Wired 'overwhelmed' after fitness giveaway goes viral

By Leo Kelion
Technology desk editor

image copyrightMisfit
image captionThe Misfit Flash runs off a battery that lasts for six months, making it a popular alternative to fitness trackers that need to be regularly recharged

Wired has apologised after a fitness tracker giveaway proved too good to be true for some of its UK readers.

The tech magazine had run an offer promising new subscribers Misfit's latest activity and sleep monitor.

The deal appeared tempting, since the total cost of the package was less than a fifth of the price the Misfit Flash retailed for on the High Street.

But when details of the offer spread online, the magazine's publisher said it was "overwhelmed" by the response.

News that Conde Nast was struggling to meet demand emerged after users emailed the firm to chase up overdue deliveries.

image copyrightWired
image captionThe offer was listed in the copy of Wired sold in the UK in December

After several days of delay, it sent back the following response late last week:

"While this promotion was only published in the printed copy of Wired, one individual took the initiative to leak the offer on hotukdeals.co.uk... as a result we received a large number of orders online after the offer was made public. We are looking into a solution."

This provoked scorn from some of those affected.

"Wired, a tech magazine has the gall to complain a reader posted the offer online," wrote one member of HotUKDeals.

"This is their target audience, what did they think was going to happen?"

Another wrote: "In my opinion any company worth their salt would have removed the link page to order as soon as the numbers had dwindled... from what I can see, this has been a shambles."

The Misfit Flash sells for about £50 in UK stores, but was being offered as part of a £9 package that also included home delivery of the magazine and access to its digital editions for half a year.

After being contacted by the BBC, Conde Nast promised that those left out of hand would shortly be contacted by post.

"The take-up has far surpassed anything equivalent run in the past, and the limited stocks - which were subject to availability as outlined in the terms and conditions - have run out," said spokeswoman Melody Rayner, who was unable to quantify the scale of the shortfall.

image copyrightMisfit
image captionOne HotUKDeals member reported taking out two subscriptions to the magazine so both he and his wife could get the fitness tracker

"We have been working hard to find an alternative, and are pleased to offer a six-month extension to the subscription.

"Letters have been sent to those affected, which they will receive this week. For anyone not satisfied with this, a refund will be available."

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