Some Fitbit Charge 5 users are facing a significant issue following a recent firmware update. Version 194.61 of the software has rendered their devices unusable. Despite numerous complaints from users, Fitbit’s support team is still struggling to resolve the issue.
The software refresh started rolling out in the latter part of June as part of a Google Pixel feature drop. For Charge 5 it includes the addition of the Daily Readiness Score on the device itself. The fitness band can now display the complete list of exercise modes and there’s a few more clock faces. The update also expands language support for global characters and right-to-left text in phone notifications.
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However, the software refresh, intended to enhance device performance, has rendered many devices non-functional or “bricked.” Some Charge 5 owners are reporting their activity tracker won’t turn on, sync, or charge.
This problem has caused a surge of complaints on Fitbit community forums. Users are expressing their frustration and disappointment over the unexpected malfunction caused by what was supposed to be a routine firmware update.
Out-of-warranty users left in the lurch
Unfortunately, the response from Fitbit has been slow. Despite the problem surfacing 11 days ago, the support team is still struggling to offer a fix.
So far they have only suggested the usual troubleshooting steps. This includes completing the 3 pulse restart using the charging cable; syncing the device via the Fitbit app; checking for firmware updates under the Charge 5 tile in their profile; changing the clock face to resolve display issues. Finally, users can also try to hold the button until the Fitbit logo blinks, release, wait 1-2 seconds, then hold the button again until a circle screen appears.
But none of this has worked for most of the people experiencing the problem.
Adding to the frustration, Fitbit’s support for out-of-warranty Charge 5 devices has been less than satisfactory. Users with devices no longer covered by the 1-year warranty have been offered a mere 35% discount code. This can be used for purchasing a new device from the Fitbit store.
Needless to say, many users are feeling betrayed. They feel they are expected to foot a considerable portion of the bill for a problem that was caused by the company’s dodgy update.
In a year that has been less than stellar for Fitbit, its handling of the recent issues has left many users questioning their commitment to customer satisfaction. The problems with the Charge 5 update have raised serious doubts about the reliability of Fitbit devices and the company’s ability to effectively manage and respond to crises.
As the Charge 5 is likely to be promoted as a Prime Day deal, potential buyers are left with a critical question. Why invest in a device that could potentially become dysfunctional upon receiving and updating it to the latest firmware? The company’s slow response, the absence of effective solutions, and the perceived indifference towards users with out-of-warranty devices have all fueled a growing sense of dissatisfaction within the Fitbit community.
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