An 11 year-old boy has spent 1082.52 of his mother's money on Xbox Live. Who's to blame? Obviously Microsoft.

"It is ridiculous to allow someone of his age to make payments without any checks being done," out of pocket mother Dawn Matthews told the Daily Mail.

"When he is in gaming mode he can't be thinking about the money. You can't put all that responsibility on a young boy.

"It is impossible to monitor everything your children do. These companies should take some responsibility. They take advantage of vulnerable people."

Dawn Matthews presumably entered her credit card details to buy a Gold Xbox Live membership for her son, Brendan Matthews. "I thought it was just for his membership to play online with his friends," she said, evidently unaware her details would be saved for convenient future reuse.

"When I showed him [the bill] he burst into tears," Dawn Matthews recalled. "He unplugged the Xbox and said he didn't want it any more.

"I haven't punished him because he feels bad enough and I know he won't do it again."

Brendan Matthews would have had to select and confirm the credit card each time he bought a wad of Microsoft Points. His spending spree of 1082.52 amounts to 126,364 Microsoft Points. Are they sure he didn't know what he was doing?

Microsoft, in retort, highlighted the Xbox 360 parental controls. By default, a spokesperson explained, online activity for a child's Live account is turned off.

"A thousand pounds isn't that much to people like Bill Gates," concluded Dawn Matthews, "but for a single mum it is a lot of money that I don't have."

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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