Child books $2300 worth of flights on parents’ credit card without them realising

8 years boy shopping online

A couple from New Zealand has been left mortified after learning their 13-year-old son had booked $2300 worth of Qantas flights from Adelaide to Rio de Janeiro on their credit card.

“We think what’s happened is he’s seen a Webjet ad on TV while my wife was making tea in the kitchen,” the boy’s father, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Stuff“He’s then gone to their website and gone through the whole process.”

J Jonah Jameson laughing gif

After receiving a confirmation email courtesy of online-travel booking site Webjet for return flights from Adelaide to Rio de Janeiro, the man and his wife thought it must have been a scam.

“He has always been interested in travel and often talks about travelling,” he said.

“When we discovered it was real my heart started to flutter and I ended up on the phone to Qantas and Webjet trying to sort it out all weekend.”

But wait, there’s more.

Um Oh Ok

The boy’s parents were given a double-fright when they learned the transactions had come from an old phone given to the boy, six months ago.

The father said when his cellphone broke he gave it to his son, as it could still be used for wifi and apps; however, he never thought to restore the factory settings. This meant that when the boy came to make a payment, the fields requiring credit card details were already filled out.

All the boy had to do to finalise the payment was enter the three-digit verification that his father says must have been “picked up” at some stage while watching his parents make bookings.

“The credit card company say the onus is on us to be safer with our details,” the father said. “They couldn’t reverse the transaction because they say it wasn’t fraudulent use.”

The man cancelled the booking but was told he’d still need to pay cancellation fees.

“I explained that [my son] was a minor and on the autism spectrum, but there was not much response to that,” he said.

Last week, a Qantas spokesperson told Stuff that the fees had been reviewed and the family would receive a full refund.

“We’ve taken another look at the case and it is a genuine mistake, so we’ll be making sure the fares are refunded without any cancellation fee being applied,” the spokesperson said.

The parents were told they could face a 12-week wait before their money is returned, but the father said he was just glad not to be out of pocket and would make sure he cleared his old phones in future.

“We’ve cancelled our credit cards too, just to be on the safe side. It definitely could be a good lesson for others,” he said.

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