Kid spends £1,000 on Xbox LIVE, blames Microsoft

By Tom Warren, on 8th Feb 11 5:41 pm with 24 Comments

An 11-year-old boy has racked up a debt of £1,000 on his mother’s debit card after purchasing items on Xbox LIVE.

Brendan Jordan racked up a bill of £1,082,52 on his Xbox LIVE account “without realising” the purchases were being billed to his mothers’s card. The schoolboy purchased accessories and new games for his Xbox using an Xbox LIVE account his mother had setup. Single mum-of-two, Dawn Matthews, is furious with Microsoft and blames the software giant for the purchases.

In a clear case of lunacy and the usual poor reporting we’ve come to expect from the UK’s Daily Mail (more like fail), we have a story where Microsoft is expected to shoulder the blame for the charges. Matthews claims that she cannot afford the charges. “A thousand pounds isn’t that much to people like Bill Gates, but for a single mum it is a lot of money that I don’t have. The bank and Microsoft are blaming each other and no one is helping me. It has taken me ages to permanently get rid of my card details from the website.”

Matthews entered her debit card details into her sons Xbox LIVE account to pay for his subscription to play games online. However, the cheeky chap decided to buy extensions and games from Xbox LIVE, racking up the huge sum. “It is impossible to monitor everything your children do. These companies should take some responsibility. They take advantage of vulnerable people,” claims Matthews.

Microsoft refutes the claims though and has advised Matthews that the company’s parental controls avoid these types of situations. Microsoft issued the following statement:

“With over 30M Xbox LIVE members across the world customer complaints of this nature are extremely rare. Microsoft’s goal is to provide parents and caregivers with tools and resources to manage their children’s gaming and entertainment experiences so that they can play in ways that are safer, healthy and more balanced. To accomplish this, we’ve built-in parental controls in every Xbox 360, work closely with retailers and recently launched the Play Smart, Play Safe website as an online resource for families.

It should also be noted that LIVE accounts registered for children’s use have online activity automatically defaulted to off, these can be enabled by the parent should they wish in the Family Settings section.”

Image Credit: Daily Mail

  • http://twitter.com/clindhartsen Chris Lindhartsen

    So, it’s Microsoft’s fault that the kid didnt’ realize things cost money, and the mother didn’t realize connecting your credit/debt card to something leaves it open to be charged to? Really?

    • Anonymous

      The kid must’ve known perfectly well that the things he bought cost money. If he didn’t they have a much bigger problem to deal with.

    • Anonymous

      Look at the kid… He is fat and possibly sitting on xbox all day, I probably spent about £600 on Xbox in 3 years i been on it and that’s only purchasing New Xbox 360 slim, Kinect, few games and that’s about it…

  • CrisRowlands

    This just may be me being a pessimist, but what are the chances that the kid knew fully well, decided to lie about it & it just got out of hand over time & its become too big for him to admit to?

    Seriously, how can you NOT realise that buying things costs money?

    As Chris said, its daft she didnt realise hooking up an account to her debit card will leave it open to be charged. Its just crazy that shes blaming microsoft for her son being stupid & buying lots of stuff.
    Surely there must be some kind of notification when you buy something saying “this will cost this much”.

    Plus, removing your credit/debit card details from XBL is really easy. I had to do it a while back when I lost the card I had signed up to my account.

    • GP007

      It does, it tells you it costs X number of points, and free stuff are clearly marked as free. If you’re raching up points buying things you know fully well that you are since you have to ok it .

    • Bburke33609

      OK have you actually gone and looked at points and trie to figure out the exchange rate of points to cash. It’s done this way specifically to get people to spend more by making it seem to not be money. Of course saying that this kid didn’t know there was money involved is nonsense. He just figured they would send a bill and he would throw it away when it came in the mail or something. So when you use social engineering to get people to buy more, sometimes dumbass kids will be dumbass kids. Of course I think MS should negate all of the purchases and remove all of the games etc… he bought, That woman already has a wierd looking kid, give her a break.

    • GP007

      There are countless point converters out there, AND since it says he bought games, was that full games from GoD? Those don’t even use points, they use the normal currency pricing. Honestly MS whiping the kids hdd of all the content (if that’s even possible) is silly. What’s stopping everyone else from just charging up loads of games, playing them, and then saying “oh I didn’t know, sorry it was a mistake.” Get real man, I never even brought up the kids looks only his lack of common sense, unless this is just one big lie, I hear kids do that often you know.

  • GP007

    Screw this, MS should get it’s money from the bank, then the mom should take up the rest with the bank, it’s not MS’s fault her kid seems to be daft, or just lying like crazy to cover up his stupidity.

  • http://twitter.com/rdubmu Robert

    This is the family fault. If Microsoft cut the charges, then they would open a world of people who say they didn’t know they paid for the extensions/games…ect. This lady should only blame her son. Make him get a paper route and ground him from the xbox. He should have this paid off in no time. If not maybe she can talk to her bank about possibly cutting the interest rate. There is no free lunch.

  • Gingerbread

    However Microsoft COULD do much more to set up accounts in such a way that parents can more easily have greater control over childrens’ use and in particular purchases. At the moment the defaults do NOT allow easy regulation – the defaults are set to maximise revenue, not financial management. Many of us want our children to have significant control of their own accounts WITHOUT being easily able to use purchasing channels using the credit card used to create the account.

    • GP007

      So don’t create the account with a credity card? This is exactly why MS sels prepaid XBL cards for XX months, THAT is what you should do if you want your kids free control but at the same time not being able to buy anything like this kid. Parents need to use their damn heads, prepaid live and prepaid points, easy to buy. There is no excuse in this case really.

  • JeepGuy

    Just another parent not taking responsibility for their short comings when their kid messes up. I screwed up as a kid once. I called some phone numbers that I knew full well would charge onto the phone bill. I fessed up, my mom yelled at me, I learned my lesson, she paid her bill….thats the end of it.

    By putting the blame on someone else, and coddling that odd looking child, she’s just supporting that type of behavior. And teaching them how NOT to be an adult and to deal with your mistakes.

    Makes me sick honestly. Anytime I hear stories like this. Your kid screwed up… YOU didnt do what you were SUPPOSED to do as a parent when dealing with this situation. DEAL WITH IT.

  • Alex from Tech Geek and More

    Overall – Still the parents responsibility. However, with that being said, have you ever tried to remove credit card info from XBOX Live. Did you know that once you enter a credit card that you can NOT remove it from the XBOX Live account. It gives a chance to change it, but it cant be out right removed. The only way to remove the card from the xbox live info is to call Microsoft and speak to a billing officer (thats what they are called) and request for them to do it on their end. It then takes a couple of days for them to complete that request (I kid you not). As long as any credit or debit card in in the main xbox profile, you will always run a risk in having funds come out of it, even if you set up all the “kids” preferences.

  • http://twitter.com/Demon_man Demon

    what Microsft could and should do is laugh in there face, everyone knows nothing is free, it clearly states the charges for what he was buying did he just think “oh mom wont notice”, and they cant afford it he has a nice xbox 360, a nice lcd tv virgin media, and a quite high gamer score for the kid to no that things cost on xbox live.

  • CARLY0042

    Has the mother ever heard of Parental control?

  • http://twitter.com/williamtm/ WilliamTM

    If you skip past so many “Are you sure you want to buy this which costs £xx” screens that you rack up a £1000+ bill, the kid is either retarded or (more than likely) a dirty liar. It’s not Microsoft’s fault, it’s not the bank’s fault, it’s her fault for not keeping an eye on her son or setting up parental controls carefully/properly.

    By the way, “Brendan Jordan racked up a bill of £1,082,52″ should be “Brendan Jordan racked up a bill of £1,082.52″ – he didn’t rack up a bill of £1m!

  • Anonymous

    What a fat kid… i damn right HOPE HE PAYS FOR IT!!! BLAMING MICROSOFT OMFG!!!!

    • Yourmom

      Maybe if he had to work he might do other things I pay for all my stuff before I buy it if I want 1600 ms points the I give my mom $20 then I buy it

    • mitch

      Thats what I do, theres nothing wrong with telling them your gonna buy it and then show them and give em the $20. I’m 15 they trust me and they no what I play.

      And you don’t even need a credit card on the X-Box if it was paying for X-Box live., just go to a department store and buy it outright.

      Much smarter. He knew he was paying for that, was just too sneaky.

  • Seb

    They both look like a piece of work. Look at that photo: kid’s got a sad look on his face, mom clearly without wedding ring, and i’m guessing that theme on the xbox was 200 points. Also, was mom too busy going on a date to be a real parent?

  • http://twitter.com/levifreeman Levi Freeman

    the family cant even set up the xbox on their bloody tv properly!

    they have a widescreen tv yet they set it to 4:3 ratio.

    now if this was the daily mails photographers doing by setting up the photo op and he/she set up the xbox on the tv to do so then ok, but if that is how the family play xbox then this family are not educated, they blame everyone for their problems, and are lunatics.

  • Danny Uff

    Give me a break…. If he cannot read or know when he is purchasing something, that’s NOT Microsoft’s fault.

    As the saying goes, “you press BUY, you bought it!”

  • V8mad

    Microsoft have a bad way of paying for anything you should have to put in the 3 digit code on the back as you do for most companies you use online
    i was hacked and they took 2 lots of £80 off my card and had to report it to the bank to get it back
    and the only way i got the card off the acc was to get the bank to cancel the card

  • Crys1SFR0MDe4D

    so what is he’s gamertag i think it is Br3ndon J0rdan who can help me??”