This week, I was unlucky enough to have to try and deal with FitBit‘s idiotic e-commerce system. I’ve had a Fitbit for several years now (well, two or three devices over that time, but all Fitbit devices) and the strap on the current one is getting a bit ropy, so I wanted to order a new one.
The ordering part is… OK, I suppose. Then we get to entering addresses. It tells me that it can’t validate my preferred delivery address at all, and won’t progress the order any further. Not “Would you like to add this address to the system?” or “Please confirm the details, and we’ll accept your word for it that you know where the hell you work“. Just point-blank ‘Computer says No‘ dead-end. So far, so unhelpful.
In fairness, that should’ve been the warning sign. But I carried on. Rather than delivering to my office, I’ll set it to deliver to home. That’s OK, except for the standard “Royal Mail PAF says this address should be in [nearest city], so do you want to use that, or the info you’ve entered”. I’m used to that – it’s ridiculous, but it’s PAF, so I’m used to it, and it’s not going to change.
Enter in the card details, all well and good. Do the ‘Verified By Visa’ bag-o’-shite verification, and complete the transaction. Get the email saying “It’s on its way”. Happy day, job done.
Or so I thought…
Half an hour later, I get another email. “There’s a problem with this transaction”, saying that either…
- The billing address provided doesn’t match the address on file with your financial institution (No, it matches fine)
- Your financial institution denied the charge for unspecified reasons (OK, maybe)
- Your financial institution denied the charge due to insufficient funds (Nope, definitely not)
- Your financial institution doesn’t recognise Fitbit.com as a vendor (that sounds like cock to me)
I call the card company. Nope, all fine, not even a declined transaction. And “doesn’t recognise the vendor” is a bag of cock. To quote them, “If it were for ISIS-Iraq.com, we might be blocking it, but not standard stuff”
I call FitBit, who are *massively* incompetent, unable to understand basic English, and can only “resubmit the transaction”. Can’t change the card details, just ‘resubmit it’.
“OK sir, that’s gone through fine, so you’ll get a confirmation in a minute”
“Has it actually gone through the card company this time?”
“Yes, it’s gone through fine”
“What’s the transaction authorisation code?”
“We don’t know yet, it hasn’t gone to the bank”
So…. Fitbit, these <sarcasm>masters of eCommerce</sarcasm>, don’t do the card transactions immediately. They cache them, for some fuckforsaken reason. And no-one knows ’til then what’ll happen.
When I checked the resubmitted one, the phone cretin had also decided to change the address for billing and delivery to the PAF-recommended one (without even asking) so I ended up talking to them again, they edited the order, and ‘confirmed the transaction’ again (i.e. re-submitted it, and played wait’n’see with the cards)
That failed too, unsurprisingly. Same email, you need to speak to us, same list of possible reasons. Card company re-confirms that absolutely nothing has touched the account – they’ve had a 1p pre-authorisation amount go through, which verifies the card details, but after that, nothing else has been received by them at all.
In the end, I’ve called Fitbit (again!) and just cancelled the order. There’s better and quicker ways to do this. Hell, I can get a pikey knock-off strap through Amazon for a tenth of the price, and it’d be delivered tomorrow.
The really telling thing though, for me, was that when I cancelled the order, there’s not even a process for it. No questions about why I want to cancel, no attempt to keep the order, nothing. Just “OK, that’s cancelled. You’ll get an email telling you so”. That tells you everything you need to know about whether a company gives a shit or not.