Tap Zoo - In app purchases

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by tucker61, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. tucker61 macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    Just found that my daughter has spent over £150.00 on in app purchases on the above game, is their any way to cancel or get out of these purchases?
  2. matrix07 macrumors 601


    Jun 24, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Setting/General/Restrictions/In-App Purchase = off
  3. juliannoye macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2010
    I was ripped off $400 by this game, don't touch it!!!

    My 7 year downloaded this FREE app, after I entered the password for him.

    While playing the game he was asked to buy more things, it asked for our iTunes password, he always pressed "Cancel" because he does not know the password. The game then charged us anyway!!

    He bought four things, $119 each. How could they possibly justify that amount anyway?

    This is a disgusting rip off.

    I contacted the author "Streetwise" who were actually apologetic and directed me the the Apple process for mistaken purchases.

    Apple are supposed to review these apps, how hard did they check this?

    This is a game takes advantage of the kids and I think its despicable.

    If this company was Australian, I would have no hesitation going to the Police and I am sure they would take appropriate action.

  4. tucker61 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    To be fair to apple they have now refunded me as a good will gesture.
  5. neversink macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2008
    nearly $400 in bogus charges in one month..

    There seems to be nearly $400 of spurious charges from Tap Zoo on my iTunes account. It is unbelievable that Apple hasn't taken this app down yet. I put a complaint in yesterday and am waiting for a reply. My daughters' claim they have no knowledge of ever, ever downloading these games except for the free Tap Zoo. I believe them, as they always ask for permission to buy an app or a video or music.

    It is unconscionable that this third-party developer is allowed to continue to target children and conduct this scam. I would definitely advise contacting the attorney general of your state and the federal attorney general. Such blatant disregard for children by this developer should be stopped and strongly, and if necessary, legally discouraged.
  6. neversink macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2008
    These people are the biggest scammers...

    And Apple hasn't done anything about this..... Why is Apple allowing this scam to continue....


    From an Austrailian newspaper

    How a 'free' iPhone game cost Charlestown dad $967
    15 Sep, 2010 05:00 AM
    WHEN Troy Ravlen downloaded a free iPhone game for his seven-year-old daughter Tylah he didn't expect a bill for nearly $1000.

    The game was called Tap Zoo, and listed in Apple's App Store under the Top Free label.

    To download it, Mr Ravlen touched a tab on his phone screen labelled 'free'.

    Within a day his bank account had been drained of $967.

    He said he was asked for his iTunes account password once, when he first downloaded Tap Zoo.

    The money was billed in increments from $1.19 to $189.99, listed on tax invoices.

    Tap Zoo lets players buy fake money within the game costing the user real sums of money for each purchase.

    Mr Ravlen said he was shocked to find the money had come out of his account.

    "I'm very disappointed with [Apple]," Mr Ravlen, a Charlestown father of five, said.

    "I've been such an avid user of their products because Apple's meant to be the most secure system out there. They brag about it."

    Mr Ravlen said his family owned iPhones, iPods and MacBook laptops and he said he was familiar with making purchases through Apple's iTunes system.

    Apple did not make the game, but Mr Ravlen said it was misleading of the computer giant to list the application as 'free'.

    After contacting Apple and St George Bank anti-fraud department, Mr Ravlen received an email from Apple saying "a credit of $962.00 should be posted" to his account.

    The email said this would be "a one-time exception".

    Mr Ravlen said the bank told him that only his quick response had prevented a bigger bill.

    The website of Tap Zoo's developer Streetview Labs has been flooded with complaints from users saying their children unwittingly racked up bills as large as US$1300.

    A forum poster called Harlan Crystal, claiming to be the publisher's co-founder, wrote: "We will do everything we can to get refunds to everyone. We spent the last months working around the clock to build a game that we thought would be fun and brighten up peoples' days".

    A NSW Fair Trading spokeswoman said she could not comment unless Mr Ravlen lodged an official complaint, but customers in a similar position should contact the office if negotiations failed with the trader.

    The App Store offers more than 225,000 applications that do everything from social networking to finding restaurants.

    Apple did not return the Newcastle Herald's calls.


    Date: Newest first | Oldest first
    Whilst I do understand Mr Ravlen's frustration, it does state in plain English in the game description on the App page that the game does allow you to purchase items with real money, and that the setting which allows this to happen can be switched off on your device. He should consider himself lucky that Apple issued him a refund. This is why it is always important to read the product description and fine print people!

    Posted by Hayley, 15/09/2010 9:42:44 AM, on The Herald
    What is a 7 year old doing with an iPhone anyway?!?!

    Posted by Bec, 15/09/2010 11:15:17 AM, on The Herald
    Another reason never to have anything to do with the Apple company.

    Posted by Nell, 15/09/2010 12:30:45 PM, on The Herald
    Why when I was a little tyke we used to have two tin cans and a piece of string for a phone, why do these kids have such expensive tastes. Imagination is the best valued toy there is.

    Posted by old fart, 16/09/2010 9:49:06 AM, on The Herald
    Not everyone reads terms and conditions and I challenge anyone to tell me they read the small print on ANYTHING they download ?? Fair enough, when "purchasing" in app then you should have to type your password again - because it's through apple you have signed an agreement that they can take money in the first place. Intirgued with the "one time exception" rule - if 1 million users rack up astronomical bills and get refunds, that's a lot of paperwork and credits for apple staff to handle so it would be in their interest to have an increased security step when taking real money from your account. @Bec - ITS HER DADS PHONE @ Old Fart - so you're saying if you were a modern day child and all your friends had the latest technology, you would sit at home with a tin can playing quite happily ?
    Posted by Your Common Sense, 17/09/2010 7:28:48 PM, on The Herald
    Shame on Apple. I was charged $200 today for that same stupid game. I never gave any warning that I would be charged. It is the most boring silliest game. Actually I had already deleted it from my iphone when I got the invoice from Apple. Please let me know who I can contact to denounce this scam that Apple is letting some rip off artists infringe on unsuspecting people who trust apples good name.

    Posted by josenajas, 20/09/2010 2:25:50 PM, on The Herald
    Sure it's a rip off! App has bug issues today, with a large number of peeps reporting that the game glitched minusing -$100,000,000 and - 100,000,000 stars (stars wot people paying real cash for on this game). Even if you one who doesn't mind paying for the add ons in this game your likely to loose your tailored and saved features anyway. My animals revenue paying back a debt caused by a glitch. If your one of the unlucky or silly people that pay to use this advertised as free app then check your bank accounts again! I suggest to streetviewlabs.com they return all collected fortunes for this and Apple boycot the groups making applications like this as they target the unsuspecting. Childrens game after all. I'd go as far to liken it to gambling (for those who aware of spending their real cash) just as addictive and to people not reading the fine print well i still think its robbery! Shame on Streetviewlabs.com

    Posted by Agreeable, 21/09/2010 12:45:39 AM, on The Herald
    I have just seen a Credit Card bill with over $600 in extras for Tap Zoo game. I looked at this game when purchasing it and understood that there may be some minor upgrades you could pay for. However as I bought this for my son (7 yrs old) I am shocked to see that you can purchase up to $189 worth of 'coins' in a single transaction. This is underhanded by the developers and not adquatly explained. Infact there is every reason to believe that this game is fantastic giving the reviews it gets. However a quick search on google show discussions that this has been a problem for others eg. 6th line irhem is Warning! Tap Zoo is a scam - MacTalk Forums. This is madness for iTunes as it will muddy the great brand opinion I have of Apple and the trust I had in their business processes. I understand that if you look at the small print there is a minimum amount of declaration that there is a possibility of paying for extras but $189 a pop for an average game is silly.

    Posted by john, 20/10/2010 1:55:31 PM, on The Herald
    I got robbed also for 112$. I limited my daughter to FREE games as presented in Itunes but once the game is download one can purchase for hundreds of dollars without having to give the user name and password giving access to the credit card information. Not surprised that some companies would take advantage of Internet to steal people but I was under the impression that Itunes would prevent these things. I thought they were honest. After all, we give our credit card information to them because they had a good reputation. Its all over for me and I hope all other Iphone users will wake up before having to pay these cost to Itunes. This is a shame.

    By the way for other who wrote, I dont think its wrong to let our kids play with new devices such as the Iphone. They get to discover new technologies and if they do many other things to learn and play it beats the tin cans someone suggested. This is 2011.
    Posted by I tunes user, 17/12/2010 8:54:43 AM, on The Herald
    post a comment
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Apple really needs a way to block in-app purchases to make it harder for scammers to steal from users. I still do not understand how Apple is allowing these scammers to repeatedly run up unauthorized charges. Maybe TapZoo has figured out a way to break the Apple authorization and do it on their own?
  8. Drucifer macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    I avoid these types of games. There are so many of these games flooding the App Store. Basically the game restricts what you can access and gives you the option of either getting ahead in the game fast or unique characters or items by making the customers pay more. For example The Smurfs Village has a few unique smurfs you can purchase with smurfberries, to unlock all the extra smurfs from the shop you need to pay something like $15.00 to buy enough smurfberries to just unlock them in your game. Sure you don't need them but without them you are only playing part of the game. I think the most expensive In App Purchase in the Smurfs Village is $99.99 which is beyond ridiculous.

    There should be a limit to the price devs can charge for In App Purchases and games like The Smurfs Village which charge players huge fees for in game currency should be rejected.

    I have noticed most of these games do state clearly in the description that they do offer In App Purchases for items in the game and they do suggest turning off the In App Purchase option to prevent unwanted purchases. Either way customers shouldn't have to worry about this and they shouldn't have to change a setting.

    EDIT: Just to add this is also one of the reasons I removed my credit card from my iTunes account. Ever since Apple started to accept iTunes Gift Cards for App Store purchases here in Canada I removed my CC and have been using gift cards ever since. This way I don't have to worry about anyone playing around with my device and making crazy purchases. Now I just keep $10-$20 in my account which wouldn't be a huge deal to lose as opposed to some of the parents who have lost hundreds from their kids purchases.
  9. neversink macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2008
    Thought this was over... but

    Apple iTunes sent me an email last night saying that they would issue me credit to my credit card in the amount of funds charged for unauthorized purchases. This was a one-time exception to their rule, which I don't understand. Unauthorized is still unauthorized. However, this made me happy. However

    Now this is really interesting... I thought this was over. I changed my password on my iTunes account last night, my girls deleted the app two days ago and yet I still received one more bill this morning, dated today at a time when my girls were still asleep.

    Unless the charges were made before I changed my password last night, which doesn't seemto have occurred, then something suspicious is going on. And if my girls have deleted the app more than 36 hours ago and no activity had occurred with this app with anyone in my family, then why did I receive yet another bill???

    I suspect fraud on the part of Tap Zoo.... Why does Apple allow this developer to tarnish their reputation. I hope they are investigating....
  10. Drucifer macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Maybe your App Store account was compromised like the folks from this thread. These poor folks had their accounts hacked then sold so others could use them to their hearts content to purchase tons of In App Content for a different game.

    Although it is possible your kids made the purchase and it just showed up now. I received an e-mail from Apple yesterday for a few purchases I made a day or two before that.
  11. Slaptastic macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Right behind you
    I am a little ambivalent on this...

    I can understand the frustration of a parent finding a huge bill just for letting the little ones play a game for a while, but I don't think the ability for in-app purchases should be removed entirely.
    If anything, games should include more safeguards to prevent these kinds of purchases so easily.
    With games constantly becoming more and more complex, I think it's only a matter of time before we start seeing an entirely different caliber of games for Apple portable devices (e.g. Infinity Blade). With that, I'm actually looking forward to some high quality games that will be available for free that will be supported by in-app purchases. I fell in love with this system when I started playing a PC MMORPG called Runes of Magic. When I wanted to be a little more uber, I could drop a few dollars in the store. Otherwise, I just played the game for free.
  12. Drucifer macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    While the device already has an option in the settings to disable In App Purchases. The issue is Apple should do more to inform parents of this setting so parents don't learn about it after their child spent $200+ on In App Purchases by a mistake.

    There are a number of games where I purchased In App content, 100 Rogues and BIT.TRIP.BEAT to name a couple, and I don't have an issue with it myself. The problem is developers who have In App Purchases for in came currency with prices as high as $99.99. I don't know anyone in their right mind who would pay $100 for money they can only use in the game. Apple should set a limit to how high devs can charge for In App Purchases or review the purchased content before accepting it. If it adds to the application than it can be allowed but if it is only in game money Apple shouldn't allow it. I mean don't they have a review team for a reason?
  13. tucker61 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2008
    Apple must share the blame for these issues.
    If you buy a game from iTunes and enter your password. The system remembers your password, I think for appr 15 minutes, so in that time the kids can download anything they want.
    Apple need to smarten the process up and remove these apps.
    I remember at one when ios4 was announced with in app purchases apple said that free apps would always be free and you would not be charged for in app purchases.
  14. ssdeg7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 15, 2010
    I disabled In-app purchases and use an account with no money for free downloads, so there's no possible way of getting charged by those means.
  15. LeighAnna Jones macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2010
  16. Speczorz macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010
    How do you disable in app purchases?

    Thank you,

  17. ciaran00 macrumors 6502

    Mar 11, 2010
    Maybe some people shouldn't have kids, or use apps. Apple has provided you with a disable switch. Kindly do yourself and society a favor by starting up Settings and using it.
  18. LeighAnna Jones macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2010
    Settings/General/Restrictions/Enable Restrictions/Create A Password/In App Purchases>OFF
  19. neversink, Jan 18, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

    neversink macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2008
    Ciaran... Don't be condescending...

    Please Ciran...

    As much as I like Apple products your comment is very condescending and insulting. (We have five notebooks, two iMacs, iPhones, four iPods and other peripheral equipment and software.) We are not computer illiterate. However, i don't expect that unless I am working for Apple, or an avid Apple techie or follower, that I will ever read every manual about every product.

    I am sure you press the "I agree" button on all your software and downloads and never read the pages and pages of legal jargon that you agree to.

    I expect Apple to be more responsible. They know about this problem. There are obviously people who scam out there and take advantage of children and unsuspecting adults. Not everyone has the time to be an Apple dilettante.

    Apple should have the in-app option disabled and then if you wish to buy into in-app purchases, you can elect to do so. Otherwise, some third-party developer might take advantage of the children and/or even adults. This way they would avoid the bad reputation that unfortunately might come from being associated with some sneaky and nefarious developers.

    However, I have received bills from Tap Zoo that make absolutely no sense whatsoever, even after my children stopped using the app and eliminated it from their iPods. Apple has taken care of what they call"unauthorized purchases" and that makes me happy. But they haven't, despite all the problems with Tap Zoo, taken it off the shelf from the App Store.

    Please don't ever judge people's parenting ability by whether or not they understand how a high-tech device works. I'm sure there are a few things you don't understand in life, or you haven't taken the time to read up on. Does that qualify you as a bad parent.

    Sometime Apple disciples and fanatics are blind to any negative comments people might have about Apple. They are a great company, but they are run by humans, and humans, as we all know, are not perfect nor infallible nor incapable of making mistakes. So please, get off your high-horse, Mr. Self-Righteous Perfection and wake up and smell the coffee. Even your beloved Apple can be careless and make mistakes. Criticism will make Apple a better company. Taking action when a software developer outrageously targets children would help Apple in the public relations department and make them a better corporate citizen.

    So kindly do us a favor, tell Apple to make society better by being careful that when they introduce products, not to make it easy for innocent children and unsuspecting parents to be charged by a bogus third-party developer that advertises a free app, but embeds code that charges outrageous fees for apps that no one really wants to pay for, and is not expecting to pay for. Perhaps if the sneaky in-app purchase option was disabled by Apple in the factory, scams like Tap Zoo would occur with less frequency. And you shouldn't be so judgmental in telling people what they should know and shouldn't, or who should or should not have children.
  20. Drucifer macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    Says the guy user who probably doesn't even have any kids or is likely a child themself.

    Just because Apple has included an option to disable In App Purchases they don't make it clear that the option is available or how to turn it off unless you are actively looking for how to do. Chances are if you are looking up online how to disable In App Purchases you are doing so because you had an issue where someone (such as a child) ended up purchasing In App Purchases in error.

    When creating an iTunes account Apple should warn parents about In App Puchases, explain how they work and provide directions on how to disable them on the iPod Touch. Why should parents find out the hard way?

    At least developers are starting to warn people in the App description now such as the Smurfs Village.

  21. ViperDesign macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2007
    I wish I would have seen this thread before I downloaded this app.

    Just looked at my account and I have close to 400 dollars worth of unauthorized purchases. I am so damn pissed right now!!!!!

    I have emailed apple and this scam of a company demanding a refund.

    Let me kid play this game, nothing about in game purchases, next thing I know at least 400 dollars is stolen from my CC.

    So pissed
  22. ViperDesign macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2007
    Still nothing back from Apple, has anyone actually received a refund beyond the people in the articles?
  23. neversink macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2008
    Yes, I received a full refund on every purchase. And I don't allow in App purchases, which Apple obviously still has not properly addressed and I don't know why they would continue this policy. It is a policy that will make those of us that own Apple distrust them. Why does Apple continue to risk the reputation of their great company???

    As I have stated previously in this thread, Apple should have a policy that all in-App purchases should be off as the default when one buys an Apple iPhone, iPod or iPad. And the possibility of potential charges should always be posted before an app is used and before each and every charge.

    There should also be a page that comes up that states, "You will be charged $xxx.xx for the following in-App purchases. Do you agree to these charges.?" This is what almost every on-line seller does for items that you have openly searched for and are attempting to buy. This should be the policies for these seedy in-App purchases that target children.

    Apple, you should know better!!!!!!!!

Share This Page