Jawbone Support's Twitter feed is a world of pain right now - no stock, no support

The fitness band company says it has no plans to sell
Jawbone support: World of pain

Head over to Jawbone Support's Twitter feed and it's pretty clear that it's in trouble. Not only can you still not buy a Jawbone tracker from Jawbone itself but it seems it's not able to support its existing customers either.

Since October, @JawboneSupport has been fending off "speculation" of its financial challenges, apologising for delays and telling customers that it has "no update at this time" with regards to individual enquiries. Sure, head to the replies on most customer care Twitter feeds and it won't look pretty, but what's remarkable is how long customers are waiting and how little Jawbone is doing.

Two month wait and no update

'Doesn't care'

WTF

No answer

And pestering Jawbone's Twitter minions seems to be the only way to get an answer. A commenter on Wareable posted that Jawbone hadn't responded to three weeks of emails about an issue with the band and that the customer care line was down. Plus a handful more readers have posted to say they've got no response. We rang the UK Jawbone customer care number and got an automated message: "Customer care is not currently being offered in the UK and European Union. We are working to revise this."

Is Jawbone shutting down?

And just not telling anyone? Well, it has been in a bad way for a while according to various reports, which claim 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".

An industry insider, who wanted to remain anonymous, told us that, "From what I was told, Jawbone had begun selling out all their stock to any bidders, not worrying about the consequences of MAP [minimum advertised] pricing.

"When a brand starts selling to whomever and begins to not care about MAP pricing, they have essentially given up," our source continued. "Admitting that defeat is another thing entirely though, as that makes them liable for all the stock and returns that have been boughten by retailers, as the chances of these retailers selling stock of a company that has 'gone under' is slim. Lastly, losing the lawsuit to Fitbit surely didn't help them."

Business Insider ran a story in late September saying 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 told us in September that NexRep didn't have the evidence to make such claims. It also said 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?

As for the concerning sign that Jawbone trackers have now been "sold out" for months, a source quoted in the original report said that inventory shipments had ground to a halt, 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 could have 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. It's a shame if it does go that way, especially as we highly commended its tracking, sleeping and coaching software in our 2016 Wareable Tech Awards.

Are you trying to resolve an issue with Jawbone? What responses have you had? Let us know in the comments.


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20 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.

  • sabbaka says:

    I've got my tracker Jawbone UP2 replaced twice and now it's broken again - but now response from support, but not only this - also I've accidentally created a new account on wrong email address ( like not a .com but .con ) - and I wanted them to merge my two accounts in one correct, right? - But no response for two of my emails to them. Also, no response for broken band again ( made it two times ). Before this I had an Jawbone UP24 which I've lost :(

    So basically, my UP2 has been broken three times and all of that I've noticed at the morning after woke up. Same thing happen to my girlfriend's UP24 ( but only once and she have got a replacement ).

  • sabbaka says:

    and also BTW - the tracker actually have two main issues - 1) It gets unlocked too easily 2) if you use secure clasp or something else to make it more secure on your wrist - it gets broken - because before securing it - the band had a physical possibility to unlock and remove some tension of your hand/wrist on it - but if you secure the band - no the tension hit directly the rubber and at some point rubber will just crack! So all the three times my UP2 was broken it was like this - https://goo.gl/photos/fvjDzc8qe2WpFV7C6

  • sabbaka says:

    and also BTW - the tracker actually have two main issues - 1) It gets unlocked too easily 2) if you use secure clasp or something else to make it more secure on your wrist - it gets broken - because before securing it - the band had a physical possibility to unlock and remove some tension of your hand/wrist on it - but if you secure the band - no the tension hit directly the rubber and at some point rubber will just crack

  • Jackieh050 says:

    I have been having charging problems and have contactrd jawbone with no response very sad as their customer service and support was the best

  • Sphynx9 says:

    I have a busted UP2, band is broken held together is rubber bands and such.  In early November, I got a ticket and was told it would be replaced since it was only 5 months old.  3 weeks later, no response and phone support is not currently available.  I email again, no response.  I call everyday for another week and every day, phone support is down.  3 more emails as well, as of today 12/19, still nothing.  Very upsetting and rude.

  • DPR says:

    I've had UP2 and UP3 bands over the past two years.  The bands have always failed at some point and Jawbone has replaced them.  Until now.  My last band break was before October and I was promised a replacement within four weeks.  Still waiting.  I like the way the product works, I like the apps, but I don't like the durability of their bands.

  • Wazza123 says:

    I worked for their customer care for a while until they stopped being able to pay after falsey assuring us for months that "all was OK". I used to get calls about big outstanding debts from investors as no-one from HQ was responding. Game over for Jawbone. And maybe that is a good thing. 

  • ksantone says:

    I've been an UP customer since it's inception. I now have an UP3 that does not work, and no customer service, except acknowledging my email over 1 month ago. My husband's tracker also died, and they offered a replacement, but alas, no replacement has ever arrived (since October). So disappointed in the company. I hope that someone starts a class action lawsuit against them. They should have stopped selling the trackers if they knew they were going out of business. if they are not planning on going out of business, I don't think they will ever recover from this. Ignoring your customers should be a fatal blow to any company.

  • myvortex says:

    not a tweet or reply since Dec 21 is telling.  I have had 3 bands, 2 broke and called the other day to get it replaced, and the phones are totally down and no email replies at all.  I bought my Samsung Gear fit2 today.  Sadly Jawbone appears to be shut down

  • Kurtman says:

    This is the second UP2 band that the strap broke. Every 4 months it will break. The warranty is for 1 year and they have failed to fulfill it. Customer service gives us the run around, shutting down tickets without ever resolving anything. They said they would send a replacement in September 2016. That was 4 months ago. No replacement was sent. This product is defective and customer service is a failure. File at BBB and voice your complaints.

  • oceanbleu says:

    I opened a case with Jawbone on Dec 11th, case #03953569 No response, no follow up, no nothing coming back from Jawbone. Phoned the support hotline. It says phone support not available.

  • janet7 says:

    Same story, started to try to replace my band which after a 2 month wait they agreed was still under warranty but none in stock, two months later message was they had another color they could send me, was that OK?  actually was my original color but I said, sure, great, send it right out.  That was last October.  I got a Fitbit for Christmas but I much prefer the Jawbone. oh well.  All messages were polite and apologetic, so sad to see them go.

  • DaveDFQ says:

    The band broke 6 months in.  I was told the replacement would take 34 weeks.  Really?  Have not been a fan of Fitbit, but if you can't beat em, join em!

  • JGorJawbone says:

    My UP24 has been broken for 5 months, have tried calling the 800-JAWBONE number and emailing through their support option on the website for 4 months...no reply.  At this point I'm giving up and buying a Fitbit.

  • sideuayspiral says:

    I have been trying to contact support for a month now.  Still no luck, as of today.  I have 4 support requests via email, and the support line is still down.

  • cutehooper says:

    STILL waiting. I had no problem making an exchange for a faulty band in July 2016, but when the same problem occurred in early December 2016, Jawbone customer service was nowhere to be found. It's like talking to a brick wall. Haven't heard a peep despite my best efforts to reach them. 

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