Xbox bill refunded after teen racked up $8K in charges to dad's dismay

A Pembroke, Ont., dad is "very pleased" that Xbox's parent company has refunded more than $8,000 in in-game purchases that his son racked up on a credit card before Christmas.

$7,625.88 credit card bill received 2 days before Christmas has been refunded

Lance Perkins flips through a printout of the more than $8,000 in credit card charges he was issued after his 17-year-old son made a series of in-game Xbox purchases without his knowledge. (CBC)

A Pembroke, Ont., dad is "very pleased" that Xbox's parent company has refunded more than $8,000 in in-game purchases that his son racked up on a credit card before Christmas.

"I hope we have warned enough people. This is not just a game when it can upset a whole family and endanger our children with making mistakes," Lance Perkins told CBC News in a text message. "I hope there are more safeguards put in place for credit card holders."

On Dec. 23, he got a bill for $7,625.88 after his 17-year-old son used his credit card to make in-game purchases for one of the FIFA series of soccer games. He later noticed previous Xbox charges, bringing the total to $8,206.43.

I hope there are more safeguards put in place for credit card holders.- Lance Perkins

Perkins said he had given his son a credit card for emergencies or to make purchases for the family's convenience store. 

"It floored me. Literally floored me, when I'd seen what I was being charged," Perkins told CBC News earlier this month.

"There will never be another Xbox system — or any gaming system — in my home."

Perkins thanks Microsoft

Although his son admitted to using the card to make Xbox purchases, Perkins said his son was surprised at how much he had spent.

"He thought it was a one-time fee for the game," Perkins said earlier this month. "He's just as sick as I am."

Perkins said his credit card company told him there was nothing it could do about the bill — unless he wanted to have his son charged with fraud.

Let's thank (Xbox) for making that choice.- Lance Perkins

Microsoft, Xbox's parent company, also initially told him in an email that the bill would stand.

When he explained that his son was a minor, Microsoft said it would look into the charges.

On Monday, Perkins said Microsoft refunded all the charges.

"Let's thank them for making that choice," he told CBC News in a text message.

Microsoft confirmed it was aware of the Perkins case but refused to comment on it.


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