We are all-too-familiar with the woes of having a child who can’t keep their hands off your phone. Sometimes it’s a blessing when you need to distract them (thanks, YouTube!), sometimes it’s a pain in the a** when they decide to take 100 photos of the floor — but for one dad, it was a downright nightmare when his kid took to Grubhub.
Keith Stonehouse was enjoying a perfectly normal Saturday night in with his 6-year-old son Mason who politely asked, “Dad, can I use your phone?’” Stonehouse told TODAY. He usually plays on an educational app, so Stonehouse gave Mason 30 minutes of screentime.
After a suprisingly simple bedtime routine with the little one, Stonehouse got a knock at the door. He thought it might be items for his wife’s cake-making business, but it was actually a Grubhub driver dropping off some food he supposedly ordered. Which was weird because Stonehouse had not been on the app.
Even weirder, the knocks and deliveries kept coming. Unfortunately for Stonehouse’s wallet, this was no glitch in the system. While he was relaxing, Mason had ordered nearly $1,000 worth of food and gave 25% tips. At least he didn’t skimp on that! We know some adults who aren’t that generous.
Though Mason had a hankering for pizza, he didn’t stop there. Sandwiches, shawarma, ice cream, chili fries, grape leaves, jumbo shrimp, chicken pita wraps, and more all ended up on Stonehouse’s doorstep. At that point, the bewildered father grabbed his phone and saw the endless order notifications … and a fraud alert from his bank.
Stonehouse went to discipline his son who looked at him with only his eyes above his blanket. Mason, who had only one thing on his mind, soon made his dad laugh about the beyond-ridiculous situation.
“Mason stops me mid-sentence and puts his hand out and says, ‘Dad, stop. When are the pepperoni pizzas coming?’”
Since hearing about the fiasco, Grubhub has offered the family $1,000 worth of Grubhub gift cards. Another family may not have the same luck, and Mason is far from the first tech-savvy little one to do this (though he may be the most ambitious). In 2020, a 3-year-old ordered $75 worth of McDonald’s, and in 2022, another toddler ordered $91 worth of food from the same eatery.
So what can you do to make sure your tyke doesn’t do the same?
1. Change your passwords.
If your child is old enough to know your phone password (there may have been a time your hands were full or you were driving and needed them to unlock it), it’s time to change it, and keep it to yourself.
2. Remove saved cards.
We know it’s a pain to put in your information each time, but if your child can’t pay for the food, they can’t run up a $1,000 tab. The same goes for Amazon and other shopping apps.
3. Change your app store settings.
Food delivery apps aren’t the only place kids can make purchases. Change your app store settings so a password is required for in-app purchases like upgrades or extra points. If you haven’t already, go ahead and change this password too.
4. Don’t forget other devices.
Phones aren’t the only place kids (and your bank account) can run into trouble. Take the same steps on tablets and computers.
5. Supervise screentime.
We know you can’t have eyes on them all the time, but if you can peek over their shoulder every now and then, you can avoid major bills.
6. Get takeout every once in a while.
If you can, ordering pizza or Mickey-D’s occasionally will (hopefully) stop your kids from going rogue when they get a craving.
Before you go, check out these wild stories about Reddit’s most horrific mother-in-laws.
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