Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Dear Nike: You Suck. Merry Christmas.

Eli 12.4 wanted a Nike Fuel Band for Christmas.

I tried to talk him out of it. I told him the Fitbit Flex was a much better product, and he wouldn't have to deal with the corporate monolith that is Nike. Since some of his friends have a Fuel Band, though, I could understand why that's what he wanted.

So we try to install it tonight.

Download the firmware upgrade, the content upgrade, etc. Finally, all he has to do is set up a Nike+ account.

Here's where things go totally wrong.

Eli fills out all the information required for an account, including his birthdate. "I hope it lets me do this with my real birthdate," he said. Well, of course they would. Plenty of kids have this device, and this is a chance for Nike to hook them into a lifetime of product upgrades and other product lines. So of course they'll let a 12-year-old create a Nike+ account.

Except they won't.

Nowhere on the web form does it say you can't create an account unless you're X years old, but you can't. "No problem," Eli said, I'll just change the birthdate." So he does, by about ten years, and guess what? He gets a message that says something like "can't create this account because of a previously unsuccessful attempt."

That's awesome, Nike. Good job stopping a 12-year-old from even using the overpriced crap you just sold him. Well-played.

I'm sure we'll find a way around this, and it will all be fine, but what a horrible customer experience.

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