Gree lays overcharges to filter flaw

Kyodo

Social game site operator Gree Inc. said Monday that minors who use its site were inadvertently overcharged because of a flaw in its filtering settings.

In total, 733 youths whose bills were paid by credit card and who were using the service via mobile phone from April 26 to Sept. 7 were charged in excess of ¥28.11 million, it said.

Gree caps monthly charges at ¥5,000 for people 15 and under, and at ¥10,000 for those between 16 and 19. But defects in the limit-setting program resulted in overcharges for 513 customers aged from 10 to 15 and 220 customers between 16 and 19. Among them, 30 received bills exceeding ¥100,000 each.

The company said it became aware of the issue in September but chose not to disclose it due to the small number of people affected. It said it will notify them and refund those who come forward.

“We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the delay in our information disclosure,” the company said in a statement.