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Fitbit admits it misled Australians on product warranties

Fitness tracker manufacturer Fitbit has admitted that it provided misleading information to Australians about their customer guarantee rights under Australian Consumer Law.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement that it had accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Fitbit to amend the information it provided.

The competition watchdog said from November 2016 to March 2017, Fitbit had told customers that the warranty it provided against faulty products was only for a year.

Fitbit also told customers that faulty products would be replaced only for the remainder of a calendar year or 30 days, whichever was longer.

The ACCC said it had received more than 100 complaints about these representations of consumer rights.

“Fitbit has acknowledged that it may have breached the law by misrepresenting what customers were entitled to for faulty products,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said.

“If a business offers its own limited express warranty, they must make it clear that the warranty is in addition to the remedies available under the Australian Consumer Law consumer guarantees, not instead of them.

“The Australian Consumer Law provides automatic rights that cannot be excluded, restricted or modified. If goods you purchase fail to meet a consumer guarantee, you are entitled to remedies which include repair, replacement or refund depending on the circumstances.”

The watchdog said the company had co-operated with its investigation and extended its express manufacturer’s warranty from one year to two years for Australian consumers.

Apart from this, Fitbit has agreed to provided contact details on its website for those looking to rectify problems with faulty products, to train its staff about consumer rights, and to amend the terms of its premium service to ensure customers are informed in advance about the renewal of fees for the service.

In a statement, Fitbit said: "The quality of Fitbit products and customer satisfaction are our top priorities. We are the leading global wearables brand and hundreds of thousands of Australians enjoy our products every day.

"We are proud of our high standard of customer service and work to ensure that customer complaints are resolved quickly and to the utmost satisfaction of our customers.

"Fitbit has worked closely with the ACCC and voluntarily increased our warranty period in Australia from one year to a minimum of two years, giving our customers even greater peace of mind. If consumers have any questions or concerns, they can contact us at help.fitbit.com."

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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