Jawbone halts Up production over battery issue, offers full refunds

Quick-draining batteries on the just-launched fitness device leads the company to halt sales and offer refunds, even to customers not experiencing the problem.

Jawbone Up wristbands Jawbone

Jawbone has halted production of Up, its fitness wristband over battery issues and has offered customers full refunds, regardless of whether they've encountered problems.

And the company is even allowing customers to keep their devices if they receive a refund. In essence, customers could tap the refund program to offset the cost of the device, even if their Up has no issues.

"I think most people will do what's right," said Travis Bogard, vice president of product management at Jawbone.

The Up, which garnered much attention at its launch a month ago , is a wristband that works with the Jawbone Up iPhone app to track movements, sleep patterns, and eating habits. It was a hot enough gadget that Apple chose to sell it at many of its retail stores.

Some customers, though, reported that the batteries on their bands were draining quickly. And some noted that the device wouldn't recharge.

In a letter to customers, Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman wrote that the problem is with "with two specific capacitors in the power system that affects the ability to hold a charge." And he said the issues are "purely performance related and do not pose any safety risk."

Rahman also noted that Jawbone has temporarily paused Up production and stopped taking orders for the device. It intends to continue releasing app updates for existing users. And it plans to resume production once the problems are resolved.

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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