Vote Charlie!

Fitbit battery fizzles again

Posted at age 27.
Edited .

A few weeks ago, my Fitbit Charge HR rather quickly deteriorated from needing charging once a week to needing charging every day and a half. Thankfully it was within the one year warranty, and Fitbit pretty easily sent a replacement after I sent an email inquiry. I suppose had it happened just after the warranty ended, I could have gotten a replacement through my credit card warranty service, but it was nice Fitbit didn’t make it a big hassle.

IMG_20151224_003426.jpg

My Fitbit Charge HR after 11 months of use

This isn’t the first time my Fitbit battery significantly degraded a relatively short time after purchase. The Fitbit Flex I started using September 2013 was mostly shot one year later, but I held out till the Fitbit Charge HR was released since I really wanted automatic sleep tracking and the heart rate monitoring.

I have to wonder if this is how all Fitbit batteries perform. The two I had trouble with are the only two Fitbits I’ve managed to use for at least 9 months. All the others I swapped out due to upgrades.

Clearly Fitbit considers what I twice experienced to be a product defect. When browsing to the Fitbit Charge HR help page, clicking How do I maximize my tracker’s battery life? yields:

If you aren’t tracking runs or exercises that use GPS, your fully charged Fitbit Surge™ [sic] should last up [sic] 7 days as a fitness watch with continuous heart rate monitoring and activity tracking before needing a charge.

Since Fitbit warrants the product one year, presumably they feel the battery should last about a week for at least a year, or two years if you’re in the European Union. But since the batteries are not replaceable, it’d be nice if they lasted a few years. I guess Fitbit can’t be held responsible for the state of battery technology, but if batteries aren’t good enough to last a few years, they should be replaceable.

For the record, Fitbit also sent me a replacement a few years ago due to a possibly faulty clip. The email transcripts for both replacements are below. And before anyone accuses me of abusing the system, I’ve purchased quite a few of the damn trackers and accessories totaling $752.36!

Additional information for the curious

Purchase history

Fitbit warranty period

Fitbit, Inc. (“Fitbit”) warrants to the original purchaser that your Fitbit electronic device (the “Product”) shall be free from defects in materials and workmanship under normal use for a period of one (1) year from the date of purchase, except that if you reside in the European Economic Area (EEA) and you purchased your Fitbit product in the EEA, the warranty period is two (2) years from the date of purchase (the “Warranty Period”).

Faulty battery correspondence

[COLLAPSE]

From: Fitbit Support [email protected]
Date: Dec 23, 2015, 2:01 AM

We’ve received your support request. To update your case at any time, simply reply to this email.

Charge HR - Battery - Android (#07711036)

We know every step counts, so we make every effort to reply quickly. However, due to high contact volume, we may need 2 or more days to respond.

Need help fast? Your question might already have an answer.
Take a look on the Fitbit Community

Sincerely,
Fitbit Support

From: [email protected] [email protected]
Date: Dec 23, 2015, 2:40 AM

Hi Charlie,

We are sorry to hear that your Charge HR battery is draining quickly.

A fully charged battery should last 5 days.

We would like you to please confirm that you have Made sure you are charging the battery correctly by verifying that:

  • The charging cable is plugged into a working USB port.
  • The end plugged into the tracker fits securely.
  • While charging, a battery image appears on the display.

Certain actions, such as setting many alarms, may reduce tracker battery life. For tips on maximizing your tracker’s battery life, visit our help article at http://bit.ly/1yqi6OS.

Additionally, we want to let you know that using Quick View may reduce battery life. To turn Quick View off, go to Settings > Devices on your https://www.fitbit.com/settings/device dashboard.

If these tips do not help or your battery drain is significant, please let us know so we can investigate further.

Sincerely,

Aaron M. and the Fitbit Team

From: Charlie Gorichanaz
Date: Dec 23, 2015, 3:23 AM

Hello, thanks for the reply. I am indeed actually charging the device, or I don’t believe it would function for two days, but rather wouldn’t function at all. The device shows a battery charging and then full indicator on the screen while it is plugged into a USB port for charging. I am using no alarms or quick view, and my usage has not changed over the entire year. The battery has simply stopped holding a charge as long as specified.

From: [email protected] [email protected]
Date: Dec 23, 2015, 3:32 AM

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for troubleshooting this issue with us.

We appreciate the information you have provided and we will be glad to do our best to get you back on track as soon as possible.

We reviewed your tracker’s performance in our system and would like to move forward with determining your eligibility for replacement under warranty. In order to do so, we require you to please confirm the following information.

  • Full name
  • Preferred shipping address, including country
  • Phone number
  • Tracker’s size and color

We look forward hearing from you and let us know if you have any questions in the meantime.

Sincerely,

Aaron M. and the Fitbit Team

From: Charlie Gorichanaz
Date: Dec 23, 2015, 3:36 AM

Hello,

Charlie Gorichanaz xxxxxxxx, San Francisco, CA 94117, United States +1-xxx-xxx-xxxx Charge HR (Black) - Large

From: [email protected] [email protected]
Date: Dec 23, 2015, 3:41 AM

Hello Charlie,

Thank you for confirming your information.

We are glad to let you know that your Charge HR (Black) - Large replacement is now being processed and your confirmation number is A4SBD5F8K .

Once your order ships, you will receive a shipping confirmation from our order system. You can view the status of this order by clicking the View Order Status link in the confirmation email. This link also provides your tracking number.

  • You can expect that your order will arrive within 1 week from the date of shipment.

Once you receive your replacement, please go to the following help article for instructions on how to set up your replacement device: How do I set up a replacement tracker?

  • Your previous data will remain, all your personal information, preferences and saved history.

We suggest recycle your defective unit through a local electronics recycling program after your replacement arrives.

Feel free to contact us if we can assist you further. We will gladly help.

Sincerely,

Aaron M. and the Fitbit Team

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Possibly faulty clip correspondence

[COLLAPSE]

From: Charlie Gorichanaz
Date: Jan 23, 2012, 9:06 PM
To: [email protected] [email protected]

Hello there,

I was told to send my receipt to you after my Fitbit somehow broke off my jean pocket during the course of a two mile walk. I’ve owned it about two weeks and absolutely loved it, having kept it on me 24/7 since. I’ve also been convincing my friends to buy Fitbits, and would buy them as gifts if I could afford more! I don’t know how I’ll survive tonight without the sleep data… I even retraced my steps with a flashlight in 20 degree weather hoping to find the pieces, but no luck. :-/

Thanks, and have a good week.

From: Support [email protected]
Date: Jan 23, 2012, 9:10 PM
To: Charlie Gorichanaz

Fitbit- Customer Support CASE ID#: 118632
JAN 24, 2012 | 03:10AM UTC

Thank you for contacting Fitbit.

Please return-reply to this email if you need to conctact us regarding this CASE ID.

We know that every step counts, so we make every effort to reply as quickly as possible. However, please note that a response may take up to two business days during peak periods.

We are currently experiencing exceptionally high post-holiday season volume, must be all the great New Year’s resolutions in effect!

Please bear with us and please do not re-submit another case via webform or email - if you have an update, please simply return-reply to the Case email you received.

We generally answer cases in the order received and are currently on a 1-3 day turnaround.

We do not currently offer live phone or chat support, but shortly, very shortly - one of our New Year’s resolutions!

Thank you for choosing Fitbit and a happy, healthy new year to all!

Your Fitbit Support Team

From: Support [email protected]
Date: Jan 25, 2012, 6:37 PM
To: Charlie Gorichanaz

Hi Charlie,

Sorry to hear that you lost your Fitbit. We would love for you to get back on track with a new Fitbit. We currently have a Replacement Program that allows for you to purchase a new tracker at a discounted price. Our Replacement units will always be new, and are available at $49.95 for your first unit, but after speaking with my team we would like to issue a complimentary replacement.

Can you please provide the following information so that I can process a replacement for you?

*** name of the person who purchased the Fitbit
*** email address of the person who purchased the Fitbit
*** where the Fitbit was purchased
*** when the Fitbit was purchased
*** your full name
*** US shipping address for the replacement Fitbit
*** phone number for the replacement Fitbit

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Ellen and the Fitbit Team

From: Charlie Gorichanaz
Date: Jan 25, 2012, 6:40 PM
To: Support [email protected]
BCC: Sandy Rivas

Hello, I greatly appreciate this.

Purchaser:
Charlie Gorichanaz
[email protected]
Amazon.com
January 5, 2012

My shipping info:

Charlie Gorichanaz
xxx
xxx, xx xxxxx
 xxx-xxx-xxxx

I am also again attaching my original invoice from Amazon.

Thanks so much,


Charlie Gorichanaz

From: Sandy Rivas
Date: Jan 25, 2012, 7:29 PM To: Charlie Gorichanaz

I didn’t know they had a 1/2 price replacement program. that would be helpful too at some point!

From: Charlie Gorichanaz
Date: Jan 25, 2012, 7:32 PM
To: Sandy Rivas

yes, they apparently don’t advertise it… i suppose if they just replaced the bit and not the base, people couldn’t use it for fraud though

From: Support [email protected]
Date: Jan 26, 2012, 11:28 AM
To: Charlie Gorichanaz

Hi Charlie,

Thank you for the information. Your replacement Fitbit is now being processed and your confirmation number is T5V3T8Z. Please give it 5-7 business days to be shipped to you.

Here are the steps for setting up a replacement Fitbit:

Windows:

  1. Install the latest version of the software by going to www.fitbit.com/start
  2. The setup process will then begin and you’ll see a screen that asks you to register. At this point you just want to login with your existing account. You’ll see a link on the page: ‘Already have an account? Log in’. Please click ‘Log in’, enter your existing account information and go through the setup process —- plug in the base station, place your tracker on the base station, wait for the battery icon to disappear and press and release the button on the tracker then click on ready. The tracker will show a series of numbers for you to type in. This makes sure that the tracker you are looking at is the tracker that the software is communicating with.

Macintosh:

Please install the latest version of the software by going to www.fitbit.com/start and proceed with account set-up. Your new Fitbit will now be linked to your account.

Please let us know if you have any further questions!

Sincerely,
Ellen and the Fitbit Team

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