Friday, October 07, 2016

Google waives Spanish boy's 100,000 euro bill that he incurred while advertising his brass band

Fame came at a price for a Spanish boy who mistakenly racked up €100,000 (£88,000, $112,000) in advertising fees with Google as he attempted to make his brass band famous online. But the search company said it would waive his exorbitant bill after realising the 12-year-old had made a costly “mistake”.

In August, Jose Javier from the south-eastern seaside city of Torrevieja created an account with AdWords, a Google pay-per-click service that puts ads above search results and on other sites. The customer gives his or her credit card details and only pays when someone clicks on the link.

Javier, whose parents had opened a savings account in his name, gave his banking details thinking he was actually going to earn money from ads on his homemade website. But instead he was charged every time someone clicked on the link. Google has now said it won't make him pay the fee. The company realised that “it was all a mistake and that he did it without thinking”, a Google spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

“A 12-year-old boy doesn’t want to start spending €100,000.” In a statement the company added it would waive the boy’s debt. His mother, Inma Quesada, said that her son “wanted to buy instruments” for his band Los Salerosos, loosely translated as The Salties, in which he plays the trumpet. His parents were alerted to the fact that he was racking up debt when the bank called them to warn them about the charges.

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