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Fitbit fail? Nope! (Updated) Yep!


If you have been following me for a while you might have noticed I talk about my Fitbit often.  My wife and I started out with the Fitbit Zip, followed by the Flex and now we both have the Charge HR.  I got mine for my birthday earlier this year and it pretty much has stayed on my wrist unless it was being charged or in danger of getting wet (my daughter splashes A LOT in the bath).  Much to my chagrin I noticed that only after 8 months or so of wearing it the band and casing started to get real loose.img_3049

Remembering the Fitbit recall from a few years back I had been impressed by Fitbit’s response to customers who had experienced the skin irritations.  So I decided to contact customer service in the hopes of getting some sort of repair done for mine or see what they would recommend.  I sent along a picture as well to illustrate my concerns.  Within 24 hours they got in contact with me, asked a couple of questions, and then next thing I know I get a shipping notice with my new Charge HR on the way.  Wow! Color me impressed.

While waiting for the new Fitbit to arrive I noticed they have a new Charge  model out that looks really nice with interchangeable bands (It also includes a guided breathing mode, which I am intrigued by).  But while waiting for my replacement Charge HR to arrive my Charge’s band separated even more from the housing.  My choice was either take it off and run the risk of my wife’s ire in the morning (I’m up at 5:30 and use the silent alarm feature on the Fitbit) or figure something else out to secure it.  I found a rubber band and chose the latter.

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Resourcefulness! Can’t be without my silent alarm or performance data.

Safe to say my rubber band solution was only needed for a day and a half as they shipped the replacement out fairly fast.  I have to give Fitbit props for keeping this customer satisfied.  I am positive when my new Charge HR bites the dust (hopefully in a long while) I will be replacing with the next-gen Fitbit wearable.  I wanted to post about my experience because it is rare for companies in this day and age to respond not only favorably but with no questions asked (I think the picture helped ;).

UPDATE: 9 months later.  The second fitbit charge HR they sent me also has suffered a similar fate to the original.  The band bubbled and then started separating from the unit.  Additionally some of the plastic broke off.  Mechanically it still functions fine.  I am not however wearing it all day any more.  I have been wearing it only to sleep.  I need the vibrating alarm function so I don’t wake my wife in the mornings.  I’m sad that the wearable only lasted about 3 months longer than the first one.

Update: 1 month later.  I went to Amazon.com and found a replacement band for the fitbit charge HR for about $20.  It shipped with a tool to help take the sensing unit out of the band.  While the directions were not great and the video helped a little I managed to get it fixed and am wearing my fitbit again.

Would I recommend a fitbit now?  Yeah.  The new Fitbit Charge HR 2s have a different strap system.   You can mix and match straps as well.  So if you were to buy a new one I would recommend.  I am not getting a new one any time soon, however.

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Categories: Health and fitness, Test DriveTags: ,

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