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Parents are being warned to disable some purchase options on mobile computers and phones after their children unwittingly spent money while playing "free" games.
Parents have faced credit card bills of up to $1500 after their children played games which were free to download to items such as iPods or smart phones but in which players bought items to play with real money.
One parent, who faced a $65 bill from her children playing Tap Pet Hotel, said no warning was given of the credit card debit during the game.
A Herald journalist reported getting a $1500 credit card bill over something similar. Both have been refunded by iTunes.
In a similar situation parents have reported being charged by Big Fish Games for games that they knew nothing about. One respondent reported being billed for $150.
Ministry of Consumer Affairs communications adviser Alastair Stewart said parents could complain in writing if unhappy with the situation.
Net Safe executive director Martin Cocker said parents should not save their credit card details to iTunes accounts and should disable the in-app purchase option on devices like iPods and smart phones.