Fitbit: Why the Collapse is Set to Continue

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  1. Jack Cole says:

    FitBit had a recurring income model. It allowed users to record journal notes heart rate, blood pressure, etc. These are all useful data to give to your health care professional. All these data were available thru an annual subscription plan.

    In August of 2015, the company gave users 30 days notice that this many of the body measurements were being dropped. Although the company insists that the data belongs to the user, FitBit provided no means to download the data. At the end of August all the data would be gone. Users were furious and complained loud and clear on one of the community forums.

    FitBit reps deleted some of the comments for no apparent reason. They kept insisting that it was too expensive to maintain the data, and resources were being redirected to other projects. The cost for the subscription was about the same as a Carbonite subscription. Carbonite can back up my computer on a regular basis for a year. FitBit claimed they could not afford to back up 8 or 10 lines of data at the same cost.

    One of the new projects was to produce shiny new badges. For someone interested in tracking health and fitness, these badges are useless. My cardiologist wants to know my heart rate and BP before, during and after exercise, The doctor for a diabetic wants to know glucose levels. A badge signifying that since I started wearing a FitBit I have walked the equivalent distance of crossing the Sahara Desert does not give my doctor the info he needs.

    Part of FitBits growth was proselytizing by current users. In the forum many users indicated the large number of devices they had purchased or influenced others to purchase. Most of these users have moved on to other devices (based upon comments in the forum) when the company refused to change policy. We also felt like we were being treated like whiny children. When you disrespect your customers don’t expect them to remain loyal.


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