(Updated 2) The MWC Challenge That Bit Fitbit
This blog had not intended to write yet another post criticizing Fitbit for customer service. However, the Fitbit MWC Challenge appears to have seriously backfired on the company, and Fitbit has now even deleted the entire thread on its Forums.
Earlier, the now-defunct thread was full of posts from disgruntled customers. The fresh round of complaints relates to missing Flex chargers: apparently, some trade show delegates who took advantage of Fitbit’s lowest-ever price offer for the Flex got only the tracker and one wristband for EUR 59, but no charging dongle and no packaging, in comparison to the regular EUR 99 price. As this blog documented, charging dongles are available for individual purchase at EUR 20.
On the now-extinct Fitbit 2014 Challenge forum, the conversation raged on all day … until it mysteriously disappeared. The entire thread is now offline: “The topic you requested no longer exists: 2017612633081646213.”
The Fitbit MWC Challenge should have been fun, but it’s turning into an embarrassment for the company. Fitbit should also know that deleting customer complaints on social media is a serious faux pas.
Here’s what happened earlier …
Thread started, entitled “Where is the charger?”
Reply from Kuchimoose: “Same here, expecting 2 chargers and received nothing so far…..”
Reply from Ferran: “Same here… Expecting 3 chargers and nothing yet… :S. With love from Barcelona.”
Reply from Dirk: “Which charger / Which battery do you mean? The “charger” is just a small USB adaptor, not a real charger that plugs into a power outlet. It can charge on laptops or any charger of an iPhone or android. The “battery” is built into the fitbit flex inside the little “pill”. It is not removable.”
Reply from Charles B.: “I just went back to the stand later on and collected one – when they gave me mine they advised me to come back later to collect one. Did you not do that?”
Reply from Tito (sic): “I have the same issue, they promissed to send me the cable for the battery in two days. But I don´t received yet. I asked to customer service of fitbit and nothung happens. Iam going to comunicate to Paypal this sittuation. Very but customer experience.”
Reply from Gareth J: “Guys, I am the GM for EMEA, sorry for this inconvenience. We will get back to you asap. As soon as I find out what went wrong!” (Gareth Jones is Fitbit GM for EMEA = General Manager for the EMEA region; aka the boss, and certainly should be empowered to sort out this issue).
Rares F responded (sic): “same here… no more chargers at booth and no email… i was lucky i am using my girlfriends charger… still not ok. promised me a blue bracelet instead of the scratched one from the bag… no sign on that either. please fix this”
Ally posted: “I am also waiting on two chargers that were promised to be mailed out the following day – bought my 2 Fitbit bracelets at Mobile World Congress (MWC) on 26/2/14 and couldn’t go back to stand when apparently new chargers were arriving later as had plane to catch. Was guaranteed they would be posted next working day 27/2/14. Still no chargers and can not use my devices now as out of charge. – Please advise?”
That was the last post before the entire thread disappeared.
Is this how Gareth Jones defines”getting back to his customers”?
Watch this space.
Update: Six days later (on March 13), a somewhat defiant response from Christine Brumback, Director of Product at Fitbit, via her Twitter account @Boomer: “chargers should arrive within 7days. Forum removed because it was tied to an event, and the event was done :)” No mention of an apology for the inconvenience, or why it took six days to even respond.
Update 2: On March 14, Fitbit sent out a mail to participants saying “Thank you for participating in the Fitbit Challenge!” and sharing that “1400 participants who took part” (maybe they should check a dictionary next time to find out what a participant is …) covered a total distance of 36,000 KM, or more than 50 million steps. That’s an average of 25-plus KM for MWC participants over four days, and just goes to show that comfortable shoes are a must for trade shows.
Did you buy a Fitbit at MWC? Are you still waiting for your charger? Get in touch!