Mixed views on Discovery’s Apple Watch giveaway

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(File, AFP)
(File, AFP)

Johannesburg - Fin24 users have praised and criticised a move by financial services company Discovery to give away Apple Watch devices for free if members meet certain conditions.

On Tuesday, Discovery - which sells health insurance services - announced that it will fund Apple Watch devices in full for Vitality Active Rewards members, if they meet all their weekly fitness goals for 24 months.

READ: Discovery launches free Apple Watch initiative

Other conditions include that Discovery members have to be part of Vitality Active Rewards, pay a once-off activation fee for the Apple Watch using a qualifying Discovery Card, and own an iPhone 5 or up.

Furthermore, the benefit is only available for the Apple Watch Sport 38mm and members’ Discovery Cards must have a limit of at least R10 000 and an available balance of at least R600 to own the watches.

If members lapse on their fitness goals, their Discovery Cards will also be debited a monthly amount that is calculated as a percentage of the retail price.

Amid the announcement of the deal, Fin24 users have shared their thoughts on whether the deal is a good or bad one.

Fin24 user Peter wrote:

“I think this good idea because you actually get an incentive for living a healthy life.”

Fin24 user Nicole said she thinks the deal is “freaking brilliant” while Fin24 user Neil also said it’s a “brilliant deal” and that “I intend getting one”.

However, other Fin24 users have asked why Discovery is only focusing on the Apple Watch amid greater Samsung and Android usage in South Africa.

Samsung's share of the local smartphone market is 56.6%, the International Data Corporation (IDC) told Fin24 last month.

Fin24 user Simone wrote:

“It's a great deal except for the thousands of people who are Samsung etc fans and don't have an iPhone. Is there not an alternate such as the Fitbit Surge for those who don't have iPhone cellular devices?”

Fin24 user Werner wrote:

“Very good idea. Too bad they only make provision for iPhone users. What about all the healthy android users. Do we not get rewarded for our efforts. This time I expect more from Discovery.”

But in an interview with Fin24 on Monday, Discovery CEO Adrian Gore said that the company's “active reward chassis is agnostic” but that the Apple Watch offer is different in that it’s funded.

“So, you can use any device, an Android device, you can use the Garmin, you can use whatever you’re using to essentially track and use the app. So, it’s available in everything,” Gore told Fin24.

Meanwhile, other Fin24 users have questioned the rewards scheme altogether.

Fin24 user Francis wrote:

“The goals for the free smoothies are already becoming unachievable and unrealistic... I would hate to see the goals they set for Apple Watch to be free. For the first few months everyone will get the watch for the free, and then they will make the goals so unachievable people will have to start paying. For example for a free smoothie or coffee, some members have to achieve 1 200 points a week.. But a single gym visit is only 150 points, which means if you visit the gym every day of the week you can only reach 1050 points. They also don't count multiple fitness activities on a single day, so if you have a Fitbit and do 10 000 steps on one day and visit the gym... Instead of getting 300 points you still only get 150. It's a bit of a joke actually.”

Fin24 user Dianne also questioned what will happen if one gets sick:

“What happens if you fall ill with flu etc or need an op and can't exercise? Are you penalised? Discovery credit card is way to expensive that is why we cancelled ours!”

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