Unauthorised app buys by kids add £30 million to UK parents’ mobile bills

unauthorised_appsA new study of UK parents reveals kids’ unauthorised app purchases have added £30 million to their smartphone and tablet bills.

According to the research carried out by Windows Phone more than 25% of UK parents are affected by their children’s app behaviour with 34% of parents now hiding their devices away from their children.

Shockingly, 83% of these parents have suffer an increased monthly bill with one in ten saying that they were worried they wouldn’t be able to pay. Whether these purchases were accidental or another in a line of evil-children-robbing-noble-parents stories is beside the point, handset makers and operating systems should sort this out.

Microsoft is the company that conducted the research and says the Windows Phone 8 o/s has a Kid’s Corner feature where in-app purchases are prohibited, something that says that no other smartphone has. If that is so then others will surely follow.

Now I’d better check my bill and see what my ten-year-old has been doing…

* These stats based on research carried out among 2,000 UK parents who own a smartphone or tablet by OnePoll, 8-11 March 2013

Monty (684 Posts)

Monty Munford has more than 15 years' experience in mobile, digital media, web and journalism. He is the founder of Mob76, a company that helps tech companies raise money and exit. He speaks regularly at global media events with a focus on Africa, writes a weekly column for The Telegraph, is a regular contributor to The Economist, Wired, Mashable and speaks regularly on the BBC World Service.