incentive – is a simple concept: Place a sticker on your worthy possessions, and if one of them ever gets lost, the person who finds it SMSs the number on the sticker to 33105. The back-end system then notifies the owner via SMS and email, the owner and finder are connected and make arrangements to do the swap. The name obviously implies that a reward will be given for finding, which is a small price to pay for data retrieval, buying another device, the hassle of claiming from insurance, etc.
I challenged him on a few things though:
Me: “This can’t obviously replace insurance, ‘cos not everyone is a good person.”
Steve: “It’s not an insurance replacement, it’s relying on the goodwill of your fellow South Africans. Insurance companies are interested in this because they see their customers’ claims being reduced significantly.”
Me: “So can’t I just stick something I made myself on my possessions and hope people will phone me?”
Steve: “Of course you could, people do already (like on their luggage), but the service which is easy to use by sending one SMS or logging on to the site is a guarantee to get the original owner in contact with you, and the name suggests you’ll be rewarded, which is only fair.”
Me: “But what if someone holds my laptop ransom and demands a lot more than the reward I want to offer them?”
Steve: “RICA enforces all cellphone numbers to be attached to a specific person with all of their details. Should someone want to take a chance like that, the owner can contact us and we will go the legal route, bringing in lawyers and the Police, because we have their details and they can be found.”
So they’ve done their homework. But what I want to know is:
1. Would you use it?
2. If yes, would you pay a monthly fee relying on the honesty of others?