Here's how pissed Pebble owners & backers should be – ranked by smartwatch

What the death of Pebble means for you
How pissed Pebble fans should be

Pebble is a goner. The Fitbit buyout is official. And a Pebble post on Kickstarter (where else) reveals a host of bad news for owners and backers of the companies smartwatches, old and new.

We've always had a soft spot for Pebble's software, hardware and company ethos as we outlined here in our plea to Fitbit to take it seriously.

But, for now, there are more pressing matters at hand. Like, how much you should be losing your shit if you own a Pebble or have Kickstarted a Pebble. Because there are some not great things in that Kickstarter post – whether Pebble or Fitbit are to blame, it doesn't really matter.

Here's how pissed you should be, from 'most' to 'still quite a lot' to 'maybe count your blessings'.

Pebble 2

This one probably takes the biscuit. If you just received a Pebble 2, after waiting for months for it, you can't get a refund. And with support for your smartwatch being killed (more on that shortly) that's a big deal.

"Successfully-received Pebble 2 rewards are the only item not eligible for a Kickstarter pledge refund."

Plus, if you didn't submit your final shipping info, you're now not getting a Pebble 2 at all. (If you still want one, I'm sure you can get one on eBay pretty soon).

"The small number of Pebble 2 backers who did not submit the information required to finalize their reward shipments will also be refunded."

Pebble Time 2 & Pebble Core

Here's how pissed Pebble owners & backers should be - ranked by smartwatch

So the Pebble Time 2, the Pebble Core GPS wearable and the Pebble Time Round Kickstarter Edition are all dead. Not in production, not happening.

"Eligible backers will automatically be refunded their pledges for any unfulfilled Pebble rewards (Time 2, Core, Time Round), plus any shipping, taxes, or duties paid."

Thousands of people have been waiting months for these wearables. The Time 2 should have shipped and the Core was due in January. Plus, with the current deal it's very unlikely we will see these products in any similar form from Fitbit – it's interested in software not hardware.

Oh, and the kick in the teeth – you might have to wait until March 2017 for the refund. Ugh.

"Kickstarter will refund eligible pledges by March 2017."

Still, considering all the points below, some Time 2 and Core backers might be pretty pleased to get a refund and move on.

Any Pebble you just bought

Here's how pissed Pebble owners & backers should be - ranked by smartwatch

This one is a bit confusing but to clarify, Pebble isn't even guaranteeing refunds or exchanges on Pebble smartwatches bought directly from its online store. If you bought in store, it says to refer to that retailer's refund policy.

The only people getting refunds are people who returned before 7 December. Oh and if you bought a watch and it hasn't shipped, you're not getting it. It's really lower than the least they could do.

"Those who ordered and received a Pebble from pebble.com are no longer eligible for return or exchange.

"That said, we are processing and refunding any pebble.com returns that were successfully completed with our Support team before December 7, 2016, in addition to refunding any items purchased from pebble.com which did not ship by this date."

All existing Pebble watches

If you own a Pebble/Pebble 2/Pebble Time/Pebble Time Round, and want to keep using it, there's a couple of things you need to know.

Fitbit isn't going to support existing Pebbles, and given that so many of the features exist in the cloud, there's no guarantee your smartwatch will continue to work in the long term. Here's the word from Pebble, and take note of the words "for now".

"Active Pebble watches will work normally for now. Functionality or service quality may be reduced down the road. We don't expect to release regular software updates or new Pebble features."

Oh and there's no warranty or product support for ANY PEBBLE anymore. Oh dear. The post points people to support forums.

"One-to-one Pebble support is no longer available. Any Pebble currently out in the wild is no longer covered by or eligible for warranty exchange."


18 Comments

  • cajintex says:

    You pretty much nailed all the IMPORTANT facts.  This was my first time backing something on Kickstarter and i will NEVER back anything like this again.  I thought it was pretty safe since Pebble was already an existing and successful watch producer.  I have the Pebble Steel, Pebble Time Steel and I had pledged for the Pebble Time 2 and the Pebble Core.  I am so NOT happy about this turn of events.  As I said, I will never back anything on Kickstarter again.  I doubt anyone will buy Fitbit.....not a lot of people are fans of their products.  I think that this fail just sunk three companies at once.  IF Pebble or their owners/CEOs ever come up with another product, people will never trust them.  MOST people lost faith in Kickstarter.  Those who didn't have a dislike for Fitbit now hate them for taking out the competition and not trying to continue the good thing that Pebble had going.

    • tpeelstand says:

      Agreed. I wish Fitbit would include the pebble line-up in it's brand now instead of just throwing them away. They could have had so many more customers. Fitbit won't be getting my business.

  • akblake says:

    You are so right, and this has been an epic fail on Pebble's part. Owned an original-run Pebble for (many) years now, backed their kickstarter early, and then I get this slap in the face. No warnings, no hint that it's coming, only a hefty belt across the cheek this morning from a company I used to love. Their flippant kiss-our-butts-goodbye "update" was a complete screw-you to their loyal fan base... you know, those of us who put money in their pockets, wrote (and learned how to code just for) apps/faces for their products because we loved them so much, and who completely blew their kickstarter out of orbit to the tune of TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS.

    Speaking of millions of dollars in their pockets, they made us wait half a year (since July) with the kickstarter, and then are making us wait nearly that again for some nebulous refund date that we've been promised. Don't know about anyone else, but I'm not sure the money won't just stay in their pockets- after all, how can I trust the jerks to keep this final promise when they haven't kept any of the ones made before?

    Definitely an owner/backer who is beyond pissed, mainly because I feel like I've been pissed on by Pebble. They took their money and ran, washing their hands of their products, fans, backers, and products. Pebble failed us, badly.

  • JeffAlberda says:

    Very glad I didn't back the kickstarter now. 
    But very disappointed in the lack of ongoing support. I have a Pebbletime that I use ALL the time. I have hearing problems and it gets me up in the morning with its vibrating alarm. That will probably still work, until the watch dies. But I love my pebbletime. There is NOTHING in the fitbit lineup that interests me in the least. Is there anything that even comes close to my pebble, and doesn't try to overreach for what a smartwatch should do? :( sad.

    • Extraneus says:

      A Vector perhaps...? Depends on your needs.

      • tpeelstand says:

        Yes. I have been checking out the Vector lineup. Seems nice.

  • Lemmyorleans says:

    So pissed when i read the email this morning. Why did they go forward with their Kickstarter if they knew they were this close to the edge? And why are they so far in debt? Isn't the Kickstarter model supposed to pay for the costs up front so the business can make the product? 

  • bambam says:

    As a Pebble developer, who has not only purchased every form of Pebble for testing, and has hundreds of dollars held hostage till March 2017 for the latest Kickstarter, I'm absolutely NOT interested in developing anything for Fitbit, unless they choose to make Pebble-compatible watches that can use my code. Since I actually need what I've developed, I'm in the market for a new platform for development, so I can continue using what I need after my Pebbles bite the dust.

  • ricniekamp says:

    this really does suck I don't have either but I will not purchase any Fitbit just because 

  • whudgens says:

    Fitbit - We ordered 3 Pebble Time 2 watches for Christmas.  Please honor my price I paid for 3 watches after the merger. thank you - We have had Pebble watches since our original watches.

  • lukebeauchamp says:

    Pebble was the only smart watch that doesn't suck. Android Wear is dependent on touch screen and I find very small touch screens hard to use and the Fitbit is just a toy for simpletons.

  • Flub says:

    I'm a type 1 diabetic and I bought my Pebble because it is the only smartwatch that connects tl the Diabetes Diary app developed by the Norwegian National Diabetes Clinic. It enables me to keep track of my blood glucose levels, carbs eaten and insulin injected. Thanks Pebble and Fitbit. You've just screwed a whole lot of diabetics.  

  • Byron says:

    I think we have to look at this as a sad day for wearables in general. They *basic* kill off the *creative*.

    Business is tough. Pebble have become a victim of that. I doubt their whole grand plan was to take peoples money and run. The signs were out there when the money offered to Pebble was dropping over the last two years... Citizen in 2015 offered 740mil, then 70 mil from Intel later, and now an incredibly low figure from Fitbit which doesn't even cover their debts. 

    I personally think it is unforgivable that Fitbit are crushing such a champion brand that gives their business a really dynamic product. Plus they gain some of the most loyal customers in the market. This could have been a real hero moment for them. 

    R.I.P Pebble. Hopefully one day we see you again, under a different name.

    • Napseason says:

      RIP Pebble! 

      Im my opinion one of the brands that did got the smartwatch concept right. It was a first a watch and second a smart device.

      One thing that completely shocked me was how good the music control on the pebble is. You just start the music shortcut on the pebble and you can pause/play/skip control any music that is on your phone (spotify, youtube, music, video etc.)

      This might seems normal to us pebble users but this summer I had to chance to play with a Apple watch of a friend. And the thing that seemed strange was the number of music app he had on his Apple watch Spotify and soundhound were the ones I remember but there were probably more. 

      So I asked him why all these music apps? And it turns out he needed every individual app to control the different apps. Weird cause every music app should have the same interface why not centralize that in one app on the apple watch. 

      One thing I really hated about pebble is the way they tread their customer. I was subscribed to their email newsletter. This in the hope of getting previews of updates, or tips and tricks for the pebble. And the only thing i got was a spam with pebble offers. I already had the original pebble and the pebble steel. Why do you spam your user to death with sales emails.

      In the end I still use the pebble steel with joy everyday. Just a bummer that this had to go toe to toe with the big players in the market (google and apple)

      RIP pebble

  • MnIrish says:

    So, after hearing I wouldn't get my Time 2, I went out and bought a Pebble 2 from Best Buy. Yes, purchased the new watch from a company that just went bust. 

    Why you may ask? Because I actually did love Pebble, my Time 1 died, and I purchased mine with a Geek Squad service plan for $30. So, I now have a warranty until 2019, and I figure the Pebble team will have given there best to creating some innovative products at Fitbit by then.

    And worst case scenario, if my watch dies, or no longer functions (when/if Pebble shits its servers down), I get my money back, and will apply to a new watch by then.

    What am I missing? I plan on calling BBY to confirm what they will cover as if it wasn't for that plan, I don't think I'd have purchased a new Pebble.

    RIP Pebble. While I loved your watches, your customer service left a lot to be desired.

    Fitbit on the other hand, while releasing basic products had incredible customer service. For example they overnighted a new Fitbit Flex, when mine died while on vacation in Hawaii. Yes, A+ service of their products.

  • Grant_Thoreson says:

     Terrible irony. My Pebble Steel began having charging issues two days before the company crashed, so I now have a $200+ bauble and am wearing a ten year old Casio that I paid $20 for!

    Pebble's message to their loyal customers is naive. Do they really assume people aren't furious?

    Obviously Kickstarter is for people with great ideas and innovative products who know jack-shit about business. I'll stick with the real companies from now on. 

  • William_eley says:

    Does this mean that they will stop the pebble store and stuff?

  • paullu524 says:

    I think we should file a lawsuit against Kickstarter and Pebble.  Who's in?

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