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Vivo Miles Raffles

(7 Posts)
LCD100 Mon 10-Dec-12 20:23:58

Hello,

My son's school just started the Vivo Miles scheme this year. I was VERY surprised when he told me he had bought a raffle ticket with his Vivo Miles this week. I checked, and indeed they do hold raffles for the children. Why am I surprised? Well, it is illegal for under 16s to buy raffle and lottery tickets. Maybe this is just about legal as the children are using their Vivo Miles to buy the raffle ticket, but the Miles still equate to a cash value, which comes out of school budget. So, is this legal or not? And if it is legal, is it moral? I think it's sailing very close to the wind. My personal opinion is that it is normalising and encouraging gambling. The school is effectively acting as an intermediary for children to buy lottery tickets by doing it through their budget.

I wrote to our Head about it today (obviously no reply yet), left a phone message with her, and also called Vivo Reward Ltds. Vivo Rewards Ltd decided to pull the raffle from our school's options, which is good IMO, but they said it would still be running across other schools. They also said they would be asking their lawyers to check the legality of the raffle. Aside from the legality I asked them to think about the moral position. After all, lottery tickets are not on sale to a children for a reason. In fact, a number of good reasons, which I listed to them.

Vivo Reward Lts must be RAKING it in, as they have well over a million pupils, and each ticket costs 5p, and they run these raffles regularly. The children work hard for points, then throw them away in a lottery. Which they would never be allowed to do at all if they were spending actual cash.

The prize at the moment? An ipad mini. Not sure this is suitable, in all parents eyes, for primary school age children. You can't set adquate parental controls on ipads, only choose to have Safari (web browsing) on or off.

Finally, the last thing I was horrified about (which I only noticed after letter to school and conversation with Vivo Rewards Ltd) was that our school pupils can save up their Miles to buy vouchers to spend with www.firebox.com. The link provided went to a page which sold alcohol and, among other things, jokey inappropriate items such as a 50 Shades of Grey Poster, a book about Zombies, Cannabis Energy Drink and my personal un-favourite 'Maybe you touched your genitals hand sanitiser'. Who is policing the rewards from within the company, at our schools, and in local authorities?

I'm concerned that this is what happens when private companies make profit from children at school.

I wasn't sure I liked the principle of the scheme in the first place, rewarding hard work and effort with material gains, but I know I don't like it now.

My son is 7 and has been exposed to unsuitable, age-inappropriate web pages and gambling.

What is anyone else's experiences of Vivo Rewards Ltd, and do you have any advice to offer?

vesela Mon 10-Dec-12 22:09:09

I think reward schemes are the work of the devil, but even I was surprised to learn Vivo were going so far as to run raffles (came across it while googling earlier this week). Hadn't heard about the dodgy pages.

LCD100 Tue 11-Dec-12 18:22:26

Does anyone else on here have Vivo Miles in their primary school? Would love another opinion or advice!

crazygracieuk Tue 11-Dec-12 21:15:50

We don't have the system in our school or our old one.

Our old one had a system where good behaviour/work was rewarded with a raffle ticket with your name on and at the end of the week, the winning ticket got to choose a prize (which was a Hawkins toy worth less than £1.)

Based on our local schools, I think reward systems are more popular at secondary than primary. Personally I'm shocked that this is going on at primary level and wouldn't be happy if our primary was doing this.

crazygracieuk Tue 11-Dec-12 21:17:02

I forgot to say that the raffle system was done with generic raffle tickets like you get at school raffles and the hat was a hat with a large capacity rather than a computer or anything like that.

LCD100 Wed 12-Dec-12 21:20:38

The winners have been announced on the Facebook page. Some children seem to have spent a lot of Vivo Miles on this raffle. One said he used 750 miles which equates to £38! Vivo Rewards Ltd have over 1.2m children in the scheme, buying tickets at 5p each (5 Vivo Miles) and there is no limit to how many they can buy. That's potentially a lot of our schools' education budget being handed over to this company by children, who are being encouraged to buy lottery tickets :-(

LCD100 Fri 04-Jan-13 10:51:27

In case anybody is interested on an update, the Times Educational Supplement have published an article on Vivo Rewards Ltd today:

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6312367

If your school uses Vivo Miles as motivational tool I would suggest you monitor what they are doing quite closely. Unfortunately I think there is always a likelihood that these sorts of companies (making a profit from children with morally questionable tactics like lotteries) could always be tempted to push the boundaries a little.

At this stage, I personally will be watching out for:
- future raffles and lotteries from Vivo
- relationships with any other unsuitable/age-inappropriate partners like Firebox
- advertising to children within the logged in environment, as I saw with Firebox
- and whether my school passes my child's data to any more third parties. (I was not happy with the data being supplied without my consent, especially after I read Vivo's privacy statement, and even more unhappy after the raffle and Firebox outcome.)

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