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How to turn off in-app purchases

Screenshot of iPad settings Credit: ITV News

The online games app industry has been warned by the Office of Fair Trading of "potentially unfair and aggressive commercial practices" that could target "susceptible" children to pay to continue playing 'free' web and app-based games.

Tesco 'planning tablet computer' to rival Kindle

A Tesco tablet could rival Amazon's Kindle Fire (pictured). Credit: Reuters

Tesco is reportedly planning its own tablet computer this year to win back book and DVD sales from technology giants Apple and Amazon.

Priced at around £100 to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire, the tablet is expected to come pre-loaded with content and apps including Tesco's new movie, music and e-book subscription service Blinkbox.

Tesco declined to comment on the report in the Times newspaper.

The supermarket has been looking to reinvigorate its business since annual profits fell for the first time in decades in April, while it was recently forced to scrap a high-profile expansion in the US.


Consumer watchdog investigates 'free' games apps

The Office of Fair Trading has launched an investigation into games on phones and tablets that are free to download, but could end up costing parents hundreds - even thousands - of pounds.

It follows concerns that children could be tricked into spending money on upgrades without realising the cost.

Parents advised not to give iPad codes to children

Justin Cooke was speaking on ITV News this lunchtime.

Justin Cooke, from the British Interactive Media Association, told ITV News that the games industry did not need more regulation and that self-regulation was working.

"No doubt, there needs to be some changes to reflect the massive change going on in our industry," he said.

"Things like, for example, putting in place instant notification of payments being made through in-app."

"I think parents need to take some responsibility in the same way that I wouldn't give my kids the PIN number for my credit card," he added.


Mum's warning after girl spends £900 on iPad 'gems'

Grace Walker, 6, begged her mum to let her have the My Little Pony game when she was feeling poorly. Credit: ITV Granada

In March, a mother warned other parents about the dangers of free download games after her six-year-old daughter ran up a £900 bill on her iPad - without even needing her iTunes password.

Grace Walker from Cheshire was able to click and buy "virtual gems" to boost her performance in a My Little Pony game at £69.99 a time - running up a bill of over £900 in just 30 minutes.

Which?: Children can run up huge phone apps bills easily

It's far too easy for children to run up huge bills on phone apps when most default settings allow 'in-app purchases' without asking for a confirmation or password.

Parents who want to stop this should either turn off the default setting or switch on parental controls so that passwords are required for any in-app purchases.

If your child has run up a huge bill without your knowledge, contact the app store or manufacturer as you may be eligible for a refund.

– Which? executive director Richard Lloyd

Schoolboy racks up £1,700 bill for app features

Danny Kitchen and mother Sharon Credit: ITV News

The OFT said it is investigating a number of "free" web and app-based games with concerns over additional costs from add-on features.

In March, ITV News spoke to Danny Kitchen and his mother Sharon. Danny racked up a £1,700 bill in just a few minutes by unwittingly buying add-ons for a zombie game on his parents' iPad.

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