Tuesday, March 3, 2015

FitBit FAIL: Why I will not buy another FitBit device

A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday, FitBit got me again. Friends were talking about steps, we were talking about playing along on the competitive step tracking, and I was poised for a week of tradeshow activities -- usually good for 20-25K step days. And so, on the way to the airport, we popped into Costco to pick up some new FitBit units.

We needed new hardware because we had both gone through the inevitable losing the FitBit experience... twice. Enter the latest in chapter in our Fitbit saga, the Fitbit Flex. Initially, when we were looking at the Costco packaging, it looked like a great deal -- we could get three Fitbits for $100. Then, somebody in the store explained to us that it was only one Fitbit with three wristbands (the packaging is not particularly clear about this). So, somewhat discouraged by getting less of a deal than we expected, we decided to move forward. In the parking lot, we soon discovered that the multiple color options was not, in fact, much for multiple color options -- instead, just two color options and a second size (the bands come in small or large). And as we continued to the airport, be began to muse as to the purpose of including so many wrist bands -- do they wear out that quickly? Are replacements expensive? So many product mysteries.

My trip was a short one -- just down to Anaheim for the night, set-up the next morning, then back. By the time I had left security at John Wayne airport, I realized that my new Fitbit Flex was gone. Your first instinct is to go back to security and look for it, but when you know that you didn't take it off in the first place, you can bet that it fell off sooner than than. When we first bought the units, we wrestled with trying to get the little plastic snap through the rubber wristband -- why not use a traditional watchband clasp? My complaints at that time were only a fraction of what they were once I realized that the crappy snap-in design didn't stay on my wrist.

Part of the reason why we purchased the Fitbit from Costco was their excellent return policy -- the idea that if we didn't like the wristband unit, we could return it easily. Sadly, when you have lost your Fitbit, you can't really return it for it's sucky design.

Perhaps the most ironic Fitbit thing -- I remember sitting through a session at Dreamforce where they were talking about what a great customer experience Fitbit provides using the marketing features in Salesforce.com. When a person activates a unit, Fitbit sends them an email. You might think that Fitbit would send you an email when they suddenly see your activity stop. Then again, that's probably an indication that you lost yet another Fitbit. Feedback? no. Need help? no. Discounts on replacements? no. Loyalty? none.

I'm done.

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