Joe Abbott's Weblog

Letters home to mom

Technology not being very Christmasy

Posted by joeabbott on December 25, 2013

imageBetween March and August I wore a Fitbit Flex … a bracelet-style pedometer that tracks the number of steps you take each day via an accelerometer. It just stopped charging at one point and I wasn’t able to find a way to power it up. It was a huge bummer as I liked tracking my daily stats but I was very busy and took about 4 weeks to contact Fitbit for a replacement. Surprisingly, the Fitbit support folks were exceptionally helpful.

I wasn’t very hopeful when I first contacted them, as they just asked me to go through all the same steps as were out on their support page. I’d assured them I had done that, but they asked me to double check. And, for due diligence, I entertained them … all to the same result of the system just not charging. When I confirmed I’d followed the steps and it still wasn’t working, their response was a surprising, “OK, we’ll sent you out another; what color are we replacing?”

That was it? Seriously? I loved that company and, within a short time, the new Fitbit replacement arrived and I was again a daily-track-your-steps sorta guy. Until this past Saturday when the new one stopped charging.

I’m sure if I make a big enough fuss about it, I’d get another replacement, but I’m just not sure I care enough. I’ve spent more than my share of time ensuring I had it, fiddling with their web site, and contacting their support lines or reading the FAQs to know that I can probably do just fine without having this tool in my life. I wish it’d work and was zero-effort … my wife has a Fitbit (different model) and she loves it; no problems. Unfortunately, that’s not my experience and so I’m hanging it up. Yup, giving up easily but this isn’t the battle I want to fight.

Sorry, Fitbit, I really wish my experience had been different.

imageimageThe next tech problem I bumped into today was from one of my favorite video games: Borderlands 2. I’ve sunk more time into that game than I have nearly any other and I’m still enjoying it. One of the added features of the game is the “golden key”. Through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter), the game publisher will occasionally post codes that you can use to redeem for a gold key. Once you redeem the key, you can go to a special “loot chest” in the game, open it (in exchange for the key … which then disappears), and you get an extra-special gun, grenade modifier, or shield.

Now, a great bonus to this game is that you can have more than one gold key! As a matter of fact, the most common code these days gives you three keys. And today, Christmas, they posted a code good for TWENTY gold keys! Hooyah!

Now, I have a lot of the best loot you can get in the game (having played it a long time), so I don’t really need the gold keys. But it has been fun amassing a war chest of keys … the last time I looked prior to today, I had well over 200 keys! And when I say well over, I mean somewhere in the 270 region.

Unfortunately, I hit a bug and when I looked at my keys today, I saw that I had something like 58. Yup, somewhere in the ether I lost 200+ keys.

I’m really quite bummed, as collecting the keys was the game I was after here. I didn’t need them and only occasionally used them, but that isn’t the point. But, unlike the Fitbit problem, I’ll still collect keys: I have used them in the past when building up a new character and wanted to get them a quick bunch of good loot. Suzy asked if I’ll report the bug but I’m not sure. I’ve heard of others hitting this problem but never anyone who had successfully gotten any keys back. And to complain that I lost 200 keys when I still have 50 that I wasn’t planning on using immediately … I’m not sure there’d be much in the way of sympathy.

I may report the problem in the interest of helping them locate and fix a bug in their program but, as far as what’s in it for me, not much.

And so, on this Grinchy note, I conclude one of the several posts I’ll drop today. Hope I didn’t sour your day with my First World Problem woes! Drop in again later for more upbeat news and stories!

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