How to get a refund from Fortnite if your kid racks up a $800 bill


The video game Fortnite can be an expensive hobby, especially when you’re not the one expected to pay the bill.

Lennon Baxter, a 12-year-old living in Alloa, Scotland, recently spent 600 pounds ($795) playing Fortnite.

His father, Neilson Baxter, was not happy when he found out. Now, thousands of people have watched the angry dad confront his son on video.

“I was absolutely shocked,” his father, Neilson, told The Scottish Sun. “When I went to look at the bill I couldn’t believe what I saw.”

The story has a happy ending, according to The Scottish Sun: After speaking with the gaming company, the Baxters were able to get their money back. Epic Games, the company that makes (Fortnite, did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment.)

The family is not alone. Some players say they’ve spent $500 or more playing the popular game. Fortnite made $233 million in the month of March alone.

Overzealous players — or their parents — may be able to get their money back. Epic Games has an online page for requesting refunds.

Parents can help prevent their children from overspending by setting up accounts with parental controls. Microsoft’s MSFT, -0.72%   Xbox has a privacy setting for children, and so does Sony’s SNE, -0.69%   PlayStation, which allows parents to set spending limits. They can also prevent in-app purchases on Apple AAPL, -0.56%  devices, such as iPhones.

Companies that make games like Fortnite make it as easy as possible for players to spend money. Fortnite, a multiplayer third-person shooter game, is free to play. But once players start, they have opportunities to spend money while they’re in the middle of a game on new challenges and on aesthetic upgrades to their avatars, like new outfits.

That business strategy may sound familiar if you’ve ever gambled at a casino, Tim Barrett, a consultant at the research firm Euromonitor International, told MarketWatch last month. “Casino chips aren’t real money, and neither are gold coins on my videogame,” he said.