It’s something that affects us as adults all the time, we’re flicking through our bank statements on our apps trying to figure out where it’s all gone, and we come across a random £1.58, or £0.79 online purchase, and, it probably was something we did but we just can’t quite remember, but as it’s only a small amount so we’ll just keep scrolling and not fuss too much about it right now. It’s easy to do. BUT, if you’re a child surfing the web with your goHenry card, spending your hard earned task money or saved up pocket money on whatever games or songs are out at the moment, £1.58 can be a pretty big chunk out of that.
So when your child comes to you in outrage, insisting that they haven’t purchased whatever it is they’re being charged for on this occasion, it might actually be worth double checking.
We’ve got some tips for avoiding some of the charges parents and children have come across whilst shopping online.
- iTunes - We see tonnes of goHenry users purchasing through iTunes. It’s an extremely popular way to spend money. But what everyone doesn’t always realise when they’re excitedly adding their goHenry card to their iTunes account is that they will do a test of the card to check it’s valid. This means that they will debit £1.58 from the card. They will put it back in the account, but it can take up to 10 days for this to happen. This is a long time to wait when you’re an avid pocket money spender, so if you call our member services team, they will be able to refund the money back into the goHenry account straight away.
- Steam Games - This is another very popular site a lot of our goHenry kids like to use. It’s a free subscription site, with lots of games (most of which you need to buy). It’s not always very obvious that there’s a charge, so just make sure that if your children are Steam Games users, they know to look out for prices of things they want to play.
- Donnaplay - From what we can see, this is a ‘free subscription’ site to stream movies or music etc. However, we have had lots and lots of goHenry members calling us concerned about charges that their child doesn’t remember making. They seem to be extremely difficult to stop - however we have delved deep and found an unsubscribe link; https://www.donnaplay.com/cancel This should stop any payments coming from the account. (If you still have concerns about this, give our Member Services team a call and we should be able to help further.)
- Amazon Prime - This is a brilliant service, it is fantastic value if you are a regular Amazon user. Saying that, it is also really easy to accidentally sign up for. You get a free trial and then before you know it, £79 is being taken out of your account as a yearly subscription. Again, if you’re a child using your goHenry account, this is probably going to be absolutely terrifying. (luckily the notifications you receive with our app will tell you of any successful or attempted purchases as they’re happening, so you’ve got a pretty good head start here). The good thing is, if you contact Amazon and explain that the card they’re debiting from is a child’s card and subscribing was an unknowing accident, they’re really good at refunding and cancelling any payments for you.
Other companies that have subscription fees that children don’t always know about are Spotify, X box, Playstation Network and Audible, so be aware when on these sites and apps as well.
We know that the idea of our children shopping and browsing online can be a little daunting, we definitely think that online shopping lessons are best learned now while you still have control as a parent over what can actually be spent.
Remember, if you prefer you can always stop them altogether from purchasing anything online with the switch of a button - just login to the app, go to the rules section and turn off online usage of the card. For more information, check out our FAQ page on parental controls