jawbone up

On November 6, a brand new concept of wristband called Jawbone UP was officially launched in the US creating a huge buzz across the country. It was featured in numerous blogs, newspapers – you name it, it probably featured a post on it. That was why I picked one up myself and actually had been planning on posting a review on it in the next few days (which I still plan on doing actually).

This afternoon Jawbone’s CEO, Hosain Rahman issued an announcement that Jawbone will be issuing full refunds for the Jawbone UP bands, no questions asked.

Since its launch, the Jawbone UP seemed to attract more critics than fans about the build quality. I’ve been fortunate enough not to have experienced the common issues, although my own UP band is currently sitting at Best Buy waiting for its replacement unit to arrive at my store. I didn’t have any battery issues actually. My band kept its charge for approximately 10-14 days, which is actually slightly more than what Jawbone advertised. My problem came with the cap after using it for 3 weeks. The cap kept popping off and while I was lucky to have found my cap each time it fell off, I knew the luck couldn’t last forever. Out of precaution I contacted Jawbone to ask about replacement caps and they told me that Jawbone offers 1 warranty replacement cap total per warranty, per band. Additional caps could be purchased at the Jawbone Store for $9.99 and $5 for shipping, and even this takes 2 weeks to process as of today.

Jawbone’s CEO, Hosain Rahman, announced a ‘no questions asked’ refund for all Jawbone UP customers. In the email that he sent, Jawbone thinks they’ve identified the problem and Jawbone UP sales have been pulled temporarily while they sort things out.

We’ve been working around the clock to identify the root causes and we’d like to thank everyone who has provided us with information and returned their bands to us for troubleshooting. With your help, we’ve found an issue with two specific capacitors in the power system that affects the ability to hold a charge in some of our bands. We’re also fixing an issue with syncing related to the band hardware. Typically, these issues surface within the first seven to ten days of use. The glitches are purely performance related and do not pose any safety risk.

This means that for whatever reason, or no reason at all, you can receive a full refund for UP. This is true even if you decide to keep your UP band. We are so committed to this product that we’re offering you the option of using it for free.

This is wonderful news for all the troubled Jawbone UP customers who have been very active in the Jawbone forums. If you wish to request a refund you could do this by visiting  http://jawbone.com/uprefund. The claim could be made between 12/9/2011 all the way to 12/31/2012.

Jawbone really went above and beyond with this refund policy and it’s something that we often don’t see much these days. I’ve been very fond of the concept behind the UP band and apart from the cap issue that I had, I’ve been quite satisfied with it. Personally, I’m especially happy that they’ve (possibly) found the source of the problem with the battery. (The iPhone 4S is a much more complicated device so it’s unfair to compare Jawbone with Apple but, it’s disappointing that even iOS 5.1 beta doesn’t seem to be fixing the ‘Batterygate’.) I still want the cap to be a screw-on instead of the current pop-on type, but caps could be replaced while batteries cannot.

We certainly appreciate Jawbone’s announcement today and hope to see newly updated and revised Jawbone UP in the coming weeks.