If you are the owner of a Nike+ Fuelband , or can prove that you have purchased one in the last three years, then you are eligible to receive $25 dollars from Apple and Nike. This giveaway comes as a result of a class action lawsuit, where both Nike and Apple were accused of fraud, with the fitness tracker’s features unable to live up to its advertised standard. Those wishing to get reimbursed can submit an online claim here.
Nike and Apple were first sued in 2013, led by plaintiff Carolyn Levin, under allegations that the Nike+ Fuelband is unable to provide many of the features advertised, including the ability to accurately measure calorie burn, steps, and general activity. The allegations were made under the assumption that both Nike and Apple knew of the device’s flaws, yet still marketed it as a fully functional product. Apple is particularly under fire for this accusation, as they have been selling Nike+ Fuelband models up through last March—years after allegations took place. Attorneys representing the class claim that the fitness app’s inability to function as advertised also breaches the product’s warranty, with Nike to blame.
Both Nike and Apple are listed as defendants in the class action lawsuit. However, only Nike seems to be taking the heat for their accusations, as Apple has been confirmed to share no responsibility and/or liability for the attorney’s costs. This is surprising, as Nike and Apple have been very close business partners for some time now. They have been close in developing health-related apps long before introducing the Nike+ Fuelband in 2012, often swapping engineers and developers to create products such as the Nike+ iPod sensor kit in 2006. Others related to the case include fitness guru Jay Blahnik , who worked closely with the team that created the Fuelband’s defunct features.
It comes as no surprise that Nike has since fired a number of employees working on the Nike+ Fuelband team—a few of which, including hardware engineer Ryan Bailey and sensor software expert Jon Gale were quickly picked up by Apple. It is surprising, however, that while Apple claims no liability to the attorney’s claims, Nike has agreed to give back to the millions of customers they cheated, paying owners of the device a $25 Nike gift card. Those who don’t want to wind up eventually giving money back to the corporation that cheated its customers for millions of dollars can also opt to receive their payment in the form of a $15 check. Although both companies claim that the allegations are false, and that the Nike+ Fuelband is fully operational, they have since agreed to the class action terms “in order to avoid the expense, inconvenience, and distraction of continued litigation.”
A fairness hearing has been scheduled for November 4th, where settlement terms and an award for the class representative will be discussed. More information on the case can be seen on the settlement’s website.