How much technology should you let your child use?
Zero, if you ask me.
My husband and I strictly limit our children's screen time (we'd rather they play cricket - or do nothing). But on a rainy weekend when my six-year-old son asked to play on my iPhone, I relented.
Ten minutes later, I heard beep after beep after beep … incoming messages. I grabbed the phone.
The first read, "Your transaction of HK$116 made with credit card no 1234 5678 910 has been approved." A second message said HK$78 had been approved, and a third revealed another HK$788 had been spent.
There were nine messages, in total, with transactions totalling HK$1,521. I called HSBC straight away and told them it wasn't me doing the buying; they cancelled my card and promised to investigate.
As soon as I hung up, it struck me what had happened. MY SON!
When I asked if he had "accidentally" clicked on pop-ups while gaming, he sheepishly confessed.
I should never have given him the phone unsupervised, I know. But why is it so easy for kids to make in-app purchases?
I have since googled "in-app purchases made by a child by mistake" and found there are hundreds of parents around the world whose kids have racked up bills amounting to thousands of dollars.
I've learned it is possible to restrict such purchases with parental controls and get a refund for accidental spending, but I miss the good old days, when all my Nokia could do was call and text.
I haven't asked iTunes for a refund; I'll pay for my mistake.
The only good thing to come out of this is that my son has sworn off my iPhone.