Fitibt recalls Force fitness band over skin irritation, offers refunds

By , Feb 21, 2014

Fitbit Flex

Here’s a little wake-up call for companies jumping on the wearable devices bandwagon like there’s no tomorrow. You don’t get to ever think about skin irritation in regard to computers, digital cameras, smartphones, tablets and other gadgets. But fitness trackers and health bands are quite a different story: this kind of technology gets worn on one’s person and is in direct contact with skin more or less 24/7.

Case in point: accessory maker Fitbit on Friday announced a voluntary recall of its Force fitness tracker due to complaints of skin irritation. The company has stopped sales of the rash-inducing wristband and will be offering refunds, according to Consumerist

Consumerist broke the story last month that Fitbit customers were complaining of contact dermatitis caused by the Force movement trackers. Disgruntled users who succumbed to rashes took to Fitbit’s forums, demanding the company recall the trackers.

The recall wasn’t prompted by the FTC, the publication claims.

Fitbit claims only a small percentage of Force users complained about the issue.

A letter to customers by Fitbit CEO James Park mentions about 1.7 percent of the Force owners having reported “any” skin irritation stemming from wearing the device on their person.

fitbit_rash

Here’s a statement Fitbit issued earlier today:

We wanted to provide an update on our investigation into reports we have received about Force users experiencing skin irritation.

From the beginning, we’ve taken this matter very seriously. We hired independent labs and medical experts to conduct a thorough investigation, and have now learned enough to take further action. The materials used in Force are commonly found in many consumer products, and affected users are likely experiencing an allergic reaction to these materials.

While only a small percentage of Force users have reported any issue, we care about every one of our customers. We have stopped selling Force and are in the process of conducting a voluntary recall, out of an abundance of caution. We are also offering a refund directly to consumers for full retail price. We want to thank each and every member of the Fitbit community for their continued loyalty and support.

Only the Fitbit Force is affected by this issue.

Fitbit also mentions it’s hard at work developing a next-generation tracker, but stopped short of specifying when it might arrive.

To receive a refund for your Force, fill out a form here. 

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  • 8nn0yed

    You’ve featured a photo of the FitBit Flex, rather than FitBit Force. I have a Force and wear it 24/7, and have done so for months without any issue. I won’t be returning mine.

    • sshadowssin

      Love mine as well. Just hoping they keep good on the caller id update this month for those of us who want to keep it.

  • Smuys

    typo in the title ;)

  • jack

    pathetic

  • pnh

    Hard to view this as a trusted site when you can’t spell Fitbit in the title AND the picture is not the Force, it’s the Flex.

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    I have had no such issue with mine, either. This may be an isolated issue with a small percentage of users as Fitbit has claimed, because the only type I would get any type of irritation is if I wore mine too tightly. That may be one of the possible issues. Either way, I love mine!

  • Joseph A. Ahmad

    This may be more of an isolated issue since only a small percentage of people are being affected. I feel like maybe the skin irritation may be caused by wearing it more tightly or improperly. In any case, I will be keeping mine because I love it and use it very heavily on a daily basis. I think it’s fantastic!