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One-click purchases, authentication and … trust.

One-click purchases, authentication and … trust.

I’m the proud new owner of the Castle Crashers Xbox game! Not that I intended to be.

My American Express notification just let me know that I bought this. Uh, yay?

My American Express notification just let me know that I bought this. Uh, yay?

At first I thought it was a little much, but now I appreciate it: my American Express card purchases show up instantaneously on my iPhone. I mean, I know that I just paid $42.37 at the gas station, why does it need to remind me? Yeah, well, when the bill is $14.99 from Xbox Live for Castle Crashers, then yes, I do want to know–and I want to know immediately.

How careful do you have to be having a credit card linked to a gaming system? Very.

There are several things at play here:

  1. Trusting your kids. Yeah, that’s a bigger topic … larger than a point on a numbered list.
  2. Automatic or built-in payment options. They’re great … when it’s you.
  3. Passwords, codes, authentication, etc. At least ask for something: a password, a PIN, name of neighbor’s dog (well, my kids would figure out that one).

Doveryai, no proveryai: trust, but verify.

The worst part of all of this is the bullet point #1: trust. My son (11) and I talked about this game and we decided not to buy it. I told him (a softer version) of what I thought of the game: it’s just another fighting, shooting, stupid game. Yeah, well, they like those. Yeah, well, uh, no.

We decided on NBA 2k instead. Basketball is fun, we can play with 4 players, and wow, it’s pretty impressive. My son said it was “$25 or $30.” Well, I asked, is it 25 or 30? He mumbled something. Within seconds, I got a $59.99 ding on my phone. This is actually a much bigger topic that I should cover in another post, but the point here is that we decided to only play the demo of Castle Crashers and we’d pay for NBA. Great, done. The NBA game is fun and they’ve been playing quite ┬ábit. Great.

Then the $14.99. I haven’t brought it up with him yet, but I’m curious as to how he explains himself.

  1. I thought it was just the demo.
  2. No, I downloaded only the demo.
  3. I thought we said we could get it.
  4. Oh, maybe I accidentally got the full version.

Passwords, restrictions, or at least some point in the transaction where they need me. Bummer that it turns out this way. For now, just now actually, I simply removed my credit card from the Xbox. No more accidents, no more surprises. Well, the only surprise is no more games.

Stay tuned. In the meantime, we’re going to put a digital padlock on Castle Crashers.

About The Author


I don't like to call them excuses. They're priorities. With a handful of exceptions, we usually have a choice in our actions. They just need to be prioritized.

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Interview on the “Blogger to Author” podcast. “Now I’ve lost all fear of any critique and now I just do it.”


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The Pill

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