He Let Son Play on His Phone. Then Food Started Arriving

6-year-old spent $1K on Grubhub
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2023 5:25 PM CST
Boy, 6, Uses Dad's Phone to Spend $1K on Grubhub
A sign with the old GrubHub logo is displayed is displayed on the door to a New York restaurant.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

Michigan father Keith Stonehouse says his anger level has gone down from a 9.5 out of 10 to around a 3. But he's still not completely ready to laugh about his son using his phone to rack up a $1,000 bill for food deliveries from Grubhub. Stonehouse tells MLive that he let Mason play a game on his phone before bedtime on Saturday night, when his wife was out with friends. He says that when a car pulled up and dropped a bag off, he thought it was a delivery of supplies for his wife's bakery—but then more cars kept arriving, and he realized they were delivering food including jumbo shrimp salads, chicken shawarma, ice cream, and chili cheese fries from restaurants including Michigan chain Leo's Coney Island.

"I looked at my phone with repeated messages that my food was getting ready, my food was being delivered," he says. "I looked at my bank account and it was getting drained." Stonehouse received a fraud alert from Chase Bank over a $439 order from Happy's Pizza—but a $183 jumbo shrimp order from the same restaurant was processed. It was too late to cancel the orders, so Stonehouse filled the family's fridges—they had a lot of space, thanks to the bakery—and invited neighbors over to eat. Stonehouse says he also had a talk with Mason, "and this is the only part that makes me laugh."

"I was trying to explain to him that this wasn’t good and he puts his hand up and stops me and says 'Dad, did the pepperoni pizzas come yet?' I had to walk out of the room," Stonehouse says. "I didn’t know if I should get mad or laugh." The parents say they tried to teach Mason that food equals money, Local 4 reports. "We told him we took money out of his piggy bank to pay for this bag of food and this one and so on," Stonehouse says. "We could tell he was upset, but we don’t know if it has really sunk in." Stonehouse's advice for parents? Make sure important apps aren't front and center before handing a phone to a child. (More food delivery stories.)

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