PEMBROKE, Ont. – An Ontario man is “surprised and delighted” to get a full refund after his son racked up almost $9,000 in charges on his Xbox gaming account.
Late last month, Lance Perkins got a shocking credit card bill that included $8,860 from in-app purchases on his son’s Xbox. Perkins said his son had the card number for emergency purposes and thought he’d only paid for a one-month subscription.
Perkins paid the bill in full and lodged complaints with Xbox’s parent company Microsoft and his credit card provider. Even after going public with his story, he didn’t expect he’d ever receive a refund.
His credit card company even said he’d have to have his son charged with fraud in order to refund the charge.
“I truly did not believe I was going get a cent back,” he told Global News. “I just wanted to warn families about this nightmare.”
He says he thinks the ensuing media coverage of his story eventually pressured Microsoft into paying him back.
“(Microsoft) made a business decision,” he said, “Nothing would have happened otherwise.”
A company spokesman said Microsoft “may occasionally choose to provide a one-time refund in cases of minors making purchases without parental permission.”
While Perkins is pleased to have a refund, he also wants credit card companies and Microsoft to enact new policies to protect parents from the in-app purchasing trap.
“I just know we need to put some more safeguards in here in regards to either gaming or the credit cards so they actually know it’s an adult they’re dealing with,” he said.
However, he figures he’s now safe since his home has been “Xbox-free since about 20 minutes after he opened the December credit card bill.”