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golferjoanne

Problem with Fitbit Force

Is anyone having a problem with their fitbit force. I traded my Fitbit Flex in for a Ftibit Force. After wearing my Force for a week, my husband noticed a large red spot on my wrist. It looks like a burn. Very red with lots of tiny blisters. My Force never produced any heat. I am wondering if it is a battery burn? Anyone experience this problem?

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44 replies
figtwig

Same issue here - a noticeable burn on the top of my wrist. I actually switched my Force to my other wrist when it was first apparent, and within 11 hours, I had the start of a burn (blistering, redness) on that wrist as well. It appears to be a chemical burn.
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Woodlandsgolfer

Same problem for me. Wore it for a month with no issue and then all of a sudden a terrible rash and blisters on my wrist right where the battery department sits on my wrist. Switched wrist and within 12 hours same rash and blisters in the exact same spot on my wrist. I did not buy this directly from Fitbit so I'm curious to see if they are going to do the right thing and take it back. They obviously have a major design flaw in this product.
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MsMtDew

YES!!! I am currently suffering two very several rashes from the Fitbit Force. I purchased my device directly from fitbit.com website in early December 2013. By late December I had a several rash on my left arm. I suspected the Fitbit as the cause, and it was confirm once I placed the device on my right arm. I've been to the doctor and on my second different prescription trying to clear up these horrible rashes. I've submitted a case on the Fitbit.com website, but I'm still awaiting a resolution. I now wear the device in my pocket, but after reading all of the message boards I'm concerned about even touching the device.

I sincerely like the concept of this product and really wanted to use it, but disappointed with the resulting rash. If I can not get a resolution from the company by the end of this week then I may consider consulting legal counsel.

I'm very interested in finding additional information on this topic. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!
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iota1

I have burns on both wrists from the area that the charging port came in contact with my skin after becoming wet. If they don't come up with a resolution in my case I am considering going to the local TV stations' consumer advocate. Maybe a little bad publicity will speed up results. They really need to recall these. It is a very bad design for a company that is supposed to be helping us get healthy! Mine was purchased from Best Buy - not sure if they will take it back if fitbit doesn't come through. I also have my charge card company as an option if all else fails.
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veneidig

the company was very helpful, offering to either credit it back to my account or exchange it for another product, but very careful about telling me to make sure he stops wearing it.
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veneidig

same reaction experienced by my spouse after I got the force for a christmas present. He thinks I am trying to do away with him.
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KarinaK

@msmtdew go to Fitbit site burned arm discussion forum. 200+ pages of tested advice by 600 users.
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MsMtDew



I finally received a reasonable reply from my case on the Fitbit.com website. Pay close attention to some of their questions (why would anyone buy an exercise device that contains a watch display and not wear it as they would wear a watch?).

They sent the following email:

We are sorry that you are experiencing skin irritation and for our delayed response. We want to follow up with some comments about Fitbit devices and provide some options to assist you, such as replacement of your device or refund of your purchase.

Our Force and Flex wristbands are made of a flexible, durable elastomer material similar to that used in many sports watches. They do not contain latex. The clasps and casing are made of surgical-grade stainless steel and contain traces of nickel. As with any type of jewelry, some people may experience allergies. Numerous factors can cause an allergy, such as a nickel sensitivity, reactions to bacteria that can accumulate in watch wristbands or other wearable devices, a reaction between the wristband and your soap or perspiration, or an allergy to the material of the wristband.

While we cannot diagnose whether you are experiencing an allergic reaction, allergies may be unpredictable and cause intense responses. Allergies may result from any combination of things, including irritation over time, a reaction between a watchband and your soap or perspiration, or an allergy to the material of the watchband. Certain people may have allergies to the nickel in stainless steel or from certain type of bacteria that can accumulate in watch wristbands or other wearable devices.

In our ongoing interest in learning more about our customer experience, if you would like to help us better understand and assess your issue, you can help us by responding to following questions/items.

1. How tightly do you wear your band?
• We've found that tight wristbands can cause irritation.
2. Is your wristband frequently exposed to moisture?
• If so how frequently and in what conditions? (For example, I shower daily with my tracker.)
3. Have you had similar skin allergies or sensitivities from other bands?
• Previous reaction to wearing a sport watch, or to stainless steel jewelry?
4. Have you tried cleaning your Fitbit device with warm soapy water, if you think you may be subject to microbial allergies?
5. Please describe the weather conditions when the irritation occurred, including the approximate temperature and humidity.

All this stated, it looks like you purchased your Force on the Fitbit.com store. If you are interested in a full refund or a partial refund for the cost difference for a One, please let us know and we arrange this for you.

***** My comments - I have NEVER had any type of sensitivity rash from any other product! Can't clean it using soapy water when the item is not water proof. I did use Clorox disinfecting wipes and alcohol wipes to clean it but did not keep me from developing a rash on the other arm. It's winter where I live with freezing temperatures. I work at a desk job, not any frequent exposure to moisture by using a keyboard all day. I'm still very disappointed with this product.
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MsMtDew

Thank you very much for the information.
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MsMtDew

Susan:

Thank you very much for the information. I did indeed log into the Fitbit site and voice my opinion on the now 15 page thread.
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golferjoanne

Hello, when you log in and go to the help, then what word/phrase should i search to get to the 13 page thread. Interested in reading. My rash is finally going away. My issue started the week before Thanksgiving.
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KarinaK

Burned arm.
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golferjoanne

Thank you.
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golferjoanne

Interesting. What is your next step? FITBIT definitely needs to fix this problem.
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dlo604

It is Waterproof. I'm not sure where you're getting that idea from. If the product wasn't waterproof, why do you think the rep is asking if you wore the device in the shower?

2.) It's on the box that states 100 M waterproof resistance.
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wjwilliams

I just went to the FITBIT site. They are offering full or partial refunds no matter where you purchased your Force.
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veneidig

yes, called the company today. my husbands christmas present caused burns on both wrists. He is not allergic to nickle, and does not have hygiene probems.
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JeePotvin

Hey Joanne! I have been wearing my Force for a couple days now, day and night. There are no burn whatsoever on my wrist. Neither does the tracker ever felt hot at all.

Hope this is not a battery heating problem. Do you think your skin could be sensitive to the rubber band?
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golferjoanne

No it was definitely a battery burn. It is sensitive to water. Water resistant, not water proof. The Flex is water proof. So if you put our wrist in the water to do dishes or wash, not good. I do not recommend the Force. Stick with the Flex. I just bought a flex for my daughter inlay. I also recommended to my girlfriend. Stay away from the Force. After a month I still cannot wear any jewelry or the Flex. I
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JeePotvin

Sorry to hear. I'll try not to put it underwater, ever. Thanks for the heads up and hope your wrist gets well. ;-)
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KarinaK

It usually takes weeks for the burn to start.
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gsjpom

Yes! I've been searching the web to see if anyone else did. I tried every OTC remedy, and ended up getting Rx for prednisone. I unfortunately hate to see you experienced this, but am glad I'm not the only one. I started a case with Fitbit because I loved the Flex, and sent them pics. Received one message saying I'd hear something soon, but haven't yet. I don't know if it's a battery burn, but I know it's a significant issue. How is your wrist? I'm considering getting Fitbit One--have you tried that? What are you using now instead of your Force?
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golferjoanne

Interesting. I have been in contact and have a conference call Monday with the company. I have seen my doctor twice. Did you send your device back?
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golferjoanne

After seeing my doctor, she believes it is a chemical burn from the battery.
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golferjoanne

Yes, I did order directly from Fitbit. I will let you know how I make out. I knew this was going to be a problem for anyone who uses the Force. I will try and search other blogs with customers having the same problem. It is just not right. I did purchase the Flex for my daughter-in-law for Christmas.
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iota1

Yes - same issue - burns on both wrists after it came in contact with water. If you get a burn don't put it on the other hand!!!! I have a ticket pending which they say the are escalating..... but no response from fitbit yet.
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lepoer

I too have the same problem. I had a flex before and had no problems. I also wear a road ID on the same (non-dominant) wrist. I showered with both on and took the Road ID off when I wasn't riding my bike or motorcycle. Next thing I know, I have this angry rash on my wrist where the Force usually rested. I was very concerned as my Mom was in the hospital the week I noticed the rash. God forbid, I thought I had MRSA. I moved the Force to my other arm and began applying cortizone cream and neosporin. It had improved, but then I noticed the other wrist was stating to get a rash too. Not as bad as the other, buy still I knew it was the Force that was causing the problem.

I have since covered the charging port with electrical tape hoping this will help. I also stopped wearing the Force in the shower, thinking that might have been an issue. I also wear it fairly loose now. We'll see what happens, but I was surprised at the number of people who have had the same issue. I have worn all manner of watches, etc. on my arms. Never had a problem. Including Origo and Suunto watches which have similar bands. The rash also is limited to where the contacts for recharging rest. Nowhere else.
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TinaL

I just began having a problem about a week ago, two months after buying the Force. I've posted on Fitbit's community boards and opened a ticket, but so far only got a canned response. I've sent photos of my red area, which was right under the battery. Looks like the blisters and redness are going down since I discontinued use, but there was a spot that bled and scabbed. I have asked for an exchange and we will see if they stand by their product. If there are enough people out there with reactions/burns/whatever, I hope Fitbit will do the right thing and redesign the Force.
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tannerju

I am having the same issue with the Fitbit Force. My daughter bought this for me for Christmas from a sports store and even purchased the extended warranty. At first I didn't associate the rash with the FB but when I switched it to my other wrist it became apparent that it was definitely the cause of the rash. I love the concept of the FB but certainly not liking the blisters. Additionally, my FB will get very warm at times.
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ddwisema

Now I'm scared, as I just bought the fitbit force. I do have one thought, has anyone thought of putting some type of scrunchy fabric covering over the bracelet, but with a small window so you can see the face of the clock? it is just a thought, maybe that might work.
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KarinaK

People have tried covering the battery. Whatever it is burns through the fabric.
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wasafitbitfan

Same thing happened to me. And in addition to those who have posted here, and on other articles and on Fitbit's Facebook page, there are about 200 others who have posted at the Fitbit forum. Not to mention the many who likely haven't posted anywhere at all. Incredible, huh?
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ddwisema

I only read about this after I bought my 'force' I put a pc of black electrical tape on the charger port, then a thin strip of duct tape u and around the sides of the band. I hardly notice the tape, and it easily removes for me to charge it. I'm hoping that that works. So far, 2 weeks after i've worn the band, no marks, red or blisters.
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wjwilliams

I just went to the Fitbit site. They are offering full or partial refunds no matter where you purchased your Force.
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KarinaK

Now more than 600.
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wjwilliams

YES!!!! It took about a month for my arm to break out. At first, I thought something had bitten me so I changed arms. Then I stopped wearing it for about 2 weeks. I just put it on today and my arm is worse than it was initially!!! I didn't buy mine from FITBIT either. I'm going to try taking it back to BESTBUY.
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KarinaK

I encourage all of you to go to the Fitbit "burned arm" discussion forum where more than 600 people have posted their experience and advice. Do not move it to the other arm. Take it off. Tape doesn't prevent the reaction. The burn gets worse after you take off the force and takes weeks to heal. Don't use neosporin. Most people need a prescription ointment.

The force has been recalled. Finally. Take a look at the photos of blisters and open sores and you'll see how serious the reaction can be. And judge for yourself if you want to take the risk.
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MsMtDew

I agree with KarinaK - everyone should check out the forum discussion on Fitbit.com. I would also recommend you file a claim with the Consumer Protection Agency. Finally, if interested you may want to agree to be part of a possible class-action lawsuit. You can view the information here.....www.chimicles.com­/fitbit­-force­-burn­-lawsuit­-invest...

This is not a simple "rash". This is a burn which has left permanent scars on both of my wrists. Please I don't want anyone else to endure the pain and suffering that I personally experienced. Do not cover the burn, keep it open, contact your doctor to obtain a steroid cream. DO NOT SCRATCH!

www.saferproducts.gov­/Default.aspx

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KarinaK

@golferjoanne sorry for the burn. I have it too. You may want to check out the burned arm discussion forum on the Fitbit site. More than 600 affected users with lots of advice and resources.
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wjwilliams

I had the same problem and reported it to Fitbit along with pictures of my wrist. They have already reimbursed me the full purchase price (plus taxes and Shipping). I have returned the Force to them.
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SCassy

If you have been affected by Fitbit's lies, products or by their poor after-sales support, we would like to invite you to join our private Facebook community, so you can share stories about your Fitbit experiences with the others there.

Come visit and Like us here:
https:­/­/www.facebook.com­/FitbitAbuse
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wasafitbitfan

I have been keeping a spreadsheet of all users who have posted on the Fitbit Forum about their rash/burn -- if you haven't posted there (and aren't in my spreadsheet - which is here: https:­/­/docs.google.com­/spreadsheet­/ccc­?key­=0ArLcG...) can you either PM me on the forum (kreichelt) or post on the forum's Fitbit Burned Arm thread (https:­/­/community.fitbit.com­/t5­/Force­/Fitbit­-burne...) or find me on Twitter at @kimreichelt - I want to include everybody, but I'm also being careful not to double-count. golferjoanne, you're the first case I know of, and certainly want to make sure you're included!
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veneidig

I don't think you have my problem listed. Bought the fitbit for my spouse for a present as I had the flex. Thought he would like the force. He wore it about a month and experienced the burns. He does not have an allergy to nickle
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wasafitbitfan

Thanks veneidig -- I'll add him. If you want to add any additional details, you can edit his line (under your username here) in the spreadsheet.
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bitbeltdotbiz

No problem with the irritation on our end but we did have problems with the clasp. Bought a bitbelt and couldnt be happier... www.bitbelt.biz
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19 users following this discussion, including:

  • dlo604
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