Some users of the new Fitbit Force activity tracker really liked the product. They thought it was just great… right up until ugly patches of contact dermatitis broke out on their wrists. The company announced its own recall, but is simply accepting wristbands back from users who don’t want them enough?
Force users have pointed out to Consumerist that their doctors would really, really like to know the results of the testing that Fitbit performed on the product. When something is giving your patient contact dermatitis, it’s helpful to know what was causing the irritation.
Maybe we’ll find out soon enough what happened. Recall notices from the federal Consumer Products Safety Commission typically contain important information like the details of why an item was recalled and the number of complaints received and total complaints received.
We asked the CPSC whether they’re working on anything regarding the Fitbit, and a spokesperson responded:
CPSC is aware of Fitbit’s announcement of a recall involving the Fitbit Force wearable activity tracker. Fitbit is working cooperatively with CPSC on developing a comprehensive recall plan to address the risks they have identified.
As fans of our Recall Roundup know well, companies and the CPSC usually announce recalls at the same time, with news hitting the government site at the same time that it hits the company’s own site or a press release. Instead, Fitbit took new bands off the market and put a recall notice on their website. We’ve also learned that Force users are being notified when they log-in to view their statistics.
Is this good for consumers? If you ask people who are happy with the Force, and who aren’t experiencing any skin irritation, it’s great that the company will keep supporting the product and are fine with people continuing to use it. If you ask irritated Force users with irritated skin, though, Fitbit should just go ahead and recall all Force units in circulation and let consumers know what the offending substance was. “Testing has determined that there are no issues with the batteries or electrical systems in the Force,” a Fitbit representative said in a statement on the user forums, which is good, since many users speculated that their wounds were electrical burns. Do they know what did cause the issue, or is it just that they can’t tell us?