Date
19 January 2017
Youngsters like to play mobile games, but many don't realize there are hidden charges in many of those games. Photo: Bloomberg
Youngsters like to play mobile games, but many don't realize there are hidden charges in many of those games. Photo: Bloomberg

Consumer Council swamped by complaints about mobile game charges

The Consumer Council said it has received 72 complaints relating to mobile games in the first eight months of this year, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

The disputes involved amounts totalling HK$730,000, Sing Tao Daily said.

A mobile game player was understood to have forked out over HK$8,000 in in-app purchases in a bid to obtain a rare character.

However, the player failed to obtain his target even after more than 300 attempts.

In another case, a player could not log in to a maze game after spending nearly HK$4,000 to purchase bonus points.

There were also complaints that tokens were not issued after players purchased them for over HK$100.

In another complaint, a mother surnamed Wong said she was shocked to receive a credit card bill for HK$13,500 after his nine-year-old son made purchases related to a game app without realizing they were not free, the Apple Daily reported.

Wong questioned why the app never asked for a password in approving 50 purchases and suspected that her credit card details had been retained by the app developer when her son registered for the game.

The game developer has refused to process a refund, noting that the transactions were bound by terms and conditions.

The Consumer Council warned that there are many hidden areas within the so-called free games for which a player must pay.

However, consumers could easily miss the terms and conditions of the games.

The council warned consumers that they should not be obsessed with these virtual games which could lead to overspending.

– Contact us at [email protected]

EL/AC/CG

EJI Weekly Newsletter