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‘I have been chasing a Fitbit refund since April 2022.’ An infuriating 18-month wait

Pricewatch: A product recall in 2022 left a reader badgering the Google-owned maker of activity trackers for $299

Anthony is the patron saint of lost things and a reader who shares the saint’s name lost both hope and faith in Fitbit and its parent company Google after spending more than a year fighting for his right to a refund.

Anthony’s story starts in March 2022 when Fitbit recalled its Ionic watches internationally due to a burn hazard, with a full refund promise issued to impacted consumers.

“I registered for the recall in April 2022 and have been chasing my refund ever since,” his mail starts.

“Having heard nothing after registration, I inquired in June 2022 via their helpline to be told to wait six to eight weeks. In December I received an email saying my refund was cancelled because they could not verify my identity. I contested this and was instructed to re-register. Again the process stalled and I tick-tacked with their helpline for months, being told my case was escalated and to wait six to eight weeks for the refund to appear, which it never did.”


Fast forward to June 2023 when Anthony spoke to the Fitbit helpline again and was told again to wait two months for his refund.

“When the refund did not materialise in August, in early September I started corresponding with Fitbit via their Twitter account. They were able to tell me that my case had been closed, and instructed me to re-register again, which I did.”

He was also told to wait for Fitbit to contact him.

“The first email I received from Fitbit asked me to rate their customer service,” he says with barely concealed rage.

“I then received an email on September 10th apologising for the delay in processing my refund, asking me to add a list of addresses to my safe senders list, and to check my junk mail folder for correspondence,” he continues. “You will not be surprised that nothing further arrived from Fitbit or its recall team.”

He did some research and, following some advice sourced on Reddit, he contacted the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. “The CPSC is a US government agency that works with companies whose products are recalled. They forwarded my complaint details to their office of compliance who would be contacting Fitbit on my behalf.”

That was mid-September. “Even the US government can’t move Fitbit to process a $299 refund via PayPal,” he says. “I have since followed up with the CPSC, who have sent a second notice to Fitbit.”

He also inquired about the status of his case via Fitbit’s social media support team and was given a “generic reply about updating my case and waiting for contact. Fitbit have my records and can see the Ionic was on my account. They, and I, have all my correspondence going back a year and a half, chasing this. The mistakes have been on their end throughout. I had an Ionic, it was recalled, I registered for the recall, my device was disabled and rendered unusable, they have not refunded me. Can Pricewatch succeed where others have failed? Can you move Fitbit to issue its refund?

“I appreciate we are not talking a massive sum of money, which is what makes it so ridiculous that Fitbit is going to such lengths to avoid paying out to its consumers. I would imagine it has cost them more in time and labour to continuously run interference rather than issue refunds owed.”

Within 48 hours we had succeeded in extracting what looked like resolution although we can’t say for sure because the response we got was – to say the least – terse

He concludes his mail be saying he is “at my wits’ end. Fitbit is structured so that a consumer can never achieve direct contact to resolve any issues. There must be someone in the organisation who can flip the switch and send the refund. I do not know who to turn to get help. I’d like this resolved so I can move on with my life. It has become a pebble in my shoe.”

Well, we like nothing more than a challenge and we made contact with the folk who look after media queries for Fitbit and Google. Within 48 hours we had succeeded in extracting what looked like resolution although we can’t say for sure because the response we got was – to say the least – terse.

“Fitbit/Google has confirmed that the issue has been resolved directly with the customer now,” was all we were told. We pushed the company for more information about what had happened and why our reader was left hanging for so long but at the time of writing we had heard nothing back.