Deeply disappointed, hoping for an official reply before I return the B1

I read all the FAQs before purchasing my B1, but the failures of the device have really surprised and saddened me.

I'd greatly appreciate hearing from a Basis employee, particularly regarding whether any of my core concerns are likely to be addressed in a near-to-mid-term firmware update.

---

Without further ado, here are my thoughts, with my core concerns bolded:

Good
  • Not uncomfortable to wear
  • Don't have to tell it when you're going to sleep
  • Heartrate thing seems to works decently outside of exercise periods and recovery periods.
  • Can sync while it's still on your wrist
  • Free shipping
  • Very easy to get started after charging
Bad (first three are of greatest concern to me and are, frankly, dealbreakers; if not likely to be resolved with a firmware update, I'll be returning the watch)
  • Step counting seems to be very inaccurate (lots of false positives when I was sitting, tracks less than 5% of steps taken while on a treadmill)
  • Sleep tracking is horribly off; over two very restless nights in which I know I was awake at least several times (and my fitbit confirms this), my B1 claimed that my sleep each night had 0 interruptions. Even weirder, one night scored a 92 "quality" rating, the other... a 0 quality rating. What the heck?!

  • Heart rate measurements aren't just infrequent during/after exercise, they're terribly inaccurate! 61 beats per minute while doing intense aerobic activity? 65bpm 3 minutes after this activity when I was completely still but with my heart rate was over 100bpm?!

  • Arrived with battery almost completely empty
  • Seemingly little customer service engagement in forums
  • Doesn't include time-to-fall-asleep info
  • Doesn't track # of flights / stairs
  • Difficult to read in medium light / low light / from an angle
  • 15% restocking fee
  • Long wait to receive
  • Looks clunky (but in fairness, this is one of the few things I knew to expect, and would tolerate if not for the other severe issues cited above)
  • Works with very few phones

 

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Elijah Klay

    I agree with mostly everything you said. I understand that this technology, at this price and at this size, is not going to be able to accurately track my heart rate while I am moving. But when I am working out really hard, and I know my heart rate is really high, even if I stand completely still, the B1 still will not take a heart rate measurement. I do not understand under what criteria the B1 will decide it is safe to take a measurement, but this could easily be solved with a manual measurement feature: hold the two right soft buttons and press the hard button to trigger a heart rate measurement. Boom. Problem would be solved.

  • Avatar
    Chris Bermillo

    No complaints here.  Although I think the body design and display could be much more fashionable. 

    I took a nap three times yesterday and surprisingly it caught it.  It didn't read my HR when I was running on the treadmill this morning, but I just tightened it up and it read fine.  Are you wearing the watch loose?  I think it works best when it's snug, especially during exercise. 

  • Avatar
    Adam Lasnik

    Chris, yeah, it's on quite snugly; anything tighter would be quite uncomfortable.

  • Avatar
    Nem Kash

    OMG!!!! 15% restocking Fee!!!! is that a JOKE!!!! are these people kidding themselves?  I have had this thing for one day and I agree with almost all your points.  I am a weight and resistance trainer and I have burned 500 to 1200 calories in a single workout.  This device can not track a workout at ALL =( the heart rate reading is not only inaccurate but it is also reads very infrequently.  I just finished doing 20 reps on a bench press and it said my heart rate is 66!!!! 

     

    I will test this one more day before I ask to return it... There is no way I will pay a restocking fee of 15% for a product that is not only inferior to what is in the market but also inaccurate in so many ways.... the steps are soooooooooooooooooooo wrong its almost laughable.  I also spend 6 hours today moving heavy rugs and vaccumming 15 rugs very large front and back for 3 hours.  Any other heart rate monitor would have had me burning at least 500 - 750 Calories doing that if not more.  I have burned 600 calories running for an hour.

    I want reply from Basic!!!!

  • Avatar
    Adam Lasnik

    Nem, I'd suggest dropping a note to support@mybasis.com.  

  • Avatar
    Nem Kash

    Thank you Adam... that will for sure happen... they will also get a comment on FB and Twitter...

  • Avatar
    Letmein

    The step counting is the most accurate out there. If you read about how the step tracking is done, it will likely make more sense to you.  And if you had read anything at all before you purchased this device, you would know it is not designed to be an active heart rate monitor during activities. This is a device that tracks patterns. And the science they put into this for calorie tracking was based on a ton of research. 

    It's also certainly not inferior to anything in the market as there is no device currently in the market that competes with this yet. 

    I've had mine for 6 months, and the level of insight it has given me is immense. These guys are also great on the support front, so I am sure they will look after you.

  • Avatar
    Adam Lasnik

    Letmein, I also have a lot of admiration for the Basis team, and in fact found out about this watch by meeting (and being impressed by) one of the team members a year ago at a party :-).

    With that said, the sad truth is that this watch performs VERY poorly for my (IMHO) reasonable use cases.  As you can see from my initial post and from others' followups, the watch is simply failing to count most steps in many common circumstances (e.g., a treadmill).   Even if the watch were a quarter of the cost, that wouldn't be acceptable IMHO.

    So given this, my inclination is to return the watch, but keep a close eye on the evolution of the product via this forum and reviews and such, and then repurchase when it's able to perform more effectively for my needs.

  • Avatar
    Nem Kash

    @Letmein - I am glad you had such a great experience with the device.  

     

    First, I am a software engineer (not that it may matter to you) and while I think they have built a really nice web site and Android App, the science behind their step counting algorithm is not relevant to me as a consumer of the product when it is not accurate.  This is my first use of a step counter.  It also does not concern me if this is better then anything else if it is still so grossly inaccurate at times.  I have also tested it in other moments where it was almost step for step with me, even being off by 10 to 15% would have been reasonable.

     

    Second, so far my experience with their staff has been great, they have agreed to accept my return without the 15% restocking fee which I think it great of them, but also I would have been shocked if they would have asked me to pay it.  In this day in age, that is truly on called for.

     

    Third, as a person that has tested many device for tracking caloric burn I found this to be extremely inaccurate.  Especially for someone who works out.  I did read about them before I ordered the device and knew that it does not have a constant heart tracking method, but I also assumed based on what they had written that the device tracks multiple different inputs and would be smart enough to know when I am working out and possible start tracking my heart rate differently.  

    I think they have started something special, but they are faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRR from having a commercial ready device at $200!!! 

    I wish the company the best of luck and hope they continue down and amazing path.  I also look forward to seeing updates to the watch and its ability to work better for athletes.

    But, sadly I will be returning the watch ASAP.

  • Avatar
    Kristin S. | Basis

    Thanks for all the feedback thus far! We are listening and constantly improving our algorithms based on customer feedback, but these things take time to develop and properly test. We have beta programs to test future firmware for calories, steps and heart rate. Anyone who would like to be considered should reach out to support@mybasis.com.

  • Avatar
    James Smith

    Kristin S. I am rapidly approaching my 30 day window for my return.  How quickly will they get back to us on the support@mybasis.com?  Unfortunately I am with the others in this forum and I am wanting to return my device due to too many bugs and lack of cell phone support and frankly just poor results.  If it was just a few bucks, it would be one thing, but two devices (me and my wife) and an extra band that is fair chunk of change that I would hope to get back.

  • Avatar
    Kristin S. | Basis

    @James 

    We aim to answer issues within 24 hours. If you're hoping for a replacement or refund, I'm sure we can accommodate you.

  • Avatar
    Sean O'Connor

    Kristin, it seems clear that this product, regardless of a pretty long public release at this point, is still very much in beta, maybe even alpha.

    You can't put out products like this that are so buggy and inaccurate.  It's just plain dishonest.  Not that I think you or anyone else from BASIS will respond to this with anything beyond corporate-speak, even though you advertise yourself in your careers page as a spunky little startup that doesn't do meetings.

  • Avatar
    Chris Bermillo

    I returned my watch for this reason only - the HR monitor would not read consistently.  Sometimes it would pick up HR when I was, say, running or even walking for that matter, sometimes it would not.  Otherwise, I think it is an awesome watch.  If Basis can get the watch to read HR no matter what activity you're doing, I WILL buy it and KEEP it!

    To appreciate how good the Basis watch is, you have to try one of the other fitness devices out there on the market.  I have the Jawbone UP.  If it weren't given to me free, I would have returned it in a heart beat and would never consider buying another one.  Get this with UP, you have to tell it that you're going to go sleep by pressing and hold the button till it vibrates.  What?!? Seriously?!?  Basis did that automatically! 

     

  • Avatar
    Sean O'Connor

    @Chris Bermillo:  So you're saying that it's acceptable to take people's money for a product that's defective, under-researched, and under-developed, as long as there are other products out there that are worse?

    "Hey, this sandwich tastes like soot from my chimney!"

    "Sure does, sir!  But remember, there are sandwiches out there that taste like soot & poo!"

    That's absurd.

  • Avatar
    Chris Bermillo

    No, I'm not saying that.  Of course it's NOT acceptable.  I 100% agree with you.  I think companies should take the moral highground and not sell "defective" devices.  However, they still do.  So it's up to the consumer to determine the amount of "defective, under-researched, and under-developed" product they're willing to accept.  If the consumer doesn't like the product, return it, it's that easy.  I returned mine. 

     

     

     

  • Avatar
    Kristin S. | Basis

    Thanks for the honest communication on this forum. It's important to hear all feedback.

    We're building a product that's never been built before so we have our challenges! Please understand that we want you to have the best possible experience with Basis.

  • Avatar
    Sean O'Connor

    "Thanks for the honest communication on this forum. It's important to hear all feedback.

    We're building a product that's never been built before so we have our challenges! Please understand that we want you to have the best possible experience with Basis.

    Basis warranty and return policies can be found here:  http://www.mybasis.com/en/legal/warranty/"

     

    I'm sorry, but what?  This type of product has been tried and been unsuccessful many times over.  Whether it's in watch form, straps, bracelets, dongles, etc. it's been done.

    The problem that little startups like you guys don't get from the get-go is that the absolute BIGGEST advantage you have going for you from beginning to end is people like those on these forums.  People like us are absolutely prime for testing and knowledge.  I understand that you've prioritized user requests, but there are issues here that go far beyond things that needed to be fixed in the beta stages of this product.

    You're making a product like this at a time when there are droves of people like us watching MANY companies battle for position in this new market.  You simply cannot survive and afford to ignore information that has been floating around for years now about all this.

    I can understand not knowing that consumers would want more than not want a vibration within the device to do things like wake someone up, or alert them that they need to get up and move.

    I can understand not knowing that consumers would want more than not want the screen to have been a little brighter.

    I can understand a lot of those little things.  They're mostly shots in the dark.  Fine.

    What I can NOT understand and what is clearly just laziness and laxadaisical R&D on the part of your company is not knowing that consumers would want more than not want an alarm in a wristwatch, more-accurate-than-competitors sensors, a more-robust-than-competitors website, the ability to export collected data, an open API for 3rd parties to tie into the BASIS system and further advance your customers' health & fitness, etc. etc.

    These are things that Joe Schmoe can observe by just watching companies like JAWBONE go through their UP version 1 fiasco.  Your company would have been all over stuff like this if it had been observant and mindful of such things.

    I mean, that's all device stuff.  But really, not knowing that your consumers should be heavily communicated with on your own forums, via your own support email system, and via phone?  At that point, you just seem like you're inadvertently scamming early adopters.  If you don't know from day zero that that's a death sentence, then I have a bridge to sell you.

  • Avatar
    Elijah Klay

    In all fairness, I think what Kristin was referring to when she said "We're building a product that's never been built before" is the fact that Basis is the first activity tracker of its kind to attempt heart-rate monitoring in this way, not to mention the perspiration and temperature sensors. I am not aware of another activity tracker currently available that offers these sensors.

    And to those unhappy that the heart rate monitoring does not track at all times: they've clearly stated on multiple occasions that there are limitations to the heart-rate monitoring, and that a device at this price and size cannot accurately measure heart-rate during intense activity. That is just the limitation of the technology. To really track heart rate accurately, a device like this needs to be able to sync with a chest strap, like the Kreyos Meteor is planning to. The Basis has a bluetooth radio, so maybe they will eventually develop this option.

    The website issues, API, export, and lacking features were all to be expected, as well. The company said from the start that what they wanted to do was get the hardware out there, and that they would develop the software as they go. Whether or not you think this is a good business model, it has been their stated mission from the beginning.

    I really want the Basis to work out. I'm crossing my fingers and holding out hope that their developers are working their butts off to improve the software, tweak the algorithms, and get the API finished so that independent developers can start to create more useful apps. Unfortunately, so far it seems as though this is mostly a fancy step counter and sleep analyzer, meant more to track your overall activity throughout the day, rather than being a fitness tracker, per se. I guess it just depends on what you are looking for. The fact that even my hardest weight-lifting sessions don't even register as activity turns me off a bit, and I think that is where they are going to get the most competition from more fitness-based trackers like the Amiigo. But for someone who just needs some help developing better sleep habits, and needs a little reminder that they should be moving around more throughout the day, this device works well. To each his own, I suppose.

  • Avatar
    K Richard Pixley

    I'm not official by any means, but I'd like to address a couple of your points.

    First, steps.  Have you used any of the other step tracking devices?  The general idea here is to track daily activities, not workouts.  They're all approximations and viewed as such, they're useful indicators of general overall activity level.  If you want more accurate information about exertion or energy expenditures, especially during workouts, I think you probably want an HRM specifically geared for exercise.  (To be fair, I just got my B1 so I don't know how the steps compare to Fitbit, but I know that several of my regular activities, (eg, motorcycling), confuse the Fitbit step count too.)

    For heart rate, I'm not expecting my B1 to keep up with my Garmin or with my chest strap based devices.  a) it's not tracking at that level, b) I already have devices that can do that.  What the B1 does that the other devices can't is track my HR 24/7.  The other devices are uncomfortable to wear for that long and the batteries don't last long enough due to all of the activity.

    I don't know about you, but my answer is plain.  I'll be taking the B1 off and putting my Garmin on before I get on the treadmill and switching back when I'm done.  The B1 just isn't that kind of device, (nor did it cost what my Garmin cost).

    I don't agree with several of your other points.  It works with the vast majority of phones on the air today.  I'm not sure whether it could or should track stairs.  I don't know enough about the sensors or the tech.  (Fitbit does, of course.)

  • Avatar
    Carl Gmail

    TOPIC #1 – HR MONITOR

    My main reason for buying a Basis was for the HR monitor. The other cool features like online tracking of your data was just a bonus in my mind.

     

    How the Heart Rate Monitor Functions - I would definitely expect it to work like a Polar, Garmin or any other heart rate monitor and it should. Otherwise do not market it as such.

     

    DON'T HIDE THE TRUE DETAILS IN THE FAQ SECTION...That is truly misleading. You don't even provide a link to the FAQ section when you reference it on the product page. 

     

    Here is an excerpt of the marketing on the product tour page:

    “Dive deeper and explore even the smallest changes in physiological data such as your heart rate, activity and sleep patterns over the day or week.”

     

    Question:

    How can you dive deeper and explore the SMALLEST CHANGES when you don’t record them? Hidden in one of your own FAQs it states _“Basis is not focused on minute-by-minute uses for traditional heart rate monitors like athletic heart rate training or medical uses”. _ 

     

    Just be “honest and upfront in your marketing” with your customers.

     

    TOPIC #2 – Restocking Fee

    Just get rid of that awful fee and stop getting your small (and hopefully growing) customer base upset by nickel & diming them.

     

    A little bit of legal info on restocking fees for companies based in California and please note the phrase “prior to purchase”: “California law protects retail customers from unfair or deceptive return practices. But the law allows retailers to impose conditions on returns -- such as restocking fees -- as long as customers are advised of the conditions prior to purchase.”

     

    I never saw a notice stating this when I purchased mine earlier this week. I also just checked my receipt and there is no mention of it.

     

    Just remove it!

     

     

     

  • Avatar
    Nate Honeycutt

    WOW!! So many negative people!! And I can't help but think that some of y'all are employees of there competition, at least that is what it seems like to me!
    But I figured I would put my opinion here for all to read, I LIKE this watch!!! I think it looks professional, I have no problem wearing it to work, also the HR monitor works fine for me, sometimes it does not read my heart rate while I am working out but after I tighten it onto my wrest it works fine, and it counts my steps just fine.......... Who the hell cares if it does not count 5% of your steps, that is ridiculous that something like that would even be noticed! And when I look at my data on line my mind is always blown with the fact that the watch knows when I took my 2 naps and when I was out shopping and had to walk quickly and when I went jogging for an hour! This watch was purchased with the purpose of keeping me informed on my progress with saved and documented data, and with that knowledge I use it to stay motivated and on track with my goals, so in those regards the basis watch is AWSOME!!! Good job!! Keep it up!

  • Avatar
    Flyingpeanut

    What a bunch of whiners!  I love my Basis.  I have tested it in many situations (with my Fitbit, another pedometer and manual counting) and Basis is right on par with accuracy of steps.  Sure it isn't 100% accurate but NO device is.  If it's within 10% I am happy.   The only time it loses some of that accuracy is when I am doing something like folding laundry.  I get a few extra steps.   I have had my device from the very first 500 that were released and they have done much to improve the algorithms and they worked really hard on the algorithm to get it right. They took POSITIVE feedback from their customers, tweaked the algorithm and now it is very accurate.   Cut Basis some slack. Geeze.  Calling them dishonest and spouting off about how it is inaccurate, defective and under-researched is a stretch at best. You don't like it?  Return it and move on with your day but stop giving the company and the watch a bad name.  There are plenty of us who enjoy our watches and appreciate what Basis is trying to accomplish.  

    Also, please read FAQ's and such BEFORE purchasing a product.  I knew all about the return policy, the way the HRM is supposed to function, the restocking fee etc because I took the time to get to know the details.  You should too before purchasing "big ticket" items. 

  • Avatar
    Don LaVange

    Mine wont even charge, let alone synch!  And I bought one from thru Amazon for $280 bucks and another one from Basis that has no arrived yet.  How stupid am I?

  • Avatar
    Don LaVange

    I think that the "can't return because it is a wearable item is crap".  I have never had either of the TWO that I have because I never got the first one to come to life (respond to charging or even glimmer with light),  And the second one sits waiting for a return based simply on the fact that I do not want any product from a company that offers no real support.  This FORUM is not customer support!

    I suggest that anyone who feels as I do, that we have been scammed:

    Be bringing like minded buyers together for a class action lawsuit ,

    Complain to the FEDERAL TRADE Commission,

    Write and/or call your Sate and Federal legislators,

    Use Social media to tell others about this company and how they do business, as well as the failings of the product,

    Anything else you can think of!

     

  • Avatar
    Elijah Klay

    Woah... That's a little intense. I was disappointed by malfunctioning Basis bands as well, but one thing I'm sure of is that the support was decent. This forum is not the support... Emailing customer support is the support. I must have traded 30 emails with Kristin and Christine, as well as speaking with them personally on the phone. In total they sent me 4 bands (since the first three had issues) with no problem. In the end I decided the Basis was not for me, so I returned it. No big deal. No reason to raise pitchforks. If you don't like it, return it. I agree that a non-functioning product is not acceptable. But the support is not the reason to get upset.

  • Avatar
    Flyingpeanut

    Give me a break.  The support I have received has also been good.  I agree with Elijah.  This is NOT the customer support forum.  Contacting customer service is.  I have received personal service on a few occasions.  Once when my band stopped recording.  I had a new band in my hand within TWO days thanks to Kristine.  With no problems.  I am having an issue with the battery on this band and Marco has  been extremely pleasant helping me find a solution.  I have also had software issues which I got a response from within 24 hours from Christine.  She walked me through it, problem solved.  

    Threatening with lawsuits?  Unacceptable.  Work with customer service to find a solution to your problem or return your band. 

  • Avatar
    Adam Lasnik

    I'm the guy who started this thread, and I agree with Elijah and Flyingpeanut, in particular with this simple obvious suggestion: "Work with customer service to find a solution to your problem or return your band."

    The folks I've communicated with at this company have all been kind and professional.  

    I hope everyone (both from the company and we consumers) will remain respectful and reasonable.

  • Avatar
    Don LaVange

    I agree that this is not the support forum, and I agree that the support site is very helpful , however I have been to that my Basis is not returnable. . . Because it is a wearable item. And frankly that is crap. You can buy all kinds of "wearable " items online and return them easily.

    As for the support, while informational and friendly, there are just too many reasons given as to why the band won't even charge! One given to me is that the band does not work with Mac 10.7.5 ! Support offered to pay the $ 20 to upgrade, but my not too old computer. (18 months) won't seem to upgrade. I'm taking it to Apple store today.

    I like everything the Basis claimed to do and all I want is to have it do it! And I do think that it was released to soon.

  • Avatar
    Elijah Klay

    Don, whoever told you that the Basis is not returnable because it is a wearable item misled you. The band is most certainly returnable (which is why they have a return policy), and I, along with many others, have successfully returned the product for a refund. I believe they will even provide you with a shipping label, and FedEx will pick up the package from your house. It couldn't be simpler. Save the energy you'd waste contacting the FTC and your state legislators, send the thing back, and try out a different device. (Maybe even take them up on their extremely generous offer to upgrade your MacOS, as well, and come out on top!)

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