A common problem with fitness bands of many brands is the band breaking after a while or parts wearing out sooner than you’d expect. The ACCC has just made an announcement relating to Fitbit that clarifies your rights in such a situation.
In a press release, ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said that:
“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.”
Fitbit are cooperating with the ACCC and have firstly extended its express manufacturer’s warranty from one year to two years for Australian consumers. This applies to all Fitbit products including fitness trackers, smart watches etc.
Fitbit will also amend the information on its website and in product packaging to make it clear its express warranties are in addition to the Australian ConauCon Law consumer guarantees.
Readers who own any malfunctioning Fitbit fitness trackers, smartwatches etc and want them to be repaired or replaced under the 2 year warranty should print out a copy of this ACCC press release and take it to where they bought the Fitbit from, along with the purchase receipt.
The ACCC printout may be handy as retail staff may not be aware about the Fitbit two year warranty and your rights under Australian Consumer Law.
More generally, all readers should read the ACCC page about rights under Australian Consumer Law:
“If a product or service you buy fails to meet a consumer guarantee, you have the right to ask for a repair, replacement or refund under the Australian Consumer Law. The remedy you’re entitled to will depend on whether the issue is major or minor.”
Just because the thing you bought is one week past the usual 12 month warranty doesn’t necessarily mean you are forced to buy a new one. In the words of our Editor and Publisher:
“Warranty and consumer guarantee are quite different concepts. Warranties are optional, consumer guarantee isn’t, and can’t be contracted out of. If a product is faulty and it can be attributed to poor manufacturing, materials, etc, then it has to be replaced warranty or not.”
Let us know below if you have had any issues with items being “out of warranty” in the past and whether this statement will help the situation in the future.