For a company that generally sticks to fancy-pants Bluetooth headsets and speakers, Jawbone has done a surprisingly good job of making their UP fitness-wristband-thing into a rather trendy item. Alas, there’s another trend going around that’s not nearly as beneficial: complaining that the UP is broken.
Looking to fix things before the UP’s reputation goes down for the count, Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman has just announced that the company is implementing a full No-Questions-Asked refund policy for anyone with a wonky wristband. They don’t even want it back.
In a letter to UP owners, Rahman says “We recognize that this product has not yet lived up to everyone’s expectations – including our own – so we’re taking action.”
Users looking to take part in the program are offered two options: cash, or Jawbone.com credit. If you take the former, they’ll give you $109.43 (if you’re in the US — it varies a bit based on currency/location); if you go for the credit, they’ll bump it up to $150.
Perhaps most (pleasantly) surprising, Jawbone isn’t making anyone actually send their wristbands back; as long as you promise that you haven’t returned your UP already and that you won’t sell it on eBay or otherwise profit from the device, they’ll cough up the dough. The program kicks off tomorrow, with a placeholder page already up here.
Furthermore, the FAQ page reveals that Jawbone has cancelled all pending UP orders (it seems to be pulled from Amazon already, as well) and pledges to not begin taking orders again until they “have sorted out the issues with [the] UP bands.”
This is perhaps the toughest move the company could make — but given the circumstances, almost certainly the best move as well. It won’t be easy, it won’t be cheap, and Jawbone will undoubtedly pay out a ton of cash to people with fully functional devices — but in the end, the company walks away with their reputation and the opportunity to relaunch the device once the kinks are worked out.