Parent forced to sell car after child racks up $1,800 App Store bill

App Store on iPhone
App Store on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A UK father has had to sell his family car to pay off a bill racked up by his son on his iPhone.
  • Muhammad Mutaza's son Ashaz spent nearly $1,800 playing Dragons: Rise of Berk.
  • The man believes his son memorized his iPhone password whilst looking over his shoulder.

A UK man has learned a valuable lesson about Apple's parental controls after his son spent $1,800 on his iPhone, forcing him to sell the family car.

As reported by the Daily Mail, Muhammad Mutaza from North Wales was billed £1,289 after his son racked up 29 in-app purchases ranging from £1.99 to £99.99. Mutaza claims his son, Ashaz, may have memorized his iPhone password whilst looking over his father's shoulder, and that he only found out about the purchases when he checked an obscure email address that his Apple ID was linked to.

Apple refunded £207 to the family, but Mutaza told Apple he isn't going to be spending another penny on the company ever again. According to the report Mutaza has had to sell the family's Toyota Aygo hatchback to cover the cost of the bill. Apparently, Mutaza didn't think there would be a problem with his son playing the game because he doesn't let his son play games that aren't free, it is unclear why Mutaza thought this but it is implied he thought that paid apps did not include in-app purchases.

Apple's iOS ecosystem includes robust parental controls such as an ask to buy feature, which the company says is on by default for children under the age of 13, which means the head of your iCloud "family" has to approve any purchases or downloads. It is not clear from the report, however, it seems as though Mutaza's son may have had possession of his father's iPhone, rather than his own device. Mutaza says he is considering taking legal action against Apple.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9