Home Gaming World Bank director seeks legal action after son’s $4500 Xbox Live bill

World Bank director seeks legal action after son’s $4500 Xbox Live bill

2 min read


The ease with which we are able to link credit cards to online accounts is a proper headache for parents not keeping a close enough eye on their children. It’s not uncommon for massive bills to be racked up by ignorant (or deviously sly) children, leaving the parents to foot the bill. It’s so common in fact that it’s even happened to a Director of the World Bank – although he’s looking to give Microsoft grief for it.

Communications Director for the World Bank, Jeremy Hillman, has taken umbrage with Microsoft over a $4500 bill his son managed to accumulate over Xbox Live. His son spent an enormous amount of money purchasing virtual players for his copy of FIFA 15, initially blaming a billing error for the duplicate charges (remember what I said about sly children?). That little fib dissolved when numerous $109 billings where found on his father’s card, which had been linked to the Xbox Live account in question.

Hillman accepts his responsibility as a parent to monitor his child’s online activity, and doesn’t try to duck and dive out of fire. He does, however, blame Microsoft for not implementing systems that automatically ask for additional authentication in cases of high expenditure. In fact, Hillman accuses Microsoft of leaving these steps out intentionally for their own profit gain.

With all the brilliance of your engineers and sophisticated systems to protect data how hard could it be to put a realistic ceiling on what can be spent on in-app purchases before the credit card details and security code need to be re-entered? Most apple –iTunes purchases need a password to be re-entered for each new purchase.

How many users legitimately spend thousands of dollars on in-app purchases and just how much usage would it actually take for you to flag this as unusual behavior and require confirmation that the purchase is legitimate? Banks and credit card companies regularly do this?—?there can’t be many reasons you don’t.

Hillman is correct – a lot of other similar services make it harder for these types of accidents to happen. Having a card linked to your Xbox Live account makes purchases ridiculously easy, but there are systems in place to notify account holders oF their purchases. It’s not Microsoft’s fault in this case that the account was not set to send them to the account holder.

Hillman is so infuriated by this, that he’s vowed support to a lawyer willing to open a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft. That’s a little extreme for what essentially is his own mistake. It probably won’t ever reach that stage, but there’s a distinct irony in a World Bank director looking to legal action after being duped by his much younger son. Parenting lessons 101.

Last Updated: March 17, 2015


  1. Last I checked as a parent leaving a kid with an open credit limit is entirely his fault. He wants to blame Microsoft for not having a ceiling? How about just setting a limit on your own card?


    • Jonah Cash

      March 18, 2015 at 07:16

      Director of the world bank…. His limit is probably way more than $4500…


    • Hammersteyn

      March 18, 2015 at 08:04

      The same kind will leave a child next to a open gun cabinet and try to sue Smith & Wesson when the dog is accidentally shot.


      • DudePerfect

        March 18, 2015 at 12:10

        ^ I dont think you understand the bankers argument.


        • Hammersteyn

          March 18, 2015 at 12:15

          No I do, was just referring to another example of “parenting”


          • Johnathan_Cache

            March 21, 2015 at 06:07

            You are referring to tragic accidents, has nothing to do with the article.

          • Hammersteyn

            March 21, 2015 at 09:23

            It’s pretty tragic for the dad. losing $4500

          • TheAnsible

            March 23, 2015 at 20:08

            Director of World Bank? I’m pretty sure that is a drop in the bucket for him.

  2. Jonah Cash

    March 17, 2015 at 22:24

    So this kid is probably one of the reasons I can’t win a match in FUT division 1!!?? 90% of the teams in division 1 are 85-87 teams and the players in those teams can’t be defended against!! So yeah I will just make sure not to get promoted out of division 2 again!!


    • Hammersteyn

      March 18, 2015 at 08:03

      Yes, that’s exactly why you never win 😛


      • Jonah Cash

        March 18, 2015 at 13:21

        Hey I win!! How do you think I got my ass to division 1??? But it is just a joke in there, last game in there before I got relegated last night had Messi and Neymar score after being tackled at least 3 times each!! So yeah, I will self sabotage my team to stay in division 2!!


        • Hammersteyn

          March 18, 2015 at 13:28



  3. Piranha

    March 17, 2015 at 22:27

    what in the world did it cost for the world bank director to draft this… probably more than the $4500!!!!!!!!! http://bit.ly/1ATBP5q


  4. Metal Rabbit

    March 17, 2015 at 23:23

    I say this all the time. Biggest danger to gaming? Irresponsible parents and spoiled kids.
    Don’t blame Microsoft for trying to squeeze all the profit it can… that’s what a business is supposed to do.


    • Jonah Cash

      March 18, 2015 at 07:15

      Accept for Eskom… Eskom wants you not to use as much electricity as you want or can!! Their business model kind of explains why they are in the shit as much as they are!! So I agree, MS is a business and they will take every cent they can and should!!


      • Frans J Smit

        March 18, 2015 at 15:48

        LOL but they still somehow bill us for the power we did not use


        • Jonah Cash

          March 18, 2015 at 16:25

          We pay way more than what we should, we pay for all the idiots who have illegal connections as well!! And they cut some off in Tembisa and they then burnt down their clinic and random cars… Next week they are all ill and don’t have a free clinic, then they will go and burn down the police station, then they will have a crime wave… well then they are just f#cked!!


          • Thepaxster

            March 18, 2015 at 21:18

            “Some people just want to watch the world burn…”

    • Thepaxster

      March 18, 2015 at 21:17

      Biggest danger in gaming is turning what was at one point a pay per game into a pay per service. I hate this new thing that companies are trying to do and turn everything into a monthly service or additional fee. I already have to pay R600 to R800 a game, and now I must pay for dlc also!!! Shove it. But hey since my son was born, the only time I get for gaming is during his afternoon nap on Saturday, and then it is me, teemo, and my iMac for around 40 minutes. So maybe by the time I can play games again the industry will have changed…again


  5. Blood Emperor Trevor

    March 18, 2015 at 07:39

    Suing other people for your own problem. Good one.


  6. Admiral Chief

    March 18, 2015 at 07:55

    Pleks kry die stoutgat liegbek ‘n mase pak slae!


    • Hammersteyn

      March 18, 2015 at 08:02

      That’s child abuse, wont someone think of the children


      • Admiral Chief

        March 18, 2015 at 09:34

        *grabs the belt


  7. Hammersteyn

    March 18, 2015 at 08:01

    Typical new millennium parenting. Don’t blame the child, blame everyone else.


  8. Ranting Raptor

    March 18, 2015 at 08:08

    Wait, so let me get this straight….

    He linked his credit card to the XboxLive account…. Then gave his son access to said live acccount? Then he wants to sue Microsoft? Bit ridiculous. This guy needs to understand it’s his own fault for allowing his kid open access to a credit card linked online system.

    That being said this guy still has a valid point and I think it’s good he’s hitting MS with a lawsuit and here’s why:

    How often do these services get hacked? What’s to stop any criminal hacking credentials, logging in to someone’s account and HEY PRESTO! Open credit card use as long as the card is linked to the account.

    No security checks in between. No one time pins required, not a single extra additional security step to ensure there is no illegitimate use of the card.

    So while this guy has no grounds for recuperating this cash, I think he can at least be a reason for Microsoft and Sony to reconsider their stance on linking credit cards and whether or not they need at least some additional steps towards credit card spend.


    • Pariah

      March 18, 2015 at 10:13



      • Ranting Raptor

        March 18, 2015 at 13:41



  9. Sgt. M

    March 18, 2015 at 08:53

    Crying much……..


  10. SlagywaG

    March 18, 2015 at 10:11

    Why is everyone giving him grief over this… As far as I see it this is a fantastic idea… When you add your card, set a limit on the card within XBox… Simple as.
    In-App Purchases are a plague to gaming, let him fight his fight


    • 20twelve

      March 18, 2015 at 11:04



  11. vukko

    March 18, 2015 at 18:17

    More like: the irony of a director of a corrupt institution whining about being ripped off. I wonder what he thinks he does to people every day. Was his fat-cat bonus not enough last year? Boohoo shuddup.


  12. stkiswr

    March 19, 2015 at 04:26

    Its clearly his father’s fault. My son bought a game on my one. I immediately called ms and they fortunately helped .e out for that one time. Xboxone let’s you set a pass code.
    His old son knew what he was doing. Time for him to work it off and his dad to get educated.


  13. The Logical Prepper

    March 21, 2015 at 01:31

    I think it is odd that people talk about “gaming” as though it is a legitimate life skill or hobby. “I’m a gamer!” ,they shout, as though they actually play some sort of sport. Drink too much alcohol and one is considered diseased and labeled an alcoholic. Sitting in front of a screen day and night, allowing games to become a consuming passion, and referring to one’s game character as “me” or “I” makes an alcoholic look healthy in my book. Spending every waking hour in the fantasy land of video games indicates one is a social cripple that is unable to live with reality. Hiding in the games is as bad as hiding in the bottle or the drug.


  14. Mikhail Sicala

    March 22, 2015 at 20:08

    Blame Microsoft for your own fault. That’s ridiculous.


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