App StoreSource: Joe Keller / iMore

What you need to know

  • Apple has apologized and issued a refund to a woman whose son made over $1,000-worth of in-app purchases.
  • Maria Vasquez's son Thenniel, who has ASD, spent $1,116 on games he didn't know cost money.

Apple has apologized and issued a refund to the mother of a young boy with ASD who spent over $1,000 on the App Store.

As reported by Global News, Maria Vasquez was hit with a bill from Apple for $1,116.32. Turns out they were charges for in-app purchases made by her nine-year-old son:

Vasquez says her nine-year-old son, Thenniel, unknowingly made purchases from the Apple app store, charging her account $1,116.32.

Among the purchases were popular games like Roblox and Coin Master.

Thenniel has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Vasquez says he didn't realize the games cost money.

Vasquez says that whilst updating her son's iPad in July of last year, her son was able to memorize her Apple ID password:

"He was next to me when I was doing that and it was just seven characters and since he has ASD that's one of his strengths," she said. "Their memory is really strong. They can really memorize."

Vasquez apparently asked Apple for a refund but was told no and that the case was closed, GN's Consumer Matters were able to get the issue sorted on her behalf, however. In a statement, Apple said, "All of our products have built-in tools and resources to help customers actively protect themselves and their families from unauthorized use and spending, and we take extra care to help parents better manage their child's device use."

Apple said that Ms. Vasquez was issued a full refund and an apology it didn't come sooner. It also said it had made "significant changes" since the incident and was working to continually improve processes to better serve its users.