The CEO of Fitbit has announced that they have stopped sales of the Fitbit Force and offered a voluntary recall. If you have a Fitbit Force and would like to get a refund, they have set up a dedicated page on their website or call 888-656-6381.
Here’s a comment from the CEO about the reason for the recall:
Late last year, we began selling Fitbit Force, our most advanced activity tracker. Recently, some Force users have reported skin irritation. While only 1.7% of Force users have reported any type of skin irritation, we care about every one of our customers. On behalf of the entire Fitbit team, I want to apologize to anyone affected.
Of course, we know the difference in number between people who report problems and those that have them is very different. It is interesting that their test results show that users are likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis.
When you think about a watch based product like this, you’d think that the science of materials for watches would be solid. It seems really odd to me that Fitbit and their pile of investor dollars didn’t tap into this science to avoid an issue like this.
The timing for this is also interesting with so many people touting the Fitbit Force as their giveaway at HIMSS 2014. Well, I guess winners now have an easy way to cash it in for $130 if they want as opposed to heading to eBay.
James Park, Fitbit CEO, does note that they’re working on their next generation tracker. I won’t be surprised if the Fitbit Force brand never sees the light of day again. I’m pretty sure they’ll want to take the lessons learned and move forward and put the Force behind them.