My 7yo made a $99 in-app purchase and Apple is refusing a refund!

With COVID-19, both the kids have been spending a lot of time on iPads. I let my 7 year old son use my iPad and we added his fingerprint so he could log in easier and I could still keep using a long device password. This setup was working great until I got a receipt from Apple for a $99 in-app purchase.

I didn’t think this would be a big deal, my son is 7 and tapped on something without realizing he was spending real money. To be clear, this was a $99 in-app purchase, mistakenly made by a minor for a game he never plays. This should be exactly what the refund process is for!

As soon as I saw the receipt I clicked on “Report a Problem” and went through Apple’s automated process. For the reason, I put “Purchased by a Minor”, everything seemed pretty straightforward. A couple days later, I got a reply… “Refund Declined”! Worse yet, there was no explanation given or additional steps provided. This made no sense to me, so I wrote to and explained what had happened and that I was wondering why the refund request was denied. The support person didn’t provide any rational but instead resubmitted a request back into the system for a refund. A few days later I got a response back through the automated process, with the same answer “Refund Declined” and no explanation!

Since I still wasn’t getting an explanation, I gave Apple Support a call. After a bit of a wait I was able to talk with a courteous support rep. I went through what had happened, the steps I had taken and that I was looking for a refund and an explanation. The rep let me know that he was unable to do anything else, since it had already gone through the system and an appeal. He was unable to provide any reason why the refund would have been denied. He did mention it is more difficult with in-app purchases because it goes through developers systems. Left without any other avenues, I mentioned I was going to dispute the charge with my credit card since I was being denied a refund. The support rep cautioned against it because Apple would view it as fraud and lock my entire account. Seems like Mob tactics to me.

I tried contacting the developer to see if they could initiate a refund from their side. They said they were happy to offer a refund but it has to be done through Apple’s system… and Apple is not allowing me to make any more refund requests.

At this point, I don’t think there is anything else I can do. Given Apple’s previous settlement around in-app purchase’s by minors, I am pretty shocked:






7 responses to “My 7yo made a $99 in-app purchase and Apple is refusing a refund!”

  1. Brady Avatar

    I have the same problem but instead of it being $99 dollars it’s over $500. I reported it to Apple and requested a refund and was denied twice. I’m not really sure what to do now.

  2. Jesy Avatar

    Same here! My son charged $1803! He’s 8 years old! I have the Touch ID activated too so my finger print has to be used to purchase anything and he got passed that. They denied my refund so now I’m lost as what to do!

  3. Crystal Avatar

    I am having the same issue. 7 year old just charged me over $1000.00. My claim through apple was denied. I just went through speaking with support on the phone and they put in another request. I let them know that that kind of money loss could put us in the streets as we already struggle to make ends meet. The answer I got back was to make sure I read the Terms and Conditions, which basically states “keep your passwords confidential and if anyone gets a hold of it it is because you werent careful enough and you are liable.” My bank claimed there are laws to protect people from minors making unauthorized purchases, but I can not find anything about that. I am currently trying to contact the developer but fear they will tell me it has to go through Apple, even though if it were purchased through Google or Facebook they would handle it. I have always said Apple sucks and now I believe it even more. I really dont know what we will do and I feel like I am going to throw up from anxiety and nerves.

  4. G Avatar

    app developers have created themselves a machine that lures children into committing credit card fraud and are getting rich off it, of course apple does nothing to stop it either, go figure…when i was a kid i would NEVER EVEN IMAGINE spending more than $100 on a game, and after i beat the game i still owned the game and could trade it in for money towards a new game… these kids just don’t understand… they spend $1000 on a game and have nothing to show for it… sad

  5. Laurie Avatar

    I gave my son internet in his iPad I turned off in app purchases. And a few months went by without a problem.

    I got a call yesterday (Jan 7 ) from my credit card. They froze my card over insane app purchases. They told me the charges were coming from iTunes. Contacted iTunes Jan 6 to 7 over 2350.17 automatic purchases they told me they will make a refund request.

    Get this over all that only three teeny purchases was reimbursed 23.29 was refunded the rest No THIS IS A SLAP IN THE FACE INJURY We Accept the teeny refunds were unauthorized purchases but the Insane amounts sorry they are denied, no refund.

    Went through PayPal the teeny refunds show but those insane amounts no they got denied a refund. Went through PayPal for refund they refused. I called and explained further. And they opened up the dispute case.

    My son has a disability he tinkers with the setting.

    Their refund says this to me yes the teeny refunds were unauthorized and refund but no to the crazy amount authorized and Will no5 be refunded. This is insult to injury .

    I’m on standby. However a lawyer will be calling me on Monday. Hope these companies get their act together before. I have a lawyer on their case over it.

    I’m not letting them get away with the mockery of insulting me with a teeny refund but let the insane amount be acceptable.

    This is Not only Exploiting a minor. But a minor with a disability unable to comprehend what he had done. All he knows is he is getting gems to play the game. He doesn’t understand he is racking up the credit card and inflicting stress on us and depleting our family Budget.

    1.) changed password
    2.) Blocked Internet
    3.) put up a pass code. Block for the in app purchase part.
    4.) even canceled my PayPal so the6 can’t suck anything out of it,

    I’m ENRAGED Over this the nightmare they put me through

  6. Mandi Avatar

    i am having a similar issue. My son was given a 20 dollar gift card for in app purchases for 2 games. well, it seems he went way over the limit, not really understanding what he was purchasing and ended up spending over $500 over a week. i requested refunds for all 56 purchases that went over the $20 card limit. Despite the fact that my bank account was drained and my credit card went above credit limit, they would only refund one $9.00 purchase out of $600 total. So i re-submitted the requests which took over an hour since you have to do each one individually. They still said it does not qualify….so why get my hopes up and make me go through that BS if they don’t have any plan to refund. i have changed all the access so that my son can no longer make inApp purchases,,……i am at a complete and total loss as how to remedy this problem.

  7. Jenni Devore Avatar
    Jenni Devore

    Help…my son spent $2000. They refuse to refund us. We tried our credit card company and they said we needed to deal with Apple. Apple had us call several people and then snail mail them a letter ( really send a physical letter to a giant tech company). There has to be some recourse? They are preying in children not much different than a drug dealer.