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Pickering family gets $1,240 bill after son uses credit card to play video game
A Pickering family said they were shocked to get a credit card bill of $1,240 after letting their son play video games online.
The charges happened within 48 hours after the boy celebrated his birthday and asked his father if he could make some “in-game” purchases playing his favourite video game.
Some videogames allow players to use a “virtual wallet” to try and gain an advantage over opponents. Anil Persaud said he agreed his son could use $60 of his gift money to buy some virtually currency online.
“He had a little party with his friends and he wanted to spend this money on the PlayStation Network. He gave us the $60 and so we used our credit card and told him there was $60 loaded for him to play with.”
The boy used the $60 worth of virtually currency, but continued play the game over the next two days, unknowingly adding up more charges.
Persaud says he was shocked when he checked his email.
“I had a slew of e-mails from PlayStation--$25 for this, $60 for that. There were 25 different transactions that added up to just over $1,200," said Persaud.
The total bill came to $1,240 and when he contacted Sony PlayStation officials to say he didn’t authorize the charges, he was told he had given the company permission to charge his credit card.
“Once you use your credit card it's on there, they are able to allow purchases and fill virtual wallets with virtually currency,” said Persaud.
CTV News Toronto contacted PlayStation and Mary Tang, the Public Relations Manager for PlayStation, said that Persaud contacted their team in April to review the charges.
“At that time, we determined that the charges did not merit a refund as outlined in our terms of service and user agreement. We reviewed this case further and again, have determined that it did not merit a refund."
The company said parental controls can be used to prevent unwanted charges.
Persaud said it's been a difficult lesson to learn for his family.
“This was our first purchase of any kind and it was $60 dollars, not $1,200 worth of nothing because it’s stuff in a videogame,” he said. “It’s frustrating and it’s off putting.”