Weekend Archives: The High Cost of Bluto

This one was first published on January 24, 2011. and the second post I published.
I’m coming up on the one year anniversary of the blog and will be doing a giveaway soon for those people who will “like” the FB page.  
Ok, I admit it. Sometimes, I just want a little me time. A moment to do something frivolous and meaningful only to me. Usually, this involves an escape inside my iPhone. I’ll read tweets. I’ll browse the real estate listings in Maui and dream, or I’ll lay my head on the pillow for just a minute. Just one little soft, fluffy minute…

“Mommy, who’s this?”, my son asks just as I start to nod off.  He points to a blue cartoon dinosaur on a video game app. “That’s a blue dinosaur,” I respond. “What does this say?” he asks, pointing at words he can read. (My son is hyperlexic- age 4 and he can read better than my husband. He can also spell better than my husband. If I spell a word aloud, my son knows it.) “You know what it says,” I respond. “Bluto”, he will say. “Very good reading,” I praise in encouragement. “Mommy, do you want Bluto?” he will ask in his darling sing-song way. That’s his way of saying, “Mommy, I want Bluto,” but I always get it as a question to me. “No, I don’t want Bluto,” I will answer. Then, I get the big, baby eyes and the slightly pouty lip that only he can pull off.

“Do you want Bluto?” I ask. “Yes,” he answers confidently. “Say ‘I want Bluto’”. He repeats it. I give in. After all, Bluto is only 99 cents. What’s the harm? It was just after Christmas. I was feeling generous. What a nice mommy I am!

We buy it. He goes off to play. I lay my head down on the pillow again, just briefly. He is exceptionally quiet and well behaved. Hmmm.

The next day, I have to go grocery shopping. I check my bank balance before leaving.  $80 electronic debit to iTunes?! There must be some mistake!! I call the bank. “Sorry, ma’am, you will have to take it up with iTunes. Once it’s in the system, it’s a dispute between you and them.”

I call.  iTunes does not “talk” to you about billing questions. You have to email them and they get back to you. The bill had not actually processed so I had no email detail of what was purchased. Was it fraud? Did someone have my account number?

No need to panic! Once entered, an iTunes password stays active for 15 minutes. Anything that I,or anyone else with access, wants to buy, after the initial purchase, conveniently, does not require an additional password entry. My son discovered this. Apparently, after I purchased Bluto and fell off into my sleepy stupor again, he bought himself 120,000 mega points (about $80) so Bluto could exist in multiple, virtual worlds with different scenery such as Thunder Clouds, City of Mist, Galactic Core, and Burning Sands. And, of course, Bluto needed friends. Chipper the Chipmunk, Koko the Koala. You get the picture.

The iTunes bill arrived a few days after my initial heart attack, and is about a foot long.  Each purchase of 1500 mega points is 99 cents. He just exercised the hell out of his little finger hitting that “buy now” button over 70 times in less than 15 minutes.

The nice folks at iTunes refunded my money, just this one time.

The day after it was all resolved, my blood pressure had normalized, and my son approached me with a nice, shiny red car on his “free” car racing game. “Do you want the red car?” he asked. “Nice try, kid,” I respond. My giving mood is over.

About solodialogue

I'm a lawyer and the mom of a 6 year old boy with autism. I work part time and spend the rest driving here and there and everywhere for my son's various therapies. Instead of trying cases, I now play Pac-man and watch SpongeBob. I wear old sweaters and jeans and always, always flat shoes to run after my son. Yeah, it's different but I wouldn't change it for anything. The love of my child is the most powerful, beautiful and rewarding aspect of my life.
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8 Responses to Weekend Archives: The High Cost of Bluto

  1. Tam says:

    I am really enjoying this. You have a lot to say. Life is a series of ups and downs regardless of our circumstances. You have a great outlook and seem to approach things in a very realistic, pragmatic as well as comedic way. You’re doing fine…

  2. Meg says:

    This is such a funny story…all parents can relate. I love all the tiny genius moments of your son and your recognition of them, and the little devil can shop too!! Great to hear you got your money back. Thanks for sharing.

    • solodialogue says:

      Meg, I love your description of “tiny genius moments” because I feel like my son has them every day. We have our setbacks but like any kid, there is a lot of sophistication hidden that we only get to see in moments like these. Thanks for reading. More, tomorrow.

  3. Teresa says:

    Don’t worry; they’ll refund you again, if necessary. I have experience, at least with Amazon. 🙂 You are hitting the Mommy circuit HARD. Most people don’t get here until their children are 16. You are such an overachiever. Missed you @ the gig this week. 🙂

    • solodialogue says:

      I wanted to send you a DM through FB but couldn’t because you are a “page” – I had to take my mom to the hospital this morning. She is very ill. Spent the day in the ER. This is not our first time – she was hospitalized for about a month in March last year. She was admitted & undergoing tests but I’m the only child and my dad is a wreck so I could not be there today. I’m working hard though! This is what sent my weight skyrocketing last year – and I will NOT let it happen again. Missed you!! ❤

  4. ElizOF says:

    “Once entered, an iTunes password stays active for 15 minutes”!!!! WoW! Now that is a massive security hole in their system. And over 70 times in 15 minute is a record…. Tootles is amazing!

  5. Teresa says:

    I laughed with this experience as we went through something similar last fall with the iPad. I loaded “trial” comics for Matthew and didn’t realize that he could easily go back and buy the full version. Yikes! How quickly those 2.99 books add up!

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