A $1,400 credit card charge may reflect an average day of shopping for Kim Kardashian, but for one British mom, it was a surprising invasion of her finances.
In case you're unfamiliar, FarmVille is a virtual game where players compete against one another to build virtual farms. (The entertainment value is lost on us, too.)
The mom's financial woes could be solved if Zynga, the company that owns FarmVille, would just issue a refund. But they refuse, since the son lives in his mother's home, thereby disqualifying the incident from being theft.
Before you weigh in on whether or not this mom deserves to be reimbursed, here's some background info on the company Zynga.
The gaming company has a reputation for being devious. At one point, it earned a third of its revenue from faux "commercial offers" (such as cell-phone subscriptions masquerading as quizzes and "free" products that were anything but). And CEO Mark Pincus even admitted in an online video that he "did every horrible thing in the book just to get revenues right away." But most awful? Zynga has even been accused of tricking users into thinking that they've donated money to Haiti while pocketing the donations themselves.
Keep in mind that the British mom does have another option: She can get refunded by her bank, HSBC, if she files a police report against her son -- which she refuses to do.
Although this mom harbors no bitterness toward Facebook, Zynga or HSBC and only blames her son for the ordeal, she does say, "I do think they need to shoulder some responsibility in this business and put systems in place to stop this happening again. The fact that he was using a card in a different name should bring up some sort of security, and the online secure-payment filter seems to be bypassed for Facebook payments."
What would you do if you were in this mom's shoes?