Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Prevent Accidental Purchases and Always Make Sure You Have Parental Controls Activated On Your Digital Devices

It's another occasion where I should have listened to my wife to save myself a lot of trouble. You see, we have a Kindle (the Amazon tablet) we let our son play with sometimes. He enjoys watching the apps with songs and fun little games. Some of those videos are on the Prime Video app and Clarkson has gotten pretty good at navigating it to see the things free with Prime like the videos by, "Maple Leaf Learning." My wife had said to me at certain points that we should make sure he can't buy anything. I said I was pretty sure there was a password in place or some kind of confirmation that had to be done he wouldn't be able to complete. I was wrong.

Today I was in the kitchen preparing some lunch while Clarkson sat on a chair in the nearby dining room when my phone lit-up and informed me I had spent $19.99 on Prime Video. Then I suddenly heard, "Fancy Nancy," coming from his Kindle. I wondered if maybe, just maybe, he wasn't on Youtube watching clips or Disney+ and in fact had bought something. I checked and sure enough, Clarkson had bought the first season/volume of, "Fancy Nancy." I felt quite stupid based on all the times I'd reassured Samii he couldn't possibly be able to buy anything.

Now, if you purchase a digital item by accident and want to cancel it you can--hurray! It just has to be within 48 hours of purchase and you cannot have watched any of it...and Clarkson had watched maybe 30 seconds to a minute of, "Fancy Nancy," meaning I lacked the option to cancel my purchase. Samii suggested I call Amazon and explain the issue, however, so I rang-up customer service. After getting through an automated menu I explained everything that happened to a customer service associate named Emily. She was very understanding and let me cancel the digital purchase as it was the first time such a thing had occurred and less than a minute had been watched. It was relatively painless, all things considered.

The moral of this story is to not be like me and instead to always make sure you have parental controls activated on any digital devices your children may use so as to prevent unwanted purchases. My story has a happy ending where I was able to cancel the purchase, but things working-out is never guaranteed. Always have safeguards in place.

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