Complaints over the durability (or lack thereof) of Jawbone’s UP wristband have led the company to the unusual move of promising refunds to all customers — even if they decline to return the device to Jawbone. Jawbone says current UP owners can keep their wristbands, according to TechCrunch, so long as they promise not to sell them on eBay or otherwise profit from it. A letter from the company’s CEO lays out the plan and promises that Jawbone is retooling to fix the issues.
Meanwhile, all pending orders for the Jawbone UP have been canceled, and Jawbone offers existing users a choice of cash refunds of US$109.43 or Jawbone.com credit of $150.
The Jawbone UP wristband fitness tracker has received generally good reviews, but many users have complained that the hardware fails after a short period of time. In response, Jawbone has withdrawn UP from circulation until it can sort these issues out. This recall/refund scheme will no doubt cost Jawbone a great deal of money, but it may be an acceptable tradeoff if the company reaps enough goodwill in return.
In an official statement Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman says “We recognize that this product has not yet lived up to everyone’s expectations – including our own – so we’re taking action.”
Earlier this year, we unveiled Jawbone’s vision to help people live a healthier life with UP. We’ve been thrilled by the passionate response to this product. We heard from tens of thousands of you through emails, tweets, blog posts and on our forums about how you’re changing your lifestyle and becoming consumers of your own health. In just four weeks, UP users have collectively taken over three billion steps, gotten more than 300 years of sleep and captured hundreds of thousands of meals.
While many of you continue to enjoy the UP experience, we know that some of you have experienced issues with your UP band. Given our commitment to delivering the highest quality products, this is unacceptable and you have our deepest apologies. We’ve been working around the clock to identify the root causes and we’d like to thank everyone who has provided us with information and returned their bands to us for troubleshooting. With your help, we’ve found an issue with two specific capacitors in the power system that affects the ability to hold a charge in some of our bands. We’re also fixing an issue with syncing related to the band hardware. Typically, these issues surface within the first seven to ten days of use. The glitches are purely performance related and do not pose any safety risk.