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FitBit could have used some better customer service

By August 8, 2023No Comments

I was doing some thinking about what separates me from Will Smith. Outside of a lucrative movie career, the first grammy for best rap performance, and good looks … Not much, especially after I picked up this device right here… the Fitbit Charge 5 

1. The situation & How FitBit handled it

2. The 3 things they could have done better

3. How you can avoid the same problem

So here’s the sitch’ Wade.

I got a FitBit charge to monitor my sleeping and activity, and during the first week, while I was at peak physical performance… It was mis registering my heart rate.

When comparing the results with a professional using a stethescope, my heart rate was 170bpm, compared to my watch’s 111.

That’s really off!

So I reached out to FitBit and broke down all the metrics. Now, because I’m a data nerd, I included multiple exercises, the registration of resting vs. peak heart rates multiple times over multiple sessions.

I also did all of the troubleshooting they asked for when going through customer service, and after 2 agents, escalating to another tier, and waiting a week to get an email response, this was they said:

“Hi Michael,

Thanks for your response.

Note that we don’t recommend comparing your Fitbit device to a stethoscope since they have a different technology when tracking your heart rate.”

Not even a call to action!

So what could they have done better?

Well for a start, they could have read my transcriptions before each conversation, but that’s me complaining.

What they could have done is something Scott Galloway talks about a lot which is:

When in crisis; you do 3 things:

1. Communicate often

2. Acknowledge the Issue

3. Overcorrect

Here’s how I would have handled this problem:

“Hey there Michael,
Should I call a plumber? Because it looks like those pipes are about to burst….

Look, because of the technology, the sensor equipped on the FitBit charge 5 is accurate to a medical heart rating within X%. There will always be deviance, and we recommend you incorporate that with your trainer into your workouts.

Also, it does look like your fitbit is reading lower than normal, and because of that we are shipping you a new one, we just ask you return your old one within 30 days, or you’ll get charged for it.

Sorry for all of this, we really want this experience to go as smoothly as possible, and thanks so much for taking the time to double check on our sensor data, it really helps.”

And that’s it! That would have made me a rabid FitBit fanatic, rather than a whiny person on the internet.

So, let’s recap what we’ve learned here:

Be kind and over communicate:

FitBit fumbled their customer service with me. They reprimanded me for comparing their product with other tools, and gave me no further recourse.

Acknowledge the problem:

Simply showing understanding of the situation and offering me solace goes a long way to improving relations, along with a call to action to continue next steps


What you can do better than FitBit is to see where the situation is going, and preempt the challenges the consumer will have.

If they had sent me a new device to swap I would be telling my friends and family about a great experience, rather than complaining about it to you!

And that’s FitBit…
Thanks so much for your attention,
Oh, how did it turn out? I exchanged my Charge 5 for one that… doesn’t hold a charge longer than 3 days. So I’m gonna return this Charge 5 once more, and maybe I’ll get one that works.

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