Fitbit Sued by Australia’s Regulator for Allegedly Making False Claims on Faulty Devices

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Australia’s competition regulator has begun court proceedings against Fitbit for allegedly making false or misleading claims to consumers about their guarantee rights on faulty devices, it said on Monday.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said between May 2020 and February 2022, Fitbit claimed consumers will not be entitled to a refund unless they returned a faulty product within 45 days of purchase or shipment, which is in not in accordance with Australian Consumer Law.

“All consumers have… automatic consumer guarantee rights that cannot be excluded, restricted or modified. The consumer guarantee rights exist in addition to any warranties offered by manufacturers,” said ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb.

The regulator said Australian Consumer Law does not impose a 45-day refund period, nor do consumer rights in respect of faulty replacement goods depend on when the original product was purchased.

Additionally, Fitbit told consumers that once they received a replacement device for an originally faulty product, they were not entitled to a second replacement if Fitbit’s two-year ‘limited warranty period’ for the original device had expired, ACCC alleged.

The Google-owned company did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The ACCC, which is seeking penalties and injunctions, said their case includes 58 examples of consumers who were allegedly misled by Fitbit when they complained about faulty devices.

Last month, Fitbit launched its next-generation wearables in India. This lineup includes the Fitbit Versa 4 and Fitbit Sense 2 fitness watches as well as the Fitbit Inspire 3 fitness tracker. Fitbit claims that these new wearables are thinner and more comfortable than its previous models. The Fitbit Sense 2 comes in Grey Graphite, Mist Soft Gold, and White Platinum. Similarly, the Fitbit Versa 4 is offered in Graphite Black, Pink Sand, and Waterfall Blue. Finally, the Fitbit Inspire 3 is available in Lilac Bliss, Midnight Zen, and Morning Glow colour options.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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