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I have to sell my own clothes to pay a whopping Apple game bill after my son splurged cash without me knowing

A MUM was forced to sell her own clothes to pay a whopping Apple game bill after her son splurged cash without her knowing.

Emma Hogg, 41, says her 12-year-old son racked up £250 on a kids’ online game, and Apple initially refused to give her a refund.

Emma Hogg says her son racked up a whopping £250 Apple game bill
The mum-of-three says she was forced to sell her clothes to pay off the debt

The single mum said she allowed Kobe to splash out on Roblox coins for his Xbox game, but claims the “sly” boy created a secret Apple ID and connected it to the family’s billing plan.

Emma said she had no idea until she received the eye-watering bill earlier this month, which said she owed £537.56 – and £249 was on additional charges.

She contacted Apple, and tech giant agreed it would give her £15 back for just three of the 35 purchases.

The mum-of-three tried to explain that money was budgeted to go towards food and energy bills, amid the cost-of-living crisis, and hoped they would sympathise coming up to Christmas.

When she had no luck, Emma took to selling her clothes to pay off the bill.

The Oxfordshire mum said: “This is a multi-billion-pound company. £250 is nothing to them, it would make such a difference [to us].

“£250 is food over Christmas and making sure I can put my heating on.

“It’s right before Christmas, everything’s going up. Food’s gone up, electricity’s gone up and they’ve basically just said ‘no’. They’ve just ignored it.”

The mum said she felt “backed into a corner” – she had to pay the bill, or give her sons a special Christmas.

That was when the fitness instructor decide she’d have to part with some of her beloved work clothes – leggings.

Emma said: “This is what I have to do.

“I’ve got a massive obsession with leggings and I have over 60 pairs. I’ve got four of the IKEA drawers full of leggings.

“I had to look through my leggings and see which ones I didn’t reach for anymore.

“I told Kobe how I felt and he saw I was upset when I was folding up all my leggings and going through them.

“He walked in and I got really upset. I said ‘this is the consequence of your actions’. He’s 12 – he can’t help me pay for this bill.”

The mum ended up selling 10 pairs online – as well as some of her Yankee Candle collection she loves – to settle the sum.


However, since being contacted by media, Apple agreed to give her the full £250 refund.

Emma currently pays for three phones, an Apple watch and an iPad on her phone’s multi-device plan – with Kobe owning one of the mobiles.

It was only last week that she realised the extra fees were the schoolboy on his phone – spending money without permission.

And it wasn’t the first time it had happened.

She said: “In September my phone bill was £400. I looked through my bank statements and I couldn’t work out why it was so high but I didn’t think anything of it.

“I’ve gone to check again to budget for this month to see what I’ve got left for Christmas and it’s come up with £537. I knew something was definitely wrong.”

Emma said that was when she went back and looked through her 12-year-old’s contract.

She continued: “It said Kobe had £249 worth of additional charges.

“On my Apple ID, I have a function where stuff can be bought via the phone or via an Xbox or PlayStation. It can be added onto the phone bill.

“I’ve got a restriction on that and normally Kobe shouts down and says ‘Mum, can I have £4.99 for X’ or whatever. You get a text message which asks ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”


The mum continued: “What the clever bugger has done is created his own Apple ID and he’s linked it to the phone bill.

“I said to him ‘I don’t know whether to be really angry with you right now or slightly impressed by how sly you’ve been’. I thought he’s actually very clever.”

Emma said her boy had been “very quiet and very sheepish” and asking if he could help her around the house.

She added: “He’s been taking the dog out for a walk and picking up dog poo in the garden.

“He knows he’s done wrong but there’s not really much he can do about it, he’s only 12.”

The mum claims Apple originally said they would refund her £15, which would still leave her £234 out of pocket.

However, the tech giant has now agreed to give the mum the refund in full.

Apple has instructions on its website on how to prevent iTunes and App Store purchases.

It tells parents to go into content and privacy restrictions in settings, tap iTunes and App Store purchases, and select don’t allow.

The mum was forced to sell her beloved leggings on Facebook Marketplace

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