Have you ever borrowed your parents credit card? Has money been flowing out faster than you expected? Here’s the story of one boy!
One ten year-old Swedish boy has made the headlines in a scandal involving taking a bit too much money without his parents’ knowledge. The boy managed to take out a whopping 1,800 Swedish Krona (equivalent to 170 pounds) without his parents’ knowledge. The family was first waffled over the purchase and believed it to be a mistake. However, after careful confrontation they realized it was the son’s spending in the popular virtual reality game.
The purchases the ten year old made were said to be via the text messaging system that Habbo uses. However, his parents were unaware of the minimum sign up age, which for Habbo Sweden (the hotel in question) was set to 11 years old. The family, when contacted, knew that their young son was using free services off the hotel, however, were unaware he was using their money to buy furniture in a quantity of over 1,000 pieces.
When contacted, Habbo Sweden staff member, Isabella Sobieski stated that the ‘Data Protection Act’ makes it difficult to know the exact age of the member who is signing up and that she assumes that there is a dialogue between both parents and children.
However, Habbo and its parent company Sulake, could be facing trouble as there has been a lawsuit filed against them by the company ‘KO Market’ stating that as many as 21 such complaints had been submitted to the Consumer Council last year. The statements denote that Habbo itself is going against the law by following illegal practices by allowing young children into the game without the necessary parental concession beforehand. KO Market states that the terms and conditions are worded in such a way that even adults find it difficult to grasp.
Sulake itself paints a very different picture, stating that it operates within numerous EU countries, including the UK without any problems. The company does not view itself of committing any illegal acts, especially under the EU framework. It also stated that the company complies within all the laws. However, one issue that seems to be troublesome is that players can buy items, particularly from Facebook without this crucial parental consent. KO Market itself said that it was likely to continue its court battle on this controversial issue within the first half of this year.
Remember to tell us your views, is it too easy to swerve around Habbo’s age limit and are restrictions not tough enough? Click read more to let us know!
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