Hurdle Mills: A popular gift for kids this year might be a big disappointment

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Melissa Oakley couldn't wait to see her 4-year-old daughter's face when she opened her hot pink Vtech Innotab Max on Christmas morning.

The Innotab Max is just like a tablet or laptop - but for kids. Melissa powered it up and tried to program all the educational games and apps so it would be ready on Christmas morning.

"It kept saying the firmware couldn't be completed," Melissa said.

Melissa couldn't log onto the Learning Lodge which is the place where Vtech customers can set up their product and then download the apps, learning games, e-books, and other educational tools. She kept trying, but she kept getting the message that she couldn't program the Innotab Max.

Melissa called Vtech's customer service and says a rep informed her about the company's security breach back in November. More than 5 million customer accounts and kids profiles were affected by the security breach. Vtech says their customer database contains user profile information including name, email address, along with other information. The company claims their database does not contain any credit card information.


Since discovering the breach, Vtech says it has suspended several services including access to the Learning Lodge, Kids Connect, and with other Vtech websites to conduct a security assessment and implement additional security protocols. Which means for parents like Melissa, her daughter's #1 toy on her wish list won't bring any smiles.

"This is all you can do. It's worthless. I have about $200 into it now between the system and the games and as you can see, it doesn't do anything." Melissa said.

Since Melissa caught this early, she can return the toy and find something else. But if a Vtech toy is something you're planning on giving this year, make sure it does not need access to the Learning Lodge, Kids Connect or the Vtech websites listed below as at this time they are all suspended. Vtech does state they're working as fast as possible to resume their services.

Vtech Websites affected:

Learning Lodge
Kids Connect network

Click here for more information about the security breach and what it means for Vtech customers.
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