A teenage Xbox user racked up $13,000 in charges from in-game purchases that the player’s family said were the result of accidental transactions.
The Schoepke family of Bolton, Massachusetts, said their credit card statements over the course of 13 months showed the accumulation of these Xbox purchases which reached the staggering amount of $13,000, NBC New York reported. Those purchases were made using a credit card connected to the player’s account, but the family said the email address which was associated with the account was seldom used so they missed the receipts which spanned from June 2016 to November 2017. The Schoepke family also said they weren’t regularly checking their monthly statements and eventually noticed the charges.
According to the teen’s mother Liz Schoepke, the charges were a mistake though or were at least accidental on the teen’s part. When asked how such a scenario might’ve occurred, the mother said the thought is that the boy was pressing buttons on his controller to get into the game faster with those button presses eventually adding up to $13,000 worth of purchases. The mom said there were parental restrictions on the account to prevent this from happening – or at least there were at one point – so they’re not sure how the situation occurred.
“We thought we had enabled the block of in-game purchases," Schoepke said. "I guess it didn't work or maybe it was in one game and not in the next game that was added in the queue. There's probably a lot of things that we could have done or should have done differently, but just the fact it happened is really scary."
There was also supposed to be an agreement between the parents and the players where every purchase was supposed to be approved beforehand, a system the mother said worked in the past. However, she asked the kids if they were responsible for the purchases, and they said they weren’t. The family then contacted their credit card company and asked for a fraud investigation to be conducted. That investigation took months and resulted in the credit card company deeming the charges were valid, so the family tried to appeal the charges through Microsoft’s online systems. The mother said one of the automated questions asked whether the charges had been made in the past 14 days, and since they hadn’t, no further plea could be entered.
Neither Microsoft nor the credit card company opted to reverse the charges.