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Public urged to observe caution when making purchases online: CPC

The Consumer Protection Committee (CPC) yesterday urged the public to be careful when making online purchases, referring to a case in which a 3-year-old made in-app purchases of up to NT$20,000 without his parents' consent.

Upon discovery, the parents of the child filed a complaint with the company with which the purchases were made, asking for a refund. According to local parents, the parents bought credits for a game called Line Ranger for their 3-year-old son. Unbeknown to them, their credit card information was stored in the tablet upon transaction. Afterward, the child made five consecutive purchases without their knowledge, racking up a credit card bill of approximately NT$20,000.

 The CPC said that the case is currently being handled by consumer protection officials with the New Taipei City Government and the Taoyuan County Government. The company in question only submitted a written statement in response to the complaint during the first round of scheduled meetings, and was absent during the second round as well.

 The CPC explained that the company is not legally bound to attend the meetings, but that officials will continue to monitor the case.

 The committee also explained that although there are differences in online purchases and purchases made at brick-and-mortar stores, people are required to abide by the same regulations.

 Article 13 of the Civil Code stipulates that minors under the age of 7 are incapable of making “juridical acts,” while Article 76 further stipulates that a person who does not have the capacity to make juridical acts should be represented by his or her guardian for “making or receiving an expression of intent.” Therefore, the parents in the aforementioned case will likely be required to produce evidence showing that their child had made the NT$20,000 purchase without their consent and knowledge.

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