Fitness device maker Fitbit is offering up an honest deal to customers who are reporting that their Fitbit Force is causing them skin irritation: you can either get a full refund, or swap out your tracker for a different one from the Fitbit line, the assumption being that you’ll likely opt for one that won’t continually touch your epidermis.
The Fitbit Force is admittedly designed to be worn all the time (it even tracks sleep while worn in bed), so it isn’t surprising that people are doing just that. But it’s also not surprising that such behavior results in irritated skin and rashes. Think about it: what else do you wear on your body all the time without any breaks for at all for days on end?
For those who haven’t ever had the extreme pleasure of breaking a bone, wearing a cast produces similar results. It’s impossible to have one enrobing any of your limbs and escape without some kind of skin irritation, simply because skin isn’t designed to be encased by anything for any significant length of time.
I don’t doubt that people are getting rashes from the Fitbit Force, and multiple news reports now depict the effects, but I also honestly think this is much more of a “well what did you expect” situation than an “OMG FITBIT POISONS PEOPLE WTF!!!1!!” scenario. Kudos to Fitbit for stepping up and offering a full refund, or a replacement from its lineup complete with free shipping and a restoration of any difference in final purchase price.
Here’s the full statement from Fitbit on the issue, updated as of this morning:
We are looking into reports from a very limited number of Fitbit Force users who have been experiencing skin irritation, possibly as a result of an allergy to nickel, an element of surgical-grade stainless steel used in the device.
We suggest that consumers experiencing any irritation discontinue using the product and contact Fitbit firstname.lastname@example.org if they have additional questions. Customers may also contact Fitbit for an immediate refund or replacement with a different Fitbit product.
We are sorry that even a few consumers have experienced these problems and assure you that we are looking at ways to modify the product so that anyone can wear the Fitbit Force comfortably. We will continue to update our customers with the latest information.