FitBit Ultra Wireless: I Tossed Mine. Doesn’t Work. Piece Of Junk As Far As I Am Concerned.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Related post:
1/ FitBit Ultra Wireless — I Am NOT That Impressed! — October 5, 2012.
2/ We Are Now A ‘FitBit Ultra’ Couple – NOT! — Sept. 6, 2012.

Per my October 5 post (above) you could see that I was getting increasingly disenchanted, aggravated and unimpressed.

I went to recharge and re-synch my FitBit Ultra very, very early Saturday morning, i.e., October 6. I typically work till mid-night. Then I save my work, online, and start closing down my work PC. I knew we were going to Sandwich Fair first thing Saturday morning. So, before going to bed, I decided to power up my XP machine, charge up the FitBit and get it to Synch.

So to see if it would make a difference, I slotted in the FitBit into the cradle, adjusted it a few times to make sure that it was properly seated, before I powered up the PC. Started up the FitBit Dashboard. Annoying message: ‘You haven’t synched your FitBit lately‘. But, they are so stupid that they don’t provide a button (or a link) next to the message to force a damn sync. Bloody FitBit.

It said it was last synched on Oct. 3. So, I then went through the usual inane dance. Press the damn button. Press it again. Nothing. Nothing. Take it off the cradle. Put it back. Refresh the stupid Dashboard. Go back and forth on the days hoping that that would force a resynch. This time around I didn’t bother to shutdown and restart the FitBit service. Unplugged the USB cable, Plugged it in. Jiggled the idiotic Dashboard. Still nothing. By now I had spent 15 minutes doing NOTHING else but trying to get this piece of junk to resynch. It was 12:20 am. I had enough. I was not going to spend another second with this poorly designed, cheaply made gizmo.

It was a birthday present from Deanna and she loves her unit. So, I wasn’t going to toss it out of the window. I am noted for that; tossing things that aggravate me irrespective of the cost. So I took the FitBit and the cradle and left it on Deanna’s laptop. I do not want it. I will not use it again. We are through. As far as I am concerned FitBit is junk.

I also don’t need a FitBit. I have proven that I am nowhere close to as sedentary as Deanna as Deanna tried to make me out. I don’t walk 10,000 steps a day, but I appear never to walk less that 7,500. Per the FitBit I also climb, daily, without exception, at least 50 flights of stairs. That confirmed my assertion that I go up and down the 3 flights of stairs we have in this house MORE than anybody else. Plus, I run my 2.5 miles, with 5 pounds of weights, up a steep hill 6 times day — in general. 3 days on, 1 day off, 3 days on — UNLESS I am really ill, the temp is BELOW 5F (yes, 5 Fahrenheit, not Celsius … meaning we are talking 27 degrees BELOW freezing) or like toady, I am going to end up walking for over 3 miles (in this case going door-to-door in Gilford, NH for Obama). So, I have a routine. I don’t need motivation. Self-motivation is built in. I am more active than most and definitely cover more elevation in a day than most cover in 3 days. So screw the FitBit. I don’t want it, I don’t need one.

I have told Deanna to give it to Devanee.

16 thoughts on “FitBit Ultra Wireless: I Tossed Mine. Doesn’t Work. Piece Of Junk As Far As I Am Concerned.

  1. Jay Kershner

    Anu –

    Hi, I’m the head of support at Fitbit. I’m sorry to hear that your Ultra is not working. It sounds like your device may be defective. We’d be happy to send you a replacement Tracker. This is definitely not the normal experience of our users. Please let me know if you’re interested in replacing your Tracker.



    1. aguruge Post author

      Nice to hear from YOU. Thank YOU. Jay, my wife, Deanna, FitBit’s biggest fan, has been trying to contact ‘support’. I will ‘forward’ this to her. She actually has my ‘unit’ anyway. Please coordinate with her. You should DEFINITELY take my unit back and see why it won’t synch — on XP. I am sorry I am harsh on the FitBit. I am the one who 1st heard about it and got one for my wife. Hers works perfect — but on Windows 7, PLUS she doesn’t always check whether it has synched. I do. You will see that I carefully documented everything I have done and do. All the best. So, keep an eye on e-mail for ‘Deanna Guruge’. Cheers, Anura

      1. Jay Kershner

        Anu –

        Thanks for the speedy reply. Please have your wife reach out to me and we can follow up with her. We will be happy to help her with a replacement. The tracker should sync with windows XP and 7.

        Best regards,


  2. bradycanderson

    I have good support experiences with fitbit. They usually take 2 days to reply (they say that right in the immediate response you get), but they’ll take care of you. I’m a reseller of the devices and not every device is perfect (most of them are), but when they aren’t they’ll make sure you are totally satisfied. Keep up the good work FitBit – Brady Anderson

    1. aguruge Post author

      They have been in touch with me; last night. It is on the Comments here. My wife, a huge fan of FitBit, is dealing with them. I guess she is sending back my old one and getting a new one. Her unit has worked fine for 10 months. Mine, from day, was hard to synch, and I am not noted for my patience with hardware. When hardware gives me grief, I physically toss. Can’t tell you how many printers and faxes I have thrown out of my window. I, with 43 years of hands on computer experience (look it up), think that the FitBit software is appalling. Whoever designed it has very little experience. The desktop app. does NOT have a FORCE sync. option. Neither does the Web dashboard. Very poor if you ask me. Well, FitBit has lost me. My wife got it for me. I don’t need to monitor my exercise. I am Mr. Clockwork. FitBit proved it. Never used to measure sleep. Sleep, undisturbed, uninterrupted. All the best. Cheers. Anura

  3. Deanna-your lovely wife

    Ah, dear husband, all is taken care of Fitbit has shipped a new one, it’s on its way. I do make sure mine synch’s, despite your thinking otherwise. I use mine for sleep as well as for steps during the day. I do not sleep as well as you do my dear husband. I love my Fitbit! I am sorry your birthday present was not as well received as I’d hoped it would be. 😦

    Oh, and yes, Fitbit’s customer service has been A+, they have been in constant contact and have tried their best to satisfy. Excellent, customer service like this is hard to come by! I still highly recommend the Fitbit and have to many people ( whether they ask or not!). So despite my husbands experience it has been a wonderful product for ME!

  4. Cornelia Sanmann

    Well its day one of my purchase of my Fitbit in Australia, was truly excited to get it and now incredibly disheartened!!!!! 😦
    It charged initially and then went dead after 4 hours. Charged it again and dead after 1 hour. NOW won’t charge at all! I haven’t even got to get out of the house except to record my sleep for 3.5 hours. Still waiting to hear from Customer Service but from what I have read so far doesn’t leave me with much hope.

    1. aguruge Post author

      Sorry to hear about this. Could be a USB issue, especially if you have Windows 7. When you plug the FitBit into the ‘cradle’ does it show any ‘life’ — e.g. battery icon? Do you know how to access the ‘Device Manager’ on your PC (assuming it is a PC rather than a Mac)? Check to see if there is a warning against the USB for the FitBit. I would try another USB port or if you have one another computer all together. Yes, in the end it boils down to the very poor design of the FitBit desktop application. A good application should give you status as to the FitBit when you insert it onto the cradle. That way, for one, you could eliminate simple USB issues. Be on the safe side. Go about trying to return it during the ‘return window’ you have — and I am not sure what the laws are in OZ re. returns. Pretty good here. My wife is the expert. She bought some multivitamins for me from a drugstore chain recently. She even gave me some for a few days. Then I noticed that these weren’t that good; limited number of Vitamins and no minerals at all. So I said I didn’t want them and that I was buying some better ones. She took the opened and used bottle back, and using that chains published ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ return policy, got a FULL refund! Amazes me. All the best. Keep us posted. Cheers, Anura

  5. jasony

    Hi auruge,

    Same exact behavior here. My wife got me a FitBit Ultra for Christmas. It was my “big” Christmas present, meaning, the one that she spent the most on (we’re pretty frugal) and the one that she/we had invested the most hope in. Love the idea, and the website is heavy on the “it’ll change your life!” vibe. Unfortunately, from the get-go I have had nothing but frustrating problems with the darn thing. It won’t sync to save its little life (other than once during the initial setup). The software is horrible, the online experience is crummy and clunky, and the Tracker itself is anything but accurate. I wore it last night to track my sleep and when I got up this morning and took it out of sleep mode it told me that I had already climbed one set of stairs and walked 344 steps! I hit the button again just to make sure that I had read it correctly and it had already advanced to 366! If I can’t trust it to be accurate in sleep mode, then how well can I trust it to track my steps during the day? Like you said: Screw this piece of junk. Better to have nothing than something that is inaccurate, fussy, and ADDS stress.

    Just say no to FitBit.

    1. aguruge Post author

      I am sorry to hear about this. It was the problems syncing that drove me nuts. Never had problems with the tracking. My wife and I did some very basic, crude tests one day to check the step count: we walked together. Both units read the same distance. I never used it when I slept. Don’t need anything to tell me how well I sleep. My wife continues to be a string advocate, and Fitbit takes care of her! Their support is good — at least to my wife (and yes, I know the jokes about the guy who says: ‘that is strange, my sister always gets free drinks at this bar’). You should contact their support. I am sure they will send you a new one. I am sorry to hear your news, especially as it was your BIG Christmas present. I hate when that happens. All the best. Happy New Year. Cheers, Anura.

  6. Marcus Aurelius Starr

    Hi Fitbit

    My fitbit is now for more then 2 week not be able to turn on after all that I can think and still nothing now as far as i know my parents will be up this weekend my mother has one and got it from her as a belated birthday present and. She’s bring up her recharger piece to see if it will work with my fitbit and if for some reason may need to get a new one to replace this current one of mine


  7. Rob Davis

    I am also totally disillusioned. I have spent hours of frustrating time trying to synch, download software, installing, uninstalling software, following trouble shooting directions, writing to support and still have an erratic and at the moment non-functional Ultra tracker. I’m on the point of cutting my loses and tossing it out. The frustration just isn’t worth it.

    1. aguruge Post author

      I feel bad for you. We lucked out with support — or at least my wife did. I was told that they were going to fix the software. Amazing the number of hits I see on this blog EACH day about this problem! Can’t be good. I couldn’t believe it when I was having the issues. We are talking basic software stuff. I am surprised. Try their support again. All the best. There are other products as you probably know — AND as I find out, once you get a baseline with FitBit you more or less know how you are doing after that. That is why I don’t bother with one though they sent us a replacement. All the best. Anura

  8. JR-Smith (@JR_Smtith)

    i know this article is quiet old – but I hope someone can help me

    Has anyone Jay’s email address. I would love to tell him how bad my experience with his support team is. A Charge 2 worked a few weeks and now can’t be paired any more. support is useless and asked the same troubleshoots all the time. They promised to send a shipping label for return, that was 7 days ago. sending reminder every day – no feedback.

    Thanks a fitbit user JR


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