Don’t Mess Up Your Kwedit Score!

One of the greatest scams I’ve ever seen…

I found out about this on the Colbert Report, and since Mr. Colbert did such a great job explaining Kwedit, I might as well just have him tell you about it. (Seriously, I strongly recommend everyone to watch this.)

Well… If you didn’t watch that video, this is how the Kwedit Promise works:

“Want to get extra stuff for your favorite game? Got cash but no way to send it? Kwedit Promise can help.

When a game or other site offers Kwedit Promise, you get virtual goods immediately in exchange for a Promise to pay for them later. Each site offers you a certain amount of Kwedit to use right away to buy things.

When you Promise to pay, you are allowed a few days to pay off your Promise. If you pay your Promise on time, your Kwedit score rises, and the next time you play, you may get a larger Kwedit allowance on this and other Kwedit-powered games.”

They don’t mention though that the bill is for actual money. And if the kids don’t have the money to pay for it, they can have Kwedit send their parents an e-mail to pay off their “Kwedit debt” either online OR at (of all the places) a 7-Eleven. Yes. That 7-Eleven. (How sketchy does paying bills 7-Eleven seem?)

The “Kwedit” score doesn’t actually have any bearing on a FICO Score or any credit at all; it’s promoted as a way to make your kids fiscally responsible. They essentially guilt trip the kids (they claim they target teens) into not breaking their “Kwedit Promise” to get the cash they want.

After the Colbert Report segment aired, Kwedit addressed their criticisms on their blog. I don’t buy it. Sicne the Digital Age, I’ve felt like we try to make kids grow up too fast. And this is a easy way to exploit that trend. This really irks me. Should it?

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4 thoughts on “Don’t Mess Up Your Kwedit Score!

  1. I think you have every right to be incensed about this marketing gimmick. It’s geared towards young children (“targeting teens” yeah right) who play computer games for hours each day. Those children will just see this Kwedit as an easy way to level up in the game, but have no real concept of how it works since it certainly won’t be their own money being used to pay for the next power-pack. It’s one thing for adults who play MafiaWars to use PayPal to buy the latest virtual weapon, but children don’t have a steady income or a sense of responsibility – they’re all about instant gratification, screw the consequences.

    It would be a good idea if a parent was to sit down with the child, explain the method that Kwedit uses and withdraw the money from the child’s allowance… but there’s no guarantee that will occur. I have no problem with children being fiscally responsible, but this is not the way to go about it. Most likely, the child will click ‘Yes, I Promise’ and it will be the parents cleaning up the trail of virtual-turned-real money. They will be angry at the child instead of taking this as a learning opportunity, and nobody wins in this situation.

    Honestly, I wonder how long Kwedit will continue to operate, now that Colbert has drawn attention to it. Their marketing scheme doesn’t seem to fit the teen profile as they claim, in my opinion, which seems like a sure violation of both ethics and the rules that govern advertising towards children.

  2. I am not really certain if Kwedit’s intentions are to teach teens “lessons” or what their actual purpose is. But the idea of a teenager, who in most cases doesn’t have steady income, is alarming.

    I feel this is giving way to credit debt behavior especially if teens are able to make a “promise” (a.k.a loan/debt) and have a certain amount of days to “pay back the promise.” Then proceeding to allow the teen to push on this payment to their parents.

    Teens shouldn’t be taught to “credit” everything when they don’t have the money at hand. I am curious to see how this turns out because I can’t imagine Kwedit being successful.

  3. I think Kwedit is definitely taking advantage of people’s stupidity, or at least disregard for fine print. I highly doubt that this is an attempt to teach youngsters resource management or lessons in adulthood.

    This is obviously an issue because the idea of exploiting children because they don’t know any better, especially on their turf (video games), is unethical.

    Oh, uhhh, I have to run now–gotta check my Kwedit score.

  4. Ahh yes. Another masterful report presented by my personal deity. I laughed so hard I almost had an abdominal hernia.

    However, I think what Colbert was condemning was not the idea of virtual credit but the idea of marketing the virtual credit to the kids. Not to advocate for the company, but their target population is hardly tweens. It’s those people who don’t want to use credit cards online. If you think about it, it’s actually not a bad concept. It’s an interesting idea I’d actually like to see developed more before I’d jump in myself. If done right, I could imagine the service reducing the possibility of identity theft.

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