Got a FuelBand? Nike Might Owe You $25

Nike+ FuelBand
Yusuke Kawasaki under Creative Commons

Nike and Apple have settled a 2013 class-action lawsuit over the accuracy of the Nike+ FuelBand fitness tracker.

Legal snoozeroo? Not quite — this settlement could mean a payment of up to $25 if you own a FuelBand.

The suit alleged that advertisements for the FuelBand, which is produced jointly by Nike and Apple, misled customers regarding how accurately the fitness device could track calories burned, steps taken and other metrics.

The FuelBand measures activity by NikeFuel, the brand’s method of measuring movement regardless of the FuelBand-wearer’s age, weight, or other factors. Nike and Apple deny the claims in the suit, but Nike will administer the settlement.

FuelBand Settlement: What You Get

It’s a settlement choose-your-own adventure: Pick either a $25 gift card to the Nike store, or receive a $15 payment.

You can redeem the gift card at any Nike store in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and on Nike.com. It never expires, according to the settlement website.

If you wound up with his-and-hers FuelBands or a family set, you’re in luck. Multiple members of a family can make claims so long as they each have their own device.

How to Get Your Money

If you bought your FuelBand between January 2012 and June 2015, you’re eligible to receive a settlement payment. But unlike some class-action settlements that track down affected customers, you’ll have to do the heavy lifting on this offering.

Make your claim through the FuelBand settlement site. If you bought your FuelBand directly from Nike or Apple, you may have received an email notice with a “class member ID.” This ID is optional, but you’ll need the serial number on your FuelBand. Then it’s just a matter of name, address and your payment choice.

Submit your claim by Jan. 4, 2016.

Nike+ FuelBand
Peter Parkes under Creative Commons

What’s the Better Settlement Option?

Can’t decide between a gift card and cash? Let’s look at it in terms of brand loyalty.

If you love Nike products and shop at Nike stores regularly, the gift card may benefit you. While Nike Store locations are limited — you’re probably not going to happen upon one unless you live in a major metropolitan area — Nike.com is open all night.

How far can the gift card go? I’ll play guinea pig: As a lady, let’s look at what $25 can get me in Nike swag. There’s one shirt I can get, and a few more I can get if I kick in an extra $10 or so. I’m halfway to a tank top or running capris.

Nike’s prices aren’t bad — it just comes down to the fact most of the stuff I would want to buy (like running shoes) is going to require additional spending on my end.

So if you’re not already planning to buy a new pair of Nikes, it’s probably a better bet to spring for the cash. I can think of a lot of things I can get for $15: two happy hour appetizers with a friend, a nosebleed seat to a Washington Nationals game, a trim at the barbershop. You might want one of those things more than you want to shop at the Nike store.

If you’re feeling entrepreneurial, you could take the gift card and make something of it. There are lots of ways to sell gift cards online, and Nike gift cards on Raise at the time of posting tend to be listed for less than 5% off face value.

You could potentially make almost $25 cash by selling your settlement gift card. That’s three happy hour appetizers, at least.

The gift card, on the other hand, could make a nice gift for your fitness-fiend friends.

There is another option that most people probably don’t know about: opting out of the settlement. By specifying that you want to be excluded from the settlement, you give up your rights to the payment offered. Instead, you retain the right to sue Nike and/or Apple about the claims made in the case.

It’s not likely you have the inclination (or the big bucks) to set up another suit over your FuelBand, but it’s worth noting why these companies would agree to the settlement. It appeases the customer, and precludes anyone who takes the payment from trying to seek revenge down the road.

Your Turn: This concludes today’s legalese nerd time. What about you — will you make a claim in the FuelBand settlement? Which payment do you prefer?

Disclosure: We have a serious Taco Bell addiction around here. The affiliate links in this post help us order off the dollar menu. Thanks for your support!

Lisa Rowan is a writer, editor, and podcaster based in Washington, D.C. She remembers when Nike+ was a chip in your shoe that synced with your iPod.

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