Monday, December 3, 2012

Ode to my Fuel Band

I coveted you from the moment I saw you.

So sleek, so simple.

I had been a Nike+ user from the early days. No, of course I never used the shoes... I really hadn't worn Nikes since, what, 7th grade? But I loved being able to track my miles when I ran. Heck, I still do.

I started with the little shoe pod, a pouch to attach it to my laces, and a sensor I attached to my iPod. My iPods came and went, and I even wore out a couple of sensors. But it was still good.

A year or so ago (probably more?) I bought the SportWatch. That was also cool -- and I still run with it because I love the GPS functionality. It's too bulky (and, well, too NIKE...) to wear every day as a watch, but who cares.I never wore my Garmin as a watch either. And this is much better looking.

And then, ah, the Fuel Band. A sleek little black band for my wrist, tracking my movements and granting me "Fuel Points". I love the device, I love the gamification, I love it love it love it.

But after 219 days, I had a problem. A stretch of the LEDs on the watch had died. Now, these aren't functional, really. I could still see if I hit my goal for the day. But I worried that if they were going, something else inside my be going, too.

Since I'm in Las Vegas for the NNG Usability Week conference -- and staying at Caesar's Palace -- I walked down to the Nike store to see if the folks there could help. After a little hemming and hawing, ("Well.. do you have a receipt?"), the manager said just to swap it out for a new one. Great.

Here's something a little shameful: I asked them to help me sync my day's Fuel Points (and those of the previous couple of days) so that I wouldn't break my streak. Yeah, it's like that. So we synced my old Fuel Band, and it was unceremoniously put in a box... while I was handed a shiny new one.

So -- Nike Store customer service gets an A. That said, they know the device hasn't been around all that long -- so they couldn't pretend I had had it for years.... But it was with a minimum of hassle, and I didn't have to lose my Fuel Band for weeks on end if I had to send it in.

But now I'm struggling to set up the new Fuel Band. Am I perhaps the only person in the history of the Fuel Band to ever get a second one? (No, I'm sure I'm not... but I may well be an edge case...) And it seems that my points from the past three days haven't actually synched. Which leads me to the real crux of the issue:


Yes, since having the Fuel Band, I only missed hitting my goal one day -- on day 41, I think. And now I have "missed" three more -- including a day when I ran a PR in a half marathon. But, assuming everything sorts itself out, I will be back at it tomorrow. I hope.

By the way, I know I'm a dork.

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