Thursday, 4 Jun 2020

Boy racks up £3,120 on mum's credit card while playing XBox

A single mum has already ‘cancelled Christmas’ after her son racked up more than £3,000 buying XBox games on her credit card.

Martine Berriedale-Johnson, 40, had treated Leon, eight, to a £4.99 add-on for a game one time, but didn’t realise her card information had saved.

She then was stunned to receive her monthly credit statement and discover he had spent £3,120 over a three-week period.

The mum-of-two said her bill usually comes to £30 a month and is not able to pay the amount off.

Martine said: ‘I’m a single mum and I already struggle to put food on the table. I’m always really careful with my finances. I just don’t know how I’m going to pay this bill.’

She then added: ‘I’ve told the boys Christmas is cancelled and that they’re not getting any toys. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to afford Christmas dinner after this.’

Martine, a full-time mum, says Leon wasn’t asked to enter the card’s security number every time he made a purchase online.

On August 16, he made 19 purchases that came to the whopping total of £978.81, while two days later he made seven more purchases, including one for £199.99.

Martine, who is also mum to two-year-old Eddie continued: ‘When I saw my credit card bill, I went crazy. I told him I was selling his Xbox.’

She said Leon was ‘very upset’ once she explained what he had done, as he hadn’t understood the ‘financial consequences’ of his spending.

Microsoft have a 14-day window for refunds, but as most of his purchases were three weeks ago, Martine was worried she wouldn’t get the money back.

However the company say they have since given her a full refund.

A spokesperson told ‘Family settings and tools enable parents to block their children from making online purchases.

‘We review all reports, and in cases where we our investigation confirms that purchases were made by a minor without parental permission, we may decide that a one-time refund is appropriate.

‘On this occasion, the customer has been fully refunded.’

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