Jawbone plays down report claiming company is in big trouble

Jawbone says claims have no basis, and that it has no plans to sell
Is Jawbone in trouble?

Jawbone is in a bad way according to a new report, which claims the company has almost depleted its inventory of UP activity trackers, and that it failed to pay one of its customer service agencies. However Jawbone tells us that claims it is struggling financially have "no basis".

Business Insider says it saw an internal email send by a NexRep exec to employees confirming Jawbone had ended its relationship with customer service agency NexRep, stating Jawbone is "struggling financially" to pay the company for its services. The end of the partnership has reportedly led to many job losses at NexRep.

"Jawbone is not able to pay us for part services, and their ability to pay is in the future is uncertain at this point," the email is quoted to have read.

But Jawbone says NexRep didn't have the evidence to make such claims. It also told Wareable that the relationship is not over. "NexRep was informed we are reviewing their invoices," it told Wareable in a statement. "They have no basis or knowledge from which to make the statement that Jawbone is struggling financially and couldn't pay NexRep for its services. That statement is untrue. Jawbone is restructuring its customer service relationships, as previously reported."

Read next: Can wearable tech companies really change our behaviour?

Also pointed out in the Business Insider report is the fact inventory of the UP tracker on Jawbone's site is currently sold out, another concerning sign. Further, a source quoted in the original report said that inventory shipments had ground to a halt in recent weeks, making it difficult for NexRep to replace defective or damaged units.

But Jawbone told us that "NexRep does not and never has had 'access' to Jawbone product inventory."

The company added: "They advised a third party service provider who then took care of customer replacement products. That type of service is still in place." Although that doesn't explain the lack of stock currently available.

Jawbone also told us there are "no current plans" to sell the company In August, there was a rumour that company was looking to sell its business entirely, although Jawbone quickly dismissed the claims then too.

So, the plot thickens. The company is said to be working on a medical-grade wearable right now, which Business Insider reports is targeting a mid-2017 release date - if the company can find more investment. Obviously there's now a question mark over whether it will make it that far.


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4 Comments

  • Que says:

    ah, Jawbone Up. the HTC in Wearables.

  • Jorgen says:

    Jawbone was the pioneer in wearable trackers, but has consistently failed to achieve successful launches of new product generations. They have been innovative, but clearly has a serious top management competence problem.

  • Usagitoy says:

    Any updates? I have tried calls and emails to Customer Service about a defective band - no response on the emails and heard a recent message that they do not have phone service. Thanks

    • magnus says:

      I'm in the exact same situation with my UP3. I've tried to contact them several times but no response from their customer service. 

      Last year when I had issues with a previous band they responded quickly.

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