Microsoft Charges 50 Cents for Child Account Verification to Comply with COPPA
One user named pumkinut on the ArsTechnica forums came across an interesting issue when trying to create Xbox accounts for his 3 young boys on their new Xbox One. After registering himself, he came across a surprising policy whereby Microsoft charges 50 cents verification fees per child account (limited additions to 2 per day), when tying to the parent account. pumkinit was not all too happy about this policy, and vented a good bit on the forums. Another minor setback that he came across was that one can only create and link 2 child accounts (with the 50 cent charge on each) on twice per day. So for his third son, he would have to wait until the next day to create a child account.
“Now, on the XBox 360, this is a pretty easy and straightforward process. Create new account, give it a name, pretty much done. Now, I have to create online accounts for them, none of them has an email address, tie it to my hotmail account, PAY 50 ***ING CENTS PER ACCOUNT AS VERIFICATION?!?!….and be limited to creating accounts for two of my boys today and wait until tomorrow for the third because you can only attach two accounts per day to the parent account. REALLY?!?! 1995 called, it wants its ****ty restrictions back.” – pumkinit
This unusual policy is elaborated in more detail here. This policy was created to be in compliance with COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), for any online account creations for children younger than 13 years of age. COPPA requires a small amount to be charged to a credit card (any small amount). Microsoft have themselves set this amount to 50 cents per child account. All fees received are donated to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Microsoft and Family Safety comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) regarding online account creation for children under the age of 13. To verify that an adult is giving a child permission to create a new Microsoft account, COPPA requires that a small amount be charged to the adult’s credit card. We charge 50 cents for this verification. These charges aren’t refundable.” – Microsoft
This policy is not something that we would consider bad (after all, the proceeds are being given to a worthy charitable organization), but it is quite the surprise when one has to register one’s children (younger than 13 years old) with the main parent account.