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Fitbit Lawsuit Claims Two Models Inaccurately Track Heart Rates

People Exercising Outdoors
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Fitbit’s activity trackers are designed to help people stay motivated and improve their health by helping them keep track of their exercise, food, weight and sleep, but one lawsuit alleges that when it comes to monitoring the heart rate of its wearers, at least two models fail.

The two models, the $250 Surge and the $150 Charge HR, fail to accurately track the heart rates of users while they exercise, the lawsuit claims.

One of the three plaintiffs suing the company, Kate McLellan, told Today that her Fitbit was telling her that her heart rate “was at 114, which is really, really low.” When she compared the product’s heart rate monitor with gym equipment that offers the same reading, she noticed an obvious discrepancy in reporting which led her to call the company.

After speaking to a customer service representative with the company regarding her concern, she told Today that the rep “made it sound like” it was all her fault and that she “was using it wrong or wearing it wrong.”

She made it sound like it was my fault, like I was using it wrong or wearing it wrong […] She said it’s not really meant to track your heart rate all of the time.

According to McLellan, the company refused to issue her a refund.

A Fitbit spokesperson dismissed the lawsuit’s allegations–which claim that the company’s heart rate monitors are both inaccurate as well as misleading–while stating that the company “stands behind” their heart rate technology and that they “strongly” disagree with the claims made in the lawsuit.

We do not believe this case has merit […] Fitbit stands behind out heart-rate technology and strongly disagrees with the statements made in the complaint and plans to vigorously defend the lawsuit.

One of the lawyers behind the filing of the suit, Rob Klonoff, was quoted by Today as having said that customers “can’t even use it as a watch to tell what time it is” without registering the device on the company’s website. When customers do go to register their devices, they’re required to agree to various terms which include an arbitration clause and ban on any class-action lawsuits — the latter of which being exactly what McLellan’s lawyers intend to turn the case into, a class-action lawsuit.

You can’t even use it as a watch to tell what time it is unless you register it on the website […] And that’s when you have to agree to all of these terms.

The proposed nationwide class-action lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, claims that Fitbit’s heart monitoring technology “dangerously” underestimates the wearer’s actual heart rate.

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