Thursday, October 14

Discovery Vitality Rip-off

Last week I posted on the "premium" discovery members pay for goods from Digital Planet, when they were supposedly getting a huge discount. I posted a complaint on the HelloPeter site, and as usual Discovery replied promptly to my complaint.

Hello Richard
Thank you for your feedback regarding the Vitality and HP pricing structure.

The retail prices for the HP products are the recommended retailprices as advised directly by HP. We are aware that you may be able to receive a greater discount elsewhere if the retailer is able to reduce this price according to their preferred sales structure.

In future, we hope to provide Vitality members with access to products that are not available through other retailers and that can only be bought through Digital Planet. We are constantly re-negotiating with Digital Planet and have already seen positive results with the reduction of some retail prices.

Kind Regards
Discovery Vitality


This really wasnt satisfactory however. I responded with the following letter:

Thank you for your response. I cannot accept it however.

Discovery Vitality is a rewards program. It should reward its clients, not take advantage of their trust in your company. The fact that your ‘partner’ is giving better deals to anyone else who wants it is inexcusable. It means either you or they are making a profit from your clients trust in your good intentions.

The fact that Digital Planet might be able to supply ‘something’ that other retailers cant in the future is both irrelevant and hard to believe.

You say that the retail price “as suggested by HP” is much higher than you could realistically expect to pay anywhere in South Africa. I can certainly accept that, as it is a standard business practice. My problem is solely with the fact that there is what appears to be collusion between Digital Planet and Vitality to fool Discovery clients into thinking they are getting a “good deal”, when in fact they are paying a premium for goods freely available at Digital planet.

It is comparable to asking Vitality members R300 a month to join a Virgin Active gym, instead of the R250 it would cost any other person.

MY REMEDY
The only acceptable solutions for me would be for either digital planet to start offering vitality members a real discount, or for vitality to discontinue the partnership.

Anyone want to bet that Im going to get anywhere? Thought not.

14 Comments:

Blogger Wayne W said...

Have you thought about maybe posting this on www.hellopeter.com? That might get a few more people to notice.

16 October 2004 at 19:43  
Blogger Richard said...

HelloPeter? What an idea! ;-)

18 October 2004 at 10:52  
Blogger Johann de Swardt said...

Haha!

21 August 2007 at 14:06  
Anonymous Nyameko said...

has discovery closed this issue with Digital Planet? or are they still allowing their loyal members to be ripped-off by the corporate partners?

09 April 2008 at 18:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still amazed at how many people are members of Vitality, it's an absolute rip-off. Most people don't even know they are members, or are unaware that they are paying the R90 or R100 per month so that they can get a discounted movie ticket once or twice a year! It took me a few months to discover (excuse the pun) that I was paying this much, when I cancelled I got several phone calls begging me to rejoin - what are the chances?

18 September 2008 at 08:24  
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