Fitbit and Jawbone fight to stem tide of in-field failures
Judging by the volume of tweets to their Support accounts on Twitter, leading smart wristband makers Fitbit and Jawbone are both fighting to stem the tide of in-field failures of their smart wristbands.
We’re already on our second Fitbit Charge HR, since our first one started to lose its battery charge in less than four days (Fitbit claims 5-7 days) so we sent it back. Although our replacement band has been in use only since March, the rubber strap is already looking worn, and the OLED display is scratched.
Over the last two years, our own device failure rate includes two Jawbone UP bands, a Fitbit Flex and a Fitbit Charge HR.
We are not alone: Here is just a selection of tweets at Fitbit from the last couple of days: As you can see, the company is doing a really great job in responding sympathetically to its disappointed customers, but this is not really the point.
— jose forbes (@joseforbes) July 6, 2015
— bellahaze (@BellaHaze22) July 2, 2015
@FitbitSupport my Fitbit is not sync with the app on my iPhone. It just keeps saying looking for 2 days now
— Jody terry (@jmt722) July 6, 2015
The quality of these smart wristbands still leaves much to be desired. We’ve heard similar horror stories about the now-defunct Nike FuelBand, with corroded USB connections and water leakage being the number one grumbles. And it’s the same story at Jawbone. Jawbone’s help account on Twitter is equally inundated with requests for help. We are not surprised: Both UP24s that we gave as Christmas gifts in 2013 have now both failed. Over the course of 2014, one was replaced on a three-monthly basis while under warranty. Jawbone is refusing to entertain any further claims but did offer a 20% discount on a new one … to which the band owner’s response was: You must be joking. Here’s more…
Uninstalled @Jawbone app after the fourth or fifth time it failed to record any steps during a workout. It’s just not motivating.
— Jeremy Stanley (@jstanley0) July 2, 2015
— Shaffiya Jauha (@ShaffiyaJauha) June 30, 2015
The average lifespan of a smart wristband that’s used every day seems to be around 12-18 months. That’s a terrible track record for the wearables industry – even a throw-away $10 digital watch usually lasts longer.
Has your smart wristband let you down? What about your smartwatch? Post a comment below: We’d love to hear from you.