Fitbit Faces Potential Class Action
Friday, January, 22, 2016
Fitbit Inc., makers of the popular fitness tracking device Fitbit band are accused of deceptive marketing practices and facing a potential class action lawsuit concerning their product. Claims have also been made against the company’s binding arbitration policies.
The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco and claimed the company is attempting to insulate itself from class action claims by employing unenforceable arbitration clauses within its terms of service agreements. The lawsuit is seeking class action status and claims the company lied to customers about the accuracy of its fitness tracking wristbands.
In addition to claims against the product, the suit suggests that anyone who visits Fitbit’s websites surrenders his or her legal rights. Site visits are necessary to set up and track results from the product.
Lawyers for plaintiffs claim that Fitbit’s attempts to circumvent class action are unfair and deceptive. The actions of the company are disturbing because they not only affect those who purchase the product, but those who simply visit or register with the site. Fitbit claims any visit to its site binds a person to the company’s terms of service.
Fitbit denies the allegations and stands behind its product and terms of service. It believes its provision concerning its site and terms of service is balanced, valid, and enforceable, and is virtually identical to others issued by consumer product companies. It further explained in a public statement that arbitration is intended to benefit consumers because it makes for a fast resolution and allows them to resolve their claims locally. And because Fitbit agrees to pay for the arbitration in most cases, it will save consumers money. The company also points out consumers are given the option of opting out of arbitration.