Hey kids! Want to spend your parents’ money? BillMyParents makes it easy! You thought you’ve heard it all, but yes, there now is a site where it allows kids to request items for their parents to purchase for them. BillMyParents claims to ‘focus on the communication between tween and parent.’ I guess they’ve never heard of just talking.
I can see where this might be reasonable where it allows the child to show their parents what they would like for a gift for a future birthday or Christmas present. The child would make a nice convenient list where tech savvy parents can go online and purchase the gifts that they know their child wants. However, I don’t see BillMyParents taking this angle. As we plod through the economic crisis and rising credit card rates, it’s obvious that parents are taking the credit card out of their childrens’ hands. Unfortunately, it sounds like BillMyParents is placing back in their childrens’ hands again.
BillMyParents works like this, a child goes online shopping for things they want where BillMyParents is integrated, such as Amazon. The child clicks the BillMyParents button on the item page where the parent then gets notified via e-mail of the requested purchase including a note from the child of why they ‘deserve’ it. The parent then gets routed back to the online store to finish the purchase and BillMyParents collects a transaction fee. The parent also has the choice of denying the request (oh, the horror!).
So what gives? I really find it hard to believe that this will improve the communication between child and parent. It’s hard to say if this will be successful or another .com failed venture. While we don’t have kids yet, I wouldn’t even consider doing this for my child. I’d e-mail them back saying to get a job. This doesn’t seem to be encouraging a healthy relationship.
If you want to stretch the pros of the service, it would only be that it could prompt a discussion of responsibility and money management. But I hope that discussion would be at least be one on one and not via e-mail or Twitter.
I really don’t hope we end up like the folks on Wall-E, but this service seems to be one step towards that reality. One question, are your kids purchase requests considered spam?
What do you think of BillMyParents, yay or nay?