Boy, 6, orders nearly $1,000 worth of food from dad’s phone

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:31 AM EST
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MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (WDIV) - A Michigan couple learned the hard way to make sure they lock shopping apps on their mobile devices before they let their son use them.

Keith and Kristyn Stonehouse say their 6-year-old son, Mason, spent some time playing on his dad’s phone Saturday night before he went to bed. After Mason’s bedtime, GrubHub delivery drivers began dropping off orders.

His parents had no idea what was happening.

“Time after time again, and it’s piles and bags of food. ‘What is going on?’ They’re dropping them off at the door, so, I’m not communicating with the drivers,” Keith Stonehouse said.

He finally managed to stop one of the GrubHub drivers.

“I said, ‘What is going on? Why are you bringing me food?’ He said, ‘I don’t know you. You ordered from the shawarma place,’” the father said.

That’s when it finally clicked: Mason must have done it. As it turned out, the 6-year-old spent nearly $1,000 on food from GrubHub without telling his parents. There were multiple orders from several different restaurants.

“I think I had left the app open, and he saw that when he was playing with my phone and just started going to town. He ordered multiple orders: chili cheese fries, the chicken pita wraps, ice cream, pizza,” Keith Stonehouse said.

Thankfully, the Stonehouses’ bank stopped some of the charges.

“Then, I get an alert on my phone. My card has been declined for fraud from a pizza place for $439,” Keith Stonehouse said.

Mason’s father says he had to take some deep breaths before finally talking to his son about the incident. His parents had to try to find a way to explain to him that this food costs money.

“We grabbed his piggy bank and showed him all this money that comes out from the piggy bank. One by one, that was this. That was this bag of food. That was this, and you could see his face, you know,” Keith Stonehouse said.

“I think it sunk in when we were actually taking his money to try to pay back some of it, just as a lesson. I know what this money in your piggy bank means to you. So, this is only a fraction of what you spent,” Kristyn Stonehouse said.

Even though Mason might understand now, it’s going to take some time for him to get his phone privileges back. The situation is a good reminder to childproof your apps.