Let this be a cautionary tale: close the Grubhub app before you hand over your phone to your kids

We all know how much kids love the chance to play on mom or dad’s phone. But let this story be a warning to check which apps are open before you hand over a device. A Michigan six-year-old was playing with his dad’s phone before bedtime, but because the Grubhub app had been left open, he took that as an invitation to order an all-you-can-eat buffet—nearly $1,000 worth of pizza, ice cream, and other treats (though he didn’t include the 31 McDonald’s cheeseburgers this 2-year-old did).

Six-year-old Mason’s dad didn’t know what was happening when the family’s Ring camera footage started showing food delivery after food delivery being left at their door.

“I said, ‘What is going on? Why are you bringing me food?” Keith Stonehouse told CNN affiliate WDIV-TV. He said it finally clicked when he remembered he had let Mason play on his phone. The six-year-old was “going to town” on Grubhub.

Mason placed orders at multiple local restaurants, receiving chili cheese fries, ice cream, shawarma, pita wraps, sandwiches, salads, and shrimp. Luckily, the Stonehouses’ bank flagged some of the transactions as fraud so they didn’t  go through (including one $400 pizza order). Stonehouse said he tried to contact the restaurants to stop some of the orders, but it was too late. The family ended up sharing the food with neighbors and eating a lot of it as leftovers.

“While all of the food was being delivered and I figured out what happened, I went to talk to Mason about what he did, and this is the only part that makes me laugh,” Stonehouse said. “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. I didn’t know if I should get mad or laugh.”

The family was able to turn Mason’s unexpectedly indulgent night into a lesson on money management, and it all worked out in the end—Grubhub reached out to the family to gift them $1,000 in gift cards. Hopefully, Mason can use a little bit of that cash to get a more reasonable treat.

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