Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Get your gems here!

Ugh. If we are friends on Facebook you already know my drama from yesterday. If not, here it is in a nutshell:

Nine year old needs an app on his iPad for school. Forty-five year old mother puts her debit card into his iPad to buy said app. Mother forgets to "remove" debit card from son's iPad. Mother goes into la-la land after surgery for 4 days and when she emerges she checks her bank account to find 36 transactions for iTunes. Now, mother is pretty sure she was feeling good while on her happy pills, but not happy enough to agree to 36 transactions for gems for Clash of Clans.

The sum of the story: $1,326.47 to be exact.

The moral of the story: It is WAY too easy for kids to push that buy button when they think there is an endless supply of gems...er, cash...in the bucket.

I do agree there were several missteps along the way, and they have all been corrected - mainly due to the "generosity" of Apple to eventually refund the purchases because they were done by a minor - but I think the larger lesson is the cultivation of a plastic generation.

When I bought the app for the iPad I used my debit card. A square card with numbers on it. That is eerily similar to the iTunes cards my son gets as gifts. Square. Plastic. Numbers. And with that comes hours of excitement as he gets to draw from this magical plastic card and buy whatever he's in the mood for - until Apple says "all gone". This time, no one said "all gone".

Our conversation yesterday will remain private - but I will say that the biggest eye opener was this idea that they wait for someone to say "all gone" because we (or I) have raised them on the currency that is the gift card.You enter in the numbers and they will notify you when you have run out. Unlike my generation when you handed the clerk the money and you knew right away when it ran out.

I'm optimistic that thanks to mothers like me, the iPad 7 will be currency based only...it would be a lot harder for my son to get himself to a bank and clean out my account the old fashion way if he had to slide $20 bills into his iPad! Anyone?