Judge's Gavel - Legal

With “Every Beat Counts” as one of your marketing slogans – you’d better make sure that every beat is counted. A nationwide class action lawsuit claims that Fitbit’s HR and Surge fitness watches, which use the “PurePulse” technology, are defective and miscount heart rates.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in San Francisco federal court claim that the company underreported their heart rate when compared to other methods of tracking a person’s heart rate during exercise. Such methods include a personal trainer, an exercise machine, and a triathlon monitor.

One plaintiff claims that her Charge HR device was off by 78 beats per minute after one workout. Her personal trainer recorded her heart rate at 160 bpm, while her Fitbit recorded 82 bpm. Teresa Black maintains that if she had continued to rely on her Fitbit, her health may have been endangered.

A cardiologist who tested the Fitbit for the plaintiffs compared the Fitbit with an electrocardiogram and found that for heart rates more than 110 bpm, Fitbits were off by an average of 25 bpm, according to the lawsuit.

Here’s a big part of the problem – for the plaintiff’s, at least: Fitbit requires arbitration of customer disputes, and bars class action lawsuits. Is Fitbit trying to pull a fast one? The lawsuit claims that third party website and brick-and-mortar stores are given no advance notice of this policy.

If you own a Fitbit, you know that you must go online to register the device and you must agree to the company’s terms of service. This is required for PulseTrackers to work.

The suit claims that the attempt to bind consumers after purchases is “unconscionable, invalid and unenforceable,” and that it is “also an unfair and deceptive trade practice in its own right.”

If you are a Fitbit owner, you may want to make sure that your PulseTracker is indeed recording a correct heart rate for you. If not, you may have the option of entering the class action suit.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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