Man Wakes Up To Find Dog Went On XBOX Spending Spree

A man claims his dog bought spent $62.50 on video games by chewing on his Xbox 360 controller at night, Kotaku writes:

Kotaku reader Greg says that while he slept his year-old Lab/Hound mix, Oscar, attacked his Xbox 360 controller managing to both turn on the console and purchase 5,000 Microsoft Points as he gnawed the hard plastic controller.

“I realized it when I checked my phone to see what time it was (I had to be at work soon) and saw the e-mail from Microsoft confirming the purchase for $62.50,” he told Kotaku via email. “At that point it was a little after 5 a.m…. not something you want to wake up to.”

Greg’s not asking for a refund or anything, and used the points his dog purchased to download some more games.

Still, his plight is a good example of why it’s smart to set up parental controls on computers that store your credit card info.

Does anyone out there have any horror stories about kids or pets making unauthorized purchases?

Dog Bites Man’s Live Account? [Kotaku]
(Photo: Kotaku)


Edit Your Comment

  1. lehrdude says:

    Was his homework missing too?

    • OneBigPear says:

      @lehrdude: I admit, I never understood that whole “the dog ate my homework” excuse.

      Then, two years ago, we got our first dog (read: holy terror).

      Even though I am well past the age of having school-assigned homework, I get it now. Man, do I get it now.

      • jaya9581 says:

        @OneBigPear: I actually had a dog eat my homework once.

        My grandmother’s Alaskan Malamute got ahold of it and when this dog had something she wanted, she kept it. She was known for attacking anyone who tried to take something away from her.

        When she finally abandoned the homework (sometime in the night, we found it the next morning) My mother put it in a Ziploc bag and wrote a note to my teacher. My teacher was REALLY mad, but she excused me.

        • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

          @jaya9581: We recently adopted a younger, black version of Marley. She eats tube socks. Whole. Do you KNOW what it’s like to hear a dog regurgitating a whole tube sock onto your carpet?! Ew.

        • OneBigPear says:

          @jaya9581: Usually these sorts of things seem to be “big dog” traits. My dog is only 13lbs and has managed to shred a huge chunk out of one of the couch cushions. Only when we’re home and not paying her enough attention.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Really, Mrs. Baker, my dog filled out all the wrong answers on my homework – I kept trying to put down the right ones, but Jimbly here kept grabbing the pencil and erasing them! I know the answer to 5×20 is 100, not woof!

    I would actually be more impressed if Oscar the dog had managed to download a game and got to the second level. Good on the OP for not asking for a refund though – maybe this is a good way to outsource the task of buying more points. Just leave it out for Oscar to pick the right amount.

  3. bombhand says:

    Good on him for taking accountability and not expecting and/or demanding a refund.

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      @bombhand: Seriously. I was gearing up for an epic eye roll and everything before I realized that he doesn’t actually *want* anything.

    • chiieddy says:

      @bombhand: Yeah, I was there too. 1 year old dog, left alone, with a potential chew toy overnight? Guy was irresponsible.

      • Mythandros says:

        @chiieddy: Wow, I see the OP blaming crowd is working overtime today!

        • chiieddy says:

          @Mythandros: Not blaming. Complementing for actually taking responsibility for the dog eating the controller, which is a situation I personally believe the dog shouldn’t have been in. Crate training is an acceptable method and the dog shouldn’t have been loose in the apartment to get into trouble overnight.

        • MooseOfReason says:

          @Mythandros: I disagree with a blanket rule that says you can never blame the “victim”.

          Besides, I didn’t know the controller could turn on the console.

  4. Several says:

    I can tell you, they do make this way too easy to do. Three or four presses of the A button and you’ll buy whatever they’re hawking on the front page when you boot up. Their default cursor position for ALL marketplace options is “Confirm purchase” when it really shouldn’t.

    The old XBox used to have a lockout code for purchases on it. The new one lacks any such feature, to my knowledge. It’d be great if this story, and the public reaction to it, got them to change. At the very least, putting a default “Do not buy” option that you have to move off of to confirm your purchase would be great.

  5. MostlyHarmless says:

    Well my sister once called an international “fortune teller” phone line when she was like 12-13. The bill came in with some pretty awesome charges. And after some initial confusion, when my folks found out, she got a nice earful… AND lost her phone privileges for a week.

    Needless to say, I enjoyed every moment of it. Very few things feel as good as watching your older sibling get owned.

    • brainswarm says:

      @MostlyHarmless: As a kid, I once got mad at my parents, and called a 976 number that I had seen advertised on TV to get back at them and cost them money. Fortunately, it was one of those geared towards children, and only cost 99 cents per minute, and the extra phone charge only came to about ten dollars.

      Of course, that was nothing compared to the guy my parents rented a room to for a few months, who called a phone psychic every week, ran up a huge phone bill, and then disappeared.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @MostlyHarmless: I have two sibling phone stories like that, as well.

      My brother got caught calling some *other* kind of paid phone number, if you get my drift.. I still can’t figure out what he was thinking.. he was obviously old enough to know better (15+) and he knew my mom got all the bills….

      The other was a step-sister I used to have (my parents have had strange relationship issues) and she was about 8 at the time. There was a trend back then for these commercials that advertised “10 cents a minute calling!!” if you dialed some kind of short number before the number you were calling, and they started with 10-10. Anyway.. they would say how cheap that was and “So easy!” so she started calling her grandmother using this 10-10 number., which would have been swell.. if her grandmother had been a long distance call. Nothing like paying 10 cents a minute for hours per month of a local call.

    • MrEvil says:

      @MostlyHarmless: inversely, nothing sucks more than being the oldest and watching your younger sibling get away with everything because she’s the baby. Seriously, when my parents initially seperated my mom would almost NEVER punish my sister for anything.

  6. katstermonster says:

    My friend told me a similar and hilarious story last night…she came home from work one night to her music blaring so loud that she could hear it from outside her apartment. She’d left iTunes open on her computer, and her cat had managed to walk across the keyboard and mouse in such a way that it hit the play button and cranked the volume all the way up. She has no idea how long it was going. Oh, and she was working second shift, so her neighbors were likely trying to sleep with this going.

    She now locks her computer when she leaves.

    • theblackdog says:

      @katstermonster: Suuuuuure it was accidental. I am willing to bet that her kitty was getting their freak on and was trying to hide that from the neighbors, dorm room style.

    • ExtraCelestial says:

      @katstermonster: Oh yikes.

      My bird is obsessed with keyboards. I’ve had all sorts of crazy iTunes and iChat experiences thanks to his love of ripping out keys in my powerbook or jumping on the buttons. Luckily everything he would delete/move on iTunes was easily restorable and the missing keys got me on a first name basis with my local Apple store. When the powerbook became obsolete they started giving me extra keys just for him to play with.

      The new iMac keyboards are thankfully bird-proof and now his preferred position is straddling the top of the monitor and looking down at whatever I’m doing on the screen.

    • _NARC_ says:

      @katstermonster: She should have used Pawsense. Cat-like Typing Detected!



    • joshua70448 says:

      @katstermonster: My cat used to jump around on my keyboard when I lived in an apartment, but I’ve got the computers in a separate room in our house now, and we close that door when we’re not around. Problem solved!

    • Copper says:

      @katstermonster: My cat does this ALL THE TIME! This morning I was in the shower listening to Steve Miller Band and she changed it to the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy somehow…I was sad.

      @_NARC_: I’ve been trying to find a program for Macs that simply locks the keyboard, but the only thing I’ve found is for babies to “play” so it doesn’t help me with my kitty at all. I want to be able to leave iTunes open and playing, but lock the keyboard so the cat doesn’t change the song/program/buy a new collar.

      • dreams305 says:

        @Copper: If it’s not a laptop, just unplug the keyboard.

        If it’s a laptop, close the lid to where it’s still playing, but doesn’t hibernate the computer.

  7. mommiest says:

    I actually had a cat that would walk across my desk phone, get a dial tone on speaker, and step on speed dial buttons. She would just sit there and listen to whatever came through, someone’s answering machine or someone cussing out the prank calling cat. I did not find out about this until I was sick at home one day, and heard her do this. Several friends also stopped speaking to me around this time. Damned smart cat.

  8. debegray says:

    Yes, this happened to us, although it was less a horror story than a mild panic. My six year old son was downloading demos on XBox and inadvertently bought a game – at a time when we were really low on cash. I thought I had put parental controls on that disallowed him purchasing, but the whole setup is really confusing. There’s XBox and there’s XBox Live, and when you set the controls on one, they’re not set on the other.

  9. pop top says:

    When I have my rats out while I’m playing on my 360, I have to make sure to keep the controllers away from them or they’ll run all over and un-pause my game, getting me killed, or rewind/fast forward something I was watching on Netflix. They’ll also pee on them too.

    One of my late rats even nibbled off some of the rubber on the directional sticks. My original XBox DVD remote is missing all of the buttons because of the same rat. I guess they like rubber?

    • Difdi says:

      @squinko: That gray rubber stuff is irresistible to some animals…my sister has two dogs that ate her Xbox 360 controllers, charger cables, headset and all…on three separate occasions. She locks the peripherals in a cabinet these days.

    • BytheSea says:

      @squinko: when I turned my PS on, my fat cat used to hear the Sony “briiing!” sound and RUN down from wherever he was loafing all day to sit in front of me while I played. I do’nt know why. But he’d headbutt my hands for pets and make me hit the four buttons on the top of the controller, sending Lara screaming to her death off the Sphinx.

  10. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I love how this is a thread mostly about how animals are sneaky and smart in their ways. My rabbit likes to try to gnaw on the remote, particularly the top corners. He’s turned the TV on and off a few times.

    • pop top says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: My mom’s rabbit has gotten a hold of pretty much everything in the house. He’s destroyed several slippers, two purses, pants, shoes, pillows, blankets, etc. They’re incredibly vicious for being cute little balls of fluff. ;)

      • Difdi says:

        @squinko: Rabbits have the same high opinion of themselves as cats do…but the rabbits have bigger egos.

        When a rabbit is moderately pissed off at you, he’ll chew up anything that carries your scent. Peeing on them indicates a strongly pissed off rabbit.

        You can look up rabbit body language online…you can actually “discuss” things with a rabbit that way, demand an apology, offer an apology, etc. It really smooths over certain faux pas.

  11. GitEmSteveDave_Marryin'Couples says:

    Better than my cat. She keeps stealing my credit card to look at kitty porn.

    I think it’s sick because it degrades female felines everywhere.

  12. H3ion says:

    It would be a better story if the dog had its own Capital One card and started making purchases. I wonder what its security question would be?

  13. Omali says:

    It could be worse.

    Does anyone else remember the couple who received a few hundred dollars tacked on to their water bill, only to find out that the cat was flushing the toilet all day while they were at work?

    • Pixel says:

      @Omali: My g/f’s kitten is obsessed with the toilet, and will run from anywhere else in the apartment to the bathroom when she hears it flush just so she can watch the water swirl. I fear the day she figures out the handle has something to do with the process.

      • Difdi says:

        @Pixel: Cats have this odd eye adaptation. They are effectively color-blind to the color yellow, since that color is reserved in their vision for moving objects. ANYTHING that moves in a cat’s field of view looks brilliant glowing yellow to them. Their eyes can resolve the individual water currents as a toilet flushes, which glow brilliant gold to them, and swirl in mesmerizing patterns.

        If you can manage to get a cat that likes water, a bathtub full of water can endlessly fascinate the cat, since batting at the ripples makes more ripples.

      • Chinchillazilla says:

        @Pixel: One of my cats is like this with the toilet, too. And he knows that the doorknob is how to open the door, though luckily he lacks the thumbs, so I figure it’s only a matter of time before he fully understands the toilet.

        • BytheSea says:

          @Chinchillazilla: My cat’s a year old and he’s figured out that doorknobs correlate to door opening, but hehasn’t put it together yet. I wonder how old he’ll be when he figures out how to turn instead of hang off of like an xmas tree ornament.

      • ShadowFalls says:


        Seems like the right time for this:

  14. robocop is bleeding says:

    One of our rabbits answered the phone once, but that was mainly because it rang while she was puttering about next to it, scaring her and causing her to knock the receiver off the base. She then got a bit braver and sniffed the phone, but declined to greet the caller.

    When I got to the phone, it turned out the call was a robocall from the city telling us about upcoming road closures due to an Easter 5k run.

  15. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    Wow, this makes me feel lucky my cats only open the bathroom door while people are showering.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): That would be absolutely terrifying.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: We warn guests — “We’re not perverts, the cats just think the bathroom is their sauna.” And we suggest they run the shower to warm up with the door OPEN before they get ready to get in, so the cats can come settle in if they want to have a shvitz.

        Luckily you can reach the door from in the shower and push it back closed without getting out.

        • subtlefrog says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): My dog doesn’t so much need to be in there (lest she get a bath) but no matter what, she likes to know what’s happening. So if the door isn’t closed so it catches, expect her to come barging in, at least far enough to throw the door open, and stare at you from the doorway. And wait.

        • BytheSea says:

          @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Aw, I had a shower kitty. He was allowed in, and for a bowl of fresh water he agreed to stay on the floor and not put his paws or mouth all over my toothbrush. He slept on the floor while I showered, then i trained him to follow me into my room for a rub-down, because if I let him stay in the bathroom, he’d jump in the tub and lick the soap water off the bottom.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): I use the same excuse to explain the videotaping equipment in mine. With mixed results.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): My cats do that too.. well the smart one does.. the dumb one just waits for him to do it.

      You can’t keep them out : /

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: Pretty sure the dumb one is the smart one – why do it yourself when you can wait for someone to do it for you?

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: Your argument is compelling.. but the total look of rejection and disapointment on his lil fuzzy face when I open the door when I’m done (if “the smart one” is busy doing something else) says otherwise.

          You never know with cats though.

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: My non-door-opening cat (who died last year) used to go sit and yowl in front of a door he wanted opened until the door-opening cat would go open it for him.

        I was like, “Oh, God, they’re taking over! Opposable thumbs can’t protect us!”

      • Mythandros says:

        @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: “My cats do that too.. well the smart one does.. the dumb one just waits for him to do it.”

        Sounds like the dumb one is actually the smart one.

        “I’ll just let him do the work for me!” Lazy too.

    • so_gracefully says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): Mine has pulled the entire shower curtain down while I was in the shower, because he thought we were playing hide and seek, I guess. Impolite but hilarious.

    • Powerlurker says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!):

      How does a cat open the bathroom door? Do you have knobs that aren’t circular?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @Powerlurker: My door handles are lever types like [] so if Eyebrows’ door handles were like that, it would make it easier for cats to get them open.

        I think some cats, though, have learned to twist a circular knob. It’s amazing.

        • BytheSea says:

          @pecan 3.14159265: My cat was 20 pounds. There was no door and no bag of chips that defeated him.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            @BytheSea: Mine’s a 20-pounder too!

            When he was a kitten he used to fling his entire body against the door until he could pop it open. So we learned a) to not lock him out of places the people were and b) that doorknob use is the lesser of two evils!

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        @Powerlurker: We have both, and he can open both, although the bathroom in question has a lever. My house has some antique doors and fixtures on the second floor that were apparently built into it in 1950 for the original owners — old-fashioned latches, board doors, etc., that I think came from local farmhouses. The latches don’t lock.

        Luckily he can only open doors that push inward, so he can’t manage to escape the house because he’d have to pull those doors. My parents have a cat who can open knobbed doors NO PROBLEM *and* has figured out how to pull doors towards him by sticking a paw under them. They have to shoot the deadbolts on the doors to the outside, and when he has to be closed in a room (like during thanksgiving dinner because he will seriously try to crawl into the turkey and once stole a 3-lb cut of meat) they have to use a bungee cord to hold the door shut!

      • subtlefrog says:

        @Powerlurker: I had a cat that could open circular door knobs. Fortunately, my two boy cats never figured it out or I would have never had any peace.

    • Difdi says:

      @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!): One of my sister’s dogs is a Labrador retriever, and just LOVES water. She tends to bring him with her when she visits for holidays.

      If you’re showering, and fail to firmly close the door, that dog will join you in the stall. It’s even worse if he discovers you’re taking a bath without him (The word Cannonball comes to mind here). When it’s time to give him a bath, you just hand him the shampoo bottle, and he’ll beat you to the tub.

  16. PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

    LOL! I have had this happen with my son, before I set up parental controls. I try not to keep any extra MS points in my account now, since he likes to download map packs for games we don’t have.

    At the age of 5, he downloaded the original Halo from the Xbox Originals line and the South Park movie. (I had some explaining to do to his mother…)

    For a while, I started taking the wireless adapter with me to work, but since the wife likes to watch netflix during the day, I have set up parental controls to stop this.

  17. PlumeNoir - Thank you? No problem! says:

    And as far as animals go, I have a cat that likes to sleep on top of the PS3 at night. So, sometimes (if the TV is left on to the AV channel of the PS3), she’ll walk across it and turn it on. In the middle of the night, when everything is quiet, it’s quite jarring to hear the PS3 boot-up music blast out of the living room…

  18. Trai_Dep says:

    My cats kept ordering from 1-800-HAMSTER until I moved the phone to one of those strung-up boxes they use to keep bears from eating your food while camping.
    Now I catch my cats imploring the squirrels to come inside and fetch it for them. Luckily, they think it’s a trick to trap them indoors so they instead point and laugh at them through the window glass.

    If cats had opposable thumbs and could figure out how to open cans without humans, they’d slay us all in our sleep and create the first Cat Caliphate.

    • mazzic1083 says:

      @Trai_Dep: Bah, they don’t need opposable thumbs when they have razor sharp claws. Luckily, our little new world order demon-felines are de-clawed in the front so hopefully this will save us from the Cat Caliphate.

  19. BeyondtheTech says:

    I bet you the ghost of Soupy Sales taught him to do that. Boy, how technology has changed.

  20. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I had heard stories of service/maintinence guys coming in and helping themselves to PPV movies and such things, and so I looked on our Comcast parental controls to turn off ordering without a code and guess what?

    There isn’t such a thing. The only thing I could do is lock out the higher ratings so atleast some weird mantience guy can’t order the high dollar stuff.

    Thanks a lot Comcast. : /

    • Tasunke says:

      @Kimaroo – No Stars Upon Thars: If you can’t lock it out from the box, you may have to ask Comcast customer service if they can lock it down to purchase with a PIN from their end. It’s been a few years, and likely there’s been some changes, but when I did customer service for Comcast, one of the tricks I used in addition to that when customers had issues with PPVs “they didn’t order” was telling the system the cable box was a one-way box. Meaning that nothing could be ordered from it… at all. ;) This, of course, was done with the customer’s permission.
      (On a side note, the almost 2 years I did that, I never once had a single person dispute a normal movie PPV. Every single dispute was adult PPV. Interesting, no?)

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @Tasunke: I wouldn’t want to lock out ordering all together.. we actually like to order a movie every once in a while. And I like to watch the free OnDemand stuff when theyre is nothing on regular cable.

        It just mildly concerns me because I live in an apartment where the mantinence guys have access when we aren’t home.. so they could theoretically help themselves to all the PPV they want.

        I’ve heard of it happening (well.. maybe that’s just what they say.) and I could imagine that if they are going to be shady enough people to do that, they aren’t going to be sitting watching Coraline or something like that.. they’re going to go for the high dollar stuff.

        I might try contacting Comcast to see what we could do to protect ourselves.. it seems like an idea worth persuing.

  21. PTB315 says:

    Anyone remember the cartoon Freakazoid where the guy’s cat walked across the keyboard accidently inputting the code that turned the next user into a superhero?

  22. Zagroseckt says:

    Well only thing i’ve had happen is payper view buys

    and it wasnt a kid
    it was granny tring to get to CNN
    i’m not kidding CNN
    and she bought 90 bucks worth of payper view
    in 10 minuts
    all the same show
    At first (cable company) didnt wana refund it then i was like Do you REALY want me to take this up how i mean just how do you explain in any other way why id want to buy 30 ppv’s of (show) all starting within the next 3 hrs when sed show is 2 hrs long and you’d get it for the entier day on one buy.

    i ended up going to the cable company
    i will say the maniger was nice after i playd back the call…. (it is ok for us record where i am it only needs one side of consent)

    reversed the charges and a months service i didnt ask for the service….. no small fee at the time my cable bill was 170 a month….

    Being stuck at home all the time does tend to arange your entertainment funds a bit :p
    tv internet no phone.
    main extended hd movie packige 3 rooms dvr’s

    i have Dtv now 3 rooms 1 dvr and still get net via cable but no movie channels there a wast repeat’s old ones at that.
    not worth it unless they play soon after the dvd’s hit

  23. wenhaver says:

    This spring, when we were moving I left my 4 year old watching cartoons via Netflix steaming via the Xbox while I packed up the bathroom. I came back out about 15 minutes later to answer the phone – it was my husband, wanting to know why I had just purchased $60 worth of MS points (he got the notification email on his iPhone).

    My son had decided to download the “Up” demo, and somehow managed to buy MS points instead. Oops.

    That was money we really didn’t have to spend, as we were moving because we were both laid off and living off severance pay. I turned on parental controls, and we used the points to buy some games to keep us entertained in our new place while we looked for jobs.

  24. nstonep says:

    -1 for the guy who trusts microsoft with his credit card information.

  25. agentcoop007 says:

    I was babysitting for a friend and the three year old boy I left paying a game managed to buy off the main dashboard screen a 800 point expantion to Fallout 3. I don’t own this game, and have no use for it.

    It is far too easy to do this I found out due to it only taking a push of the A button three times.

  26. savdavid says:

    My dog calls France all the time but I can’t catch him at it! He also plays the lottery and loses most of the time.

  27. MrEvil says:

    I just have an expired credit card number set as my default payment method on XBL. It takes a few more deliberate button presses to change your payment method.

  28. Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

    My son likes trying to order porn and boxing off of ondemand. After the first time he got the remote and almost purchased boxing, we figured we better pass word protect it.

  29. SofaMonster says:

    My hedgehog once instant messaged a friend “88888igr88888!!!!” We assumed he meant “Ain’t I great!”