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Dad gets nearly $8,000 bill after son racks up charges from microtransactions in FIFA

Majukun

Member
i feel terible for the father,but at the same time he should have done a better job educating his son...
he probably knows that the son it's lying but it's faking believing him so that he might try to get some pity from EA or something and avoid paying the price

ii would probably force him to take a part time job and start repaying him the sum..of course no more gifts for him for a couple decades :p
 

geordiemp

Member
What if a millionaire wants to waste his money on a game? Why does he have to be limited because of dumb people?

Yes, both the dad and the son were dumb. The dad because he gave his credit card details to his son, and the son because you should realize money is real when you're 17 years-old. And if he does and he's lying (I find it hard to believe him), then he should face the consequences for his actions.

Let's stop blaming others for people's mistakes.

The store should allow you to set a monthly limit. I would have maybe £ 100

A millionaire can have £ 10,000

I see no issue.
 
When I hear stories like these I wonder if this is part of the reason why modern consoles don't have gifting features.

As for ways to stop this. I know some stores have a softcap on daily funds (Nintendo for example, except it still takes the pending charges and potentially overdraws you anyway...) and some games even have monthly hardcaps on whaling (which are still kind of high but enough to give people time to notice a mistake of a few hundred € instead of a few thousand).

ms and Sony need updated policies

- limit on how much you can spend on DLC per day
- go over the limit, it requires additional authorisation via email or text message to confirm.

So if the account owner isn't paying attention to their receipt emails, they won't be able to respond and it'll stay blocked.
In theory this is a nice idea however the account owner is likely the kid with the credit card in question.

"He's just as sick as I am, [because] he never believed he was being charged for every transaction, or every time he went onto the game."
Wait, what? Is there some sort of way to buy a temporary or rental license for Fifa...
it is totally Ultimate Whale mode
 

Z O N E

Member
I can see what you mean, but an 8k hit to a family can really hurt them, even ruin their lives. The 17 year old is an idiot, but EA are selling virtual goods they have an infinite amount of, it seems kind of cruel to ruin someones life because of this

There needs to be better checks and balances on MTs in general, no game in the world is worth 8k, you should not be allowed or able to spend that much

There are already MANY checks in place.

Do Microsoft and Sony REALLY need to handhold you through everything?

You can setup multiple security measures with a bank to make sure that this never happens. The price of said item being purchased and the amount of screens before it finalizes the purchase is enough to let you know that you will be charged.

Yes $8000 is damaging for the family but there are MANY security measures that the Mother/Father could have taken to not allow their son to just wildly spend.

Sorry, but if EA want to set up Microtransactions in their game, as long as there are warnings that it's real world money being spent and confirmation that real world money is being spent, then let them. Microsoft ADVERTISED Parental Controls and it even shows it at the beginning of the account creation/transfer.
 
D

Deleted member 20920

Unconfirmed Member
I think we are missing the point. The fact MT reached such an incredible value is obsurd and this should be the focus! Micro Transactions are total BS and this very economy unfolding before you is unacceptable. Mature gamers which have lived through althe gaming generations would attest to this and i hope this article highlights the fraud that MT business is.

As many have mentioned in this thread, it is not a one time transaction of 8k but hundreds of transactions that warn and let you know you're spending real money. No excuses for this kid.
 

oni-link

Member
There are already MANY checks in place.

Do Microsoft and Sony REALLY need to handhold you through everything?

You can setup multiple security measures with a bank to make sure that this never happens. The price of said item being purchased and the amount of screens before it finalizes the purchase is enough to let you know that you will be charged.

Yes $8000 is damaging for the family but there are MANY security measures that the Mother/Father could have taken to not allow their son to just wildly spend.

Sorry, but if EA want to set up Microtransactions in their game, as long as there are warnings that it's real world money being spent and confirmation that real world money is being spent, then let them. Microsoft ADVERTISED Parental Controls and it even shows it at the beginning of the account creation/transfer.

Yeah and I get all that, and I do agree with you, It's just ruining someones life by forcing them to pay for something when you have an infinite supply of what you sold them just seems cruel, even though the 17 year old is in the wrong

We all did stupid things when we were young (I didn't do anything this stupid, but still)

You shouldn't be able to spend 8k on a single video game anyway, the fact that is even possible is a concern. I doubt I've spent 8k on gaming in my entire life
 

dark10x

Digital Foundry pixel pusher
The sad thing is. That shit like this could potentially fuck up a family's life to the extent of them going bankrupt or being piss poor. There needs to be laws on this type of shit. If my kids spent 8000$ I'd be fucked and wouldn't recover for quite awhile.
Exactly. I have a difficult time siding with the companies on this as the transaction was for something that is basically worthless. Bankrupting a family over digital boosters in a game is insane.

There needs to be a limit on spending possible.
 

pretty much
 

Z O N E

Member
Yeah and I get all that, and I do agree with you, It's just ruining someones life by forcing them to pay for something when you have an infinite supply of what you sold them just seems cruel, even though the 17 year old is in the wrong

We all did stupid things when we were young (I didn't do anything this stupid, but still)

You shouldn't be able to spend 8k on a single video game anyway, the fact that is even possible is a concern. I doubt I've spent 8k on gaming in my entire life

Yes, it's a shame they're in this situation but how much more hand holding is needed in the gaming community?

Microsoft ADVERTISED Parental Controls and even tells you about it when creating accounts/transferring them.

Some people might have the money to spend that much on video game items, let them be. So many times I read articles about someone just buying and buying and going through confirmation screen after confirmation screen, yet they somehow always try and blame the Developer/Publisher.

Sorry, but in no way is Microsoft or EA in the wrong here. They hand hold you through every purchase so this kid KNEW what he was doing.
 

thebloo

Member
Exactly. I have a difficult time siding with the companies on this as the transaction was for something that is basically worthless. Bankrupting a family over digital boosters in a game is insane.

There needs to be a limit on spending possible.

A lot of expensive things are "basically worthless". Games in general can be considered that.
 
Exactly. I have a difficult time siding with the companies on this as the transaction was for something that is basically worthless. Bankrupting a family over digital boosters in a game is insane.

There needs to be a limit on spending possible.

But why? Why blame companies for your own actions of greed, can't afford them, don't buy them. Buying them and then claiming you didn't know what you were doing is just dumb.

It's almost on par with roaming charges, but I can accept that SOME people might not realise that their allowances don't work in other countries. But damn, it's not like it doesn't tell you that when you buy FIFA credits it's going to be charging you a set amount of real money.
 
Exactly. I have a difficult time siding with the companies on this as the transaction was for something that is basically worthless. Bankrupting a family over digital boosters in a game is insane.

There needs to be a limit on spending possible.

Ultimate Team has its own functioning economy though (which is worrying in and of itself). These aren't really boosters as much as they are integral to how the game mode functions.

Honestly, the kid is fucking idiot, hes not even a kid at 17 in fact and should understand that of course its real bloody money being spent. I'm sure that if he is involved in how FUT works he knows ALL about how the majority of people spend money on packs.
 

Raide

Member
EA and MS should just ban him for the number of years equal to the amount spent. Or at least EA should ban his account so he cannot get away with his ill gotten gains.

Parents are dumb for giving him free reign of a credit card. Kid is dumb for lying his ass off and wasting money for something a stupid as Fifa.

EA are not at fault. They provide a service and some people are too dumb to regulate their own spending habits/their kids spending habits. Kinda like most fast food outlets.
 

Z O N E

Member
Exactly. I have a difficult time siding with the companies on this as the transaction was for something that is basically worthless. Bankrupting a family over digital boosters in a game is insane.

There needs to be a limit on spending possible.

There is a limit on spending.

It's called Parental Controls.

Set them up on the said account and if your kid wants to buy something, call the adult over and let them put in the pass code and then allow the purchase.

I counted 4 steps when trying to buy a Req Pack on Halo 5... 4 Steps. 1 was choosing what Payment option you wanted and confirming it. The other was confirming that you will be paying said amount for said item.
 

Chunky

Member
While this story could've ended less absurdly if common sense was used by either of the two stupid sods in question, it does remind me of how well Nintendos been treating f2p. In the Pokemon f2p games, which have the classic energy/crystal mechanic, there's a hard spend limit at I think £30. So the most you can spend before they remove all the energy nonsense is the price of a regular game. It's pretty clever and if similar price limits were the law across all f2p these stories could finally stop popping up.
 

Fbh

Member
I was going to post about how parents should keep their credit cards away from young children......... then I read he is 17 lol.
And lol at his excuse. He makes it sound like you press "get points" and you are instantly given points and charged money without ever seeing any indication that you are spending real money. The "I didn't know it was charging me real money" excuse might work if you are 7, not 17

Also, I can't agree with blaming the companies here. I mean, it sucks for the family and I hope they find a solution but there are so many ways to avoid this. Starting by not giving your kid a credit card, and if you do I'm pretty sure most banks offer the option to set a reasonable limit to a CC you are giving to a minor.

Exactly. I have a difficult time siding with the companies on this as the transaction was for something that is basically worthless. Bankrupting a family over digital boosters in a game is insane.

There needs to be a limit on spending possible.

The company didn't do anything.
The father is the one that screwed up by basically giving his son a card of unlimited money.
There are easy ways to avoid that, if you ingore them then don't start blaming others for your mistake.

When you get a drunken speeding ticket you don't go "car manufacturers should be forced to make cars that can't go past my local speed limit, and the bartender should be forced by law to go outside and make sure I didn't come with a car before serving me a drink!!"
 

Z O N E

Member
While this story could've ended less absurdly if common sense was used by either of the two stupid sods in question, it does remind me of how well Nintendos been treating f2p. In the Pokemon f2p games, which have the classic energy/crystal mechanic, there's a hard spend limit at I think £30. So the most you can spend before they remove all the energy nonsense is the price of a regular game. It's pretty clever and if similar price limits were the law across all f2p these stories could finally stop popping up.

Just no.

What if people HAVE the money to spend so much on a game? Then let them.

The stupid decisions made by some people should not have an impact on everyone else.

There are already many precautions in place to prevent wild spending. Some people just can't be bothered and when it happens, find someone/something else to blame.
 

Illucio

Banned
There really needs to be a law for returning digital currency or content for a full refund. This problem has been running rampant for years now with no good solution other than. "Keep a better eye on your kids."

-shrugs- But what can you do?
 

FyreWulff

Member
But why? Why blame companies for your own actions of greed, can't afford them, don't buy them. Buying them and then claiming you didn't know what you were doing is just dumb.

It's almost on par with roaming charges, but I can accept that SOME people might not realise that their allowances don't work in other countries. But damn, it's not like it doesn't tell you that when you buy FIFA credits it's going to be charging you a set amount of real money.

Because it's uncontrolled gambling. If you want to be a casino, you should be subject to casino rules.
 

oni-link

Member
Yes, it's a shame they're in this situation but how much more hand holding is needed in the gaming community?

Microsoft ADVERTISED Parental Controls and even tells you about it when creating accounts/transferring them.

Some people might have the money to spend that much on video game items, let them be. So many times I read articles about someone just buying and buying and going through confirmation screen after confirmation screen, yet they somehow always try and blame the Developer/Publisher.

Sorry, but in no way is Microsoft or EA in the wrong here. They hand hold you through every purchase so this kid KNEW what he was doing.

The dad probably didn't even know this was possible, or that the console had/needed paternal controls, he's probably in his 40s and has no idea about modern gaming, a lot of people don't, you can't expect or demand him to research all this

If a game is designed where its possible to spend 8k and you can still spend more, then it's a poorly and unfairly designed, exploitative game, and that shouldn't be defended.

For every millionaire who is happy to blow 10k on the game there will be thousands of people who can't afford to and get sucked into the skinner box like tactics employed to convince the vulnerable to keep on paying
 
I don't see how his son knowing is any kind of consolation to the argument in the thread, if anything it makes it worse.

The son knew he was spending $8k on virtual mystery card packs, he has an addiction.
 
With the current trend where full-priced games are full of microtransactions nowadays (and people buy them), I bet this is not going to be the last news we hear regarding this matter.
 
Because it's uncontrolled gambling. If you want to be a casino, you should be subject to casino rules.

Not really, it's not gambling, you know what you are buying, you buy the coins and with those you purchase the packs or whatever else you wish to spend them on.

The dad probably didn't even know this was possible, or that the console had/needed paternal controls, he's probably in his 40s and has no idea about modern gaming, a lot of people don't, you can't expect or demand him to research all this

If a game is designed where its possible to spend 8k and you can still spend more, then it's a poorly and unfairly designed, exploitative game, and that shouldn't be defended.

For every millionaire who is happy to blow 10k on the game there will be thousands of people who can't afford to and get sucked into the skinner box like tactics employed to convince the vulnerable to keep on paying

 
There really needs to be a law for returning digital currency or content for a full refund. This problem has been running rampant for years now with no good solution other than. "Keep a better eye on your kids."

-shrugs- But what can you do?

This, right here. Why can't EA just take the cards off the account and refund the money? It's obviously an overblown mistake of epic proportions, it's not like this kid bought two packs, didn't get what he wanted and is trying to game the system or such nonsense. I feel like this situation boils down to "dumb kid gives EA $8000 of his parents money, EA takes money and keeps it". They're taking advantage of the situation for their own gains and its not right.
 
The companies are not blameless in this. There needs to be legislation preventing such disgusting practice's in the first place. You should never be able to spend such ridiculous amounts on a game in the first place.

Not really, it's not gambling, you know what you are buying, you buy the coins and with those you purchase the packs or whatever else you wish to spend them on.

If it doesn't count as gambling right now then the definition of gambling needs to be updated. These kind of predatory practice's are the same ones that gambling legislation exists to help prevent, after all.
 
I think what a lot of these parents don't know is that in a 'card not present' environment - i.e. online purchases in the App Store etc. they can just lodge a fraudulent chargeback with their bank and the rules of the card scheme pretty much dictate they'll win if it wasn't them using the card or didn't authorise the transaction.
 

Brohan

Member
Not really, it's not gambling, you know what you are buying, you buy the coins and with those you purchase the packs or whatever else you wish to spend them on.

What is in the packs is random though.. If the person buying these boosters would always get a new player/item/something then you would have a point. But if that was in any way the case then it would be impossible to spend such amounts of money.

It's because what is in the boosters is totally random and more often than not doesn't give you what you need (instead it often gives you double) that it becomes gambling.

Edit: it's like you are saying that roulette isn't really gambling either because you know that you are spending money on the chips before using the chips as a currency for the game of roulette.
 

oni-link

Member
Not really, it's not gambling, you know what you are buying, you buy the coins and with those you purchase the packs or whatever else you wish to spend them on.


My dad is in his mid 50s and he has no idea about MTs, he doesn't even have a modern phone, so he has no exposure to them at all.

It's not bullshit to assume most people are not as tech savvy as those who are under 30

The companies are not blameless in this. There needs to be legislation preventing such disgusting practice's in the first place. You should never be able to spend such ridiculous amounts on a game in the first place.

If it doesn't count as gambling right now then the definition of gambling needs to be updated. These kind of predatory practice's are the same ones that gambling legislation exists to help prevent, after all.

Agreed
 

dark10x

Digital Foundry pixel pusher
The company didn't do anything.
The father is the one that screwed up by basically giving his son a card of unlimited money.
There are easy ways to avoid that, if you ingore them then don't start blaming others for your mistake.

When you get a drunken speeding ticket you don't go "car manufacturers should be forced to make cars that can't go past my local speed limit, and the bartender should be forced by law to go outside and make sure I didn't come with a car before serving me a drink!!"
Car manufacturers sell a product - a car.

Digital goods like music, movies, games, etc are all products.

A few kilobytes to change a value within a game that was already purchased? Sigh, I'm just not able to accept that such a thing is of value. These companies are basically exploiting human nature with this stuff. That's my own issue, though. I won't ever make a purchase of this type for that reason. The idea of such a purchase ruining someone's life, though? Makes me feel ill.
 

Cyborg

Member
Why should they? SOME people might want to spend that much on a game, I'm certainly not one of those people but why should they be to blame for expecting people to keep account of their own spending, we're not a bunch of retards. If your child is, then don't give them your credit card details! FFS this world is getting dumber by the day, we shouldn't blame others for our own actions simple as that.

I said responsibility not blame! Spending so much money on a game cant be healthy, you cant expext young childern to understand that
 

thebloo

Member
This, right here. Why can't EA just take the cards off the account and refund the money? It's obviously an overblown mistake of epic proportions, it's not like this kid bought two packs, didn't get what he wanted and is trying to game the system or such nonsense. I feel like this situation boils down to "dumb kid gives EA $8000 of his parents money, EA takes money and keeps it". They're taking advantage of the situation for their own gains and its not right.

What cards? The way the game works it's pretty much impossible to know which players he "bought" and which he "earned".

Example:
- I open a pack and find Messi in it. That's "bought".
- I open 100 packs and sell everything in them. With those coins, I buy Messi. That' also "bought"
- I play 100 games and with the earnings from them I buy Messi. That's "earned".

EA would have 2 solutions:
1. Let it slide, refund the money. This would be a horrible example since they and MS would then probably be swamped with requests.
2. Wipe his account clean and refund the money. He loses some of his "earned" stuff, but that's life. Even then, some people may try to force EA/MS into a refund.
 

Z O N E

Member
The companies are not blameless in this. There needs to be legislation preventing such disgusting practice's in the first place. You should never be able to spend such ridiculous amounts on a game in the first place.



If it doesn't count as gambling right now then the definition of gambling needs to be updated. These kind of predatory practice's are the same ones that gambling legislation exists to help prevent, after all.

You can either buy packs and get the items with real money.

Or you can play the game and earn in-game currency and buy them in the auction house.

Legislation? Sorry, but are you being forced to buy these FIFA packs or other Microtransactions? No. There are multiple screens to go through before it purchases said item. Microsoft and EA are not at fault. There are security measures they could have taken outside of Parental Controls on the Xbox One.
 

Bl@de

Member
My dad is in his mid 50s and he has no idea about MTs, he doesn't even have a modern phone, so he has no exposure to them at all.

It's not bullshit to assume most people are not as tech savvy as those who are under 30

My dad, uncle etc. are all in their 50s and all know what this is. In-app-charges are no new thing to a lot of people now. They may not play on a console but most of the people have smartphones, even older people.
 
My dad, uncle etc. are all in their 50s and all know what this is. In-app-charges are no new thing to a lot of people now. They may not play on a console but most of the people have smartphones, even older people.

My father just got his first smartphone a year or two ago, and my mother can't even operate a 90s handphone, she can only use the telephone at home.

So, no.
 

oni-link

Member
My dad, uncle etc. are all in their 50s and all know what this is. In-app-charges are no new thing to a lot of people now. They may not play on a console but most of the people have smartphones, even older people.

They're the exception, not the rule

See the post right below yours
 

thebloo

Member
Would we be even discussing blame if he had bought anything else that loses value? Like if he had bought an unopened copy of a rare video game for $8,000, opened it, tanking its value to $100.

Would we be discussing seller blame, the need for legislation?
 
While the kid does suck and is very likely lying, the fact you can possible rack up a bill like that for a single game is frankly ridiculous. These are games looking to take advantage of people and MS and EA were high-fiving each other when they heard about this. Reasonable spending caps should be implemented.
 
2. Wipe his account clean and refund the money. He loses some of his "earned" stuff, but that's life. Even then, some people may try to force EA/MS into a refund.

That honestly sounds really fair, a great solution for this particular incident. As for other people trying to force a refund, it's pretty obvious that these kinds of things where thousands of dollars of someone else's money are spent are far from your average Joe trying to refund his $100 purchase and game the system.
 

oti

Banned
lol, don't think anyone but the father believes that kid.

Imagine you're the father, what do you think would be the more successful route to get your money back:

1. No, my son didn't know what he was doing. Give me my money back.
2. Yes, my son knew exactly what he was doing. Give me my money back.
 

Illucio

Banned
What cards? The way the game works it's pretty much impossible to know which players he "bought" and which he "earned".

Example:
- I open a pack and find Messi in it. That's "bought".
- I open 100 packs and sell everything in them. With those coins, I buy Messi. That' also "bought"
- I play 100 games and with the earnings from them I buy Messi. That's "earned".

EA would have 2 solutions:
1. Let it slide, refund the money. This would be a horrible example since they and MS would then probably be swamped with requests.
2. Wipe his account clean and refund the money. He loses some of his "earned" stuff, but that's life. Even then, some people may try to force EA/MS into a refund.

Letting it slide won't prevent it from happening again. Option #2 is optimal and overall the best scenario.

But I'm sure companies hate option 2 because that means it risks losing a customer that will most likely drop money on the their games in the future.
 
Legislation? Sorry, but are you being forced to buy these FIFA packs or other Microtransactions? No. There are multiple screens to go through before it purchases said item. Microsoft and EA are not at fault. There are security measures they could have taken outside of Parental Controls on the Xbox One.

You aren't being forced into gambling everything you own away either.

That doesn't mean there doesn't need to be legal oversight on the gambling industry.
 
I said responsibility not blame! Spending so much money on a game cant be healthy, you cant expext young childern to understand that

It's all dependent on the circumstances of the person, as a parent or guardian you are the one responsible for your child, not the company. Why should sensible people have to jump through additional hoops to spend their own money just because the world is full of idiots?

As a parent you have the power to first of all not give them the credit card and secondly ensure that the appropriate steps are put in place so that any untoward spending is locked down or at least monitored. Are you telling me that with every purchase the son made the father or son didn't receive an email saying you've been charged such and such an amount to this card.... The whole thing is just a dumb kid spending his dads money and playing the victim.
 
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