to Grade 2 kids to use at school. I wanted to see where they’d go and what they’d do as part of the trial so I let the kids manage the iPads. They could add apps, take photos, share things via email.
They could also spend our school’s hard-earned money using in-app purchases.
In-App Purchases are often seen in games but you also find them in ‘free’ apps that let you upgrade or add new features for a small fee.
We had given the kids the iTunes password so they could purchase, but they needed to ask for our permission before installing.The iPads were only used at school so it seemed ok…
The students were really, really responsible and would ask before downloading any app – even free ones. They were doing a fantastic job in choosing a mix of fun and educational apps. And we were (and are) really proud of the way they were working.
One day a student let us know they could no longer buy apps. There should have been a lot of money left in the account… But no it was all gone.
That’s when we discovered that the money had all been spent on “in-app purchases”
We hadn’t explained to the kids that they needed to ask before buying anything – even when they were in the middle of using an app and it popped up a message saying – do you want to upgrade?
So we lost $200 and couldn’t get it back. Luckily our trial was still a great success without that cash. BUt I’m really gratefull the money wasn’t mine but from a grant!!!
To avoid losing cash the way we did, remember these three things:
1.One thing we did RIGHT was to use iTunes vouchers in the iTunes account – instead of putting a credit card number in. Thank goodness we didn’t do that. I hate to think what would have happened (and how much they would have spent) if they had access to the entire credit card limit!
2.Talk to your kids about it being actual money – just like their pocket money – they are spending and the money has to come from somewhere. It might seem like play money but someone somewhere has to pay real money!
3.Turn off “In-App Purchases” if you’d like. The instructions are below!
So we did learn something here – sometimes it’s not the kids’ fault but ours! And $200 was spent on learning how to use in-app purchases!
Want to turn off In-App Purchases Right NOW?