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Mom asks Microsoft for forgiveness over son's $1700 XBL shopping spree

We all make a few bad choices when we're kids, but Brendan Jordan's bad choices have left his mom with one hefty Xbox Live bill. After he racked up £1082.52 (about $1,700 USD) in XBL charges over the course of several months, his mother is asking Microsoft to help reverse some of the damage.

Dawn Matthews, the mother in question, works two jobs, and hence isn't able to supervise her son constantly. Apparently she didn't realize that her credit card information would be stored after purchasing her son's Xbox Live Gold account.

"I thought it was just for his membership to play online with his friends," she said. "When I showed him [the bill] he burst into tears. He unplugged the Xbox and said he didn't want it anymore."

Matthews is trying to make the case that Microsoft doesn't offer enough protection for children capable of racking up charges with abandon. The console does have parental controls and requires an authorized account to log in before a purchase is made, which Microsoft has pointed out. That's not enough, according to Matthews.

"When he is in gaming mode he can’t be thinking about the money. You can’t put all that responsibility on a young boy," she said, adding, "It is impossible to monitor everything your children do. These companies should take some responsibility. They take advantage of vulnerable people."

What do you think? Should Microsoft reverse the charges, or is the responsibility for Brendan's actions on him and his mom? And did he really not know what he was doing when he approved purchases for 126,364 Microsoft Points?

[Source: Daily Mail via Eurogamer]

Feb 8, 2011

Topics

Microsoft

167 comments

  • Gamerdude1010 - February 16, 2011 7:40 p.m.

    you know i had a similar experience only not with xbox lol it was my cellphone bill i ran up a 3000 dollar cellphone bill just by using the internet it was 5 cents a GB and man i downloaded lots of games lol i learned my lesson and its been paid off completely lol but wow parents shouldnt let their kids get a hold of a credit card at all. and the kid was being irresponsible and stupid and mom tries the ole but im a single mother with 2 jobs story. dude grow up and the kid? he needs help man.
  • TheWebSwinger - February 15, 2011 8:24 p.m.

    The kid is a dummy, sure, but I agree that his mother shouldn't be penalized like that. Especially because DLing off of Xbox Live gets you software instead of hard copies, they should totally reverse some of the charges.
  • polarp - February 14, 2011 1:14 a.m.

    Microsoft should help out...just for courtesy. It seems like the kid learned his lesson, but I sense the mother didn't.
  • robotninja - February 13, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    No the company is not responsible, in any shape or form, no matter if you knew the console stored the credit card information or not it does not excuse the kids actions he knew he was charging Microsoft points on his account it states so, it even shows the purchase amount, he got caught and whines and hence mommy blames Microsoft....come off it and pay your bill! NO REFUNDS FOR STUPIDITY! Sometimes I really miss School Bullying :P
  • SGTCSLAUGHTER - February 13, 2011 7:13 p.m.

    Make the kid get a job. He looks old enough to know what he was doing, so this is just an attempt to make someone feel sorry for them, screw them! I have to buy my Microsoft points, but I don't do it with my mommy's credit card. Plus, you have to go through several steps in order to purchase and you have to confirm you know what you are doing, so I say make them pay! :-)
  • blakebeauchamp - February 13, 2011 6:59 p.m.

    No way he did it on "accident". You don't spend $1700 in xbox stuff without the thought even entering your mind "WAIT, IS DIS STUFF FREE?"
  • Cleanser247 - February 11, 2011 7:18 p.m.

    Spoiled rotten brat! What a baby. Make him pay for it with his OWN money!
  • Charlie_Fubar - February 11, 2011 4:35 a.m.

    I think I saw the mom on one of those "Money Talks" videos... She'll be fine.
  • R_U_Guys_From_British - February 10, 2011 9:02 p.m.

    Hot mom.
  • Vaon007 - February 10, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    Dunno about england, but we get credit card statements every month. How would she not notice the first, or even second month.
  • PushesPaperInACircle - February 10, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    What kind of Hard Drive did they have to store $1700 worth of content? Did he just start purchasing MS points? Time to put you on a payment plan, and cancel your Gold account until its paid off. Miss a payment, say goodbye to your Silver...
  • DF344 - February 10, 2011 11:11 a.m.

    Let that kid fry!
  • ElGrinchoid - February 10, 2011 4:50 a.m.

    Can someone tell me why she's asking Microsoft for help? Surely she should be asking the credit card comapny. All Microsoft have done is accept payment for goods. If they want to cry to someone about it cry to the credit card company who i would imagine will respond with "Sorry, when are you paying us?" Not to sound harsh, but the kid knew what he was doing and whilst i appreciate that she's holding down 2 jobs, keeping check of something like your credit card is simple, common sense. Take his xbox, sell it and anything else he has of value to cover the bill. Then fat boy won't do it again, will he.
  • slowdrum13 - February 10, 2011 1:59 a.m.

    I just noticed that is the money is in pounds. i didn't know they had cholas over there.
  • slowdrum13 - February 10, 2011 1:44 a.m.

    does anyone else want to punch that kid just for the look on his face? that's what parental controls are for, bad parent is bad.
  • Phillo - February 9, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    When I was a kid I would of thought twice before doing something stupid like that. Just shows that she's more than likely spoilt him cos I always asked my parents if I could get something on XBL, and I used to usually give them the money straight away or pay it slowly back. The fact that he's just done it willy nilly shows he's a spoilt brat and deserves punishment, defending him and putting blame on microsoft is only going to spoil him more
  • 435 - February 9, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    Microsoft should not have to parent your child. My guess is that someone saw the story about the autistic kid and hoped they could cash in as well.
  • Ravenbom - February 9, 2011 9:38 p.m.

    What she should do is sell that account and 360 on Ebay (after making sure she takes off her credit card info, or just ask the credit card company for a new card which would have a new number.) She could make most of that money back by selling it on Ebay/Craigslist/Amazon. Not only that, if she had just "lost" that 360, she could have claimed to the credit card company that it was stolen and had her account info on it still and probably would have gotten that money refunded to her card. Your rates normally go up after getting your card stolen because it makes you look like a liability, but I've gotten my card stolen and it was but on hold when later than night some guy tried to take out a cash advance of $500 at a casino. Credit card companies are usually good at recognizing unusual charges and put holds on your account. But even when my friend got his card stolen he got the hundreds of dollars in credit card charges refunded. Their money is insured so they're not really losing anything buy refunding your money when a card is stolen. They do investigate these claims though, she could still be charged with fraud if she does what I just said and didn't actually ditch that 360.
  • Ravenbom - February 9, 2011 9:29 p.m.

    It's something the kid and the mom have to work out on their own. The kid obviously needs some after school activities like a sport, that's why schools offer them. Then he needs a summer job, like delivering papers to help pay for the bills. I'm not saying the kid needs to pay it all back, but that's how you teach kids right from wrong; they get some kind of punishment for doing something wrong. If the kid wrecked his mother's car he would probably have to get a summer job to pay for the damages and learn a lesson about safe driving and responsibility. When I wrecked my dad's truck at 16 I had to fork over half of every paycheck that summer. Which was more than fair of my dad, it was my fault and that still didn't pay for all the damages (and hospital bill, I was the only one injured) but just punished me and taught me a lesson. Plus he made me apologize to the other driver and thank the people at the hospital and my lawyer (the cop tried to convict me of a felony even though I just spilled a soda and it was a complete accident). Maybe I did pay for the truck damages but I know I didn't pay for the lawyer. Anyways, I learned a lesson and couldn't buy my electric guitar until the next summer when I got another job.
  • digitalman29 - February 9, 2011 9:27 p.m.

    Beat his a$$!

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