Not long ago, in a fit of Black Friday-induced impulsivity, I bought a FitBit Zip from Target.
It was on clearance – $29.98 instead of $60 – so the price was right. Plus, I quite drooled at the idea of getting even more data than I already do with RunKeeper. FitBit tracks your activity all day long: how many steps you walk, how many miles, how many calories.
Using my FitBit was great while it lasted — which was right until December 10, when I lost it.
It’s wasn’t until after the holidays that I finally got around to emailing FitBit support to delete my account — and got the most astonishing response ever. [OK, maybe too dramatic…]
They emailed me back, asking for my address — to send me a complimentary replacement.
Isn’t that amazing customer service? I mean, here I go losing a gadget that the manufacturer is in no way obligated to replace. But they offer to do it, anyway.
I took them up on it, of course — all the while thinking, Good thing, when my mom offered to buy me another one for Christmas, I told her I’d rather have some Estée Lauder makeup instead!
This all, of course, begs the question why. Why is a company willing to offer a product, which retails for $60, for free?
I have a few guesses:
- Much like with the “freemium” model for smartphone apps, the company is hoping that I will at some point in the future elect to use its paid “premium” service ($49.99/ yr) for more data, better charts.
- The cost to produce the device (labor and parts) is just a couple of bucks; they sell it for $60 because this is what the fairly well-off fitness-obsessed American consumer is willing to pay for it.
- The company values my data – which it collects from me on a daily basis – at much more than $60. Think about it. This company knows how much I walk (or run), at what times of day, and possibly what I eat (if I choose to log that information). It also knows my address – physical and digital, both of which can be used for targeted marketing offers from their partners, or themselves.
Most likely, it’s a combination of all of the above. But you know what? I gave up my perceived “privacy” long ago, when I started using Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, RunKeeper… not to mention putting my life out here on this blog.
So: Thank you for the great customer service, FitBit. And as far as my continued use of your product and personal data collection… you’re welcome!
Your turn: How do you feel about “privacy” these days? Do you put it all out there on Facebook, Twitter and blogs? Or hold some back?
Back at los trackos for intervals. Workout: 8 x 4 w/3, or eight times four minutes fast with three-minute rest in between. All was smooth
sailing sweating for the first six, then RunKeeper stopped giving me prompts for some reason and I had to do it the old-fashioned way: keep checking the time on my phone while running. That slowed me down more than I thought!