A+ Customer Service and Gratitude

My fitbit got damaged probably 2 months ago but I could still charge it and it worked just fine.  I kept it in my purse and it counted my steps and floors climbed just like normal.  (See these blog posts on my no-fuss fitbit usage and an overview of the Walgreens points system.)

Then last week I tried charging it and the small piece of plastic on the back wouldn’t hold on any longer.  My Charge could no longer charge. 😦  I decided to contact customer service to see if there was a way they could repair it or I could trade it in for a new one.

Contacting customer service is never on my list of things I look forward to doing, so I dilly-dallied a few days before sitting down and steeling myself for what was typically a drawn-out, painful process… I chose to do the chat option on the fitbit website, and was absolutely blown away by the quick answers and solution-oriented chat I had with the customer service agent.  No, they don’t take the damaged ones, and no, they don’t need any proof of purchase.  I think he simply looked up my account with them and verified that I actually had a fitbit.  Since it was still under warranty, he asked for my shipping address, and size and color preference.  I gave the information, and literally 5 minutes later I received this email confirming my replacement fitness tracker was on its way:

fitbit

To have such a pleasant experience with a customer service provider, and on a Saturday as well, was such a gift.  I made sure to fill out the requested survey on my experience, remembering to note my agent’s name and thanking them.

As a dedicated Yelp reviewer, I know that it’s more likely for people with a horrible experience to leave feedback, or those who have had exemplary service.  Those extremes are when we’re motivated to let others know what to expect.  In this season of hectic schedules, lots of travel, and more than enough to do, this experience reminded me to be grateful when things go well.  And it was a good reminder to value those who provide us with customer service, who are working long hours especially this time of year.

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Redeeming my Balance Rewards points!

I fell out of the habit of wearing my Fitbit a month or two ago, but then had an idea to clip it onto my purse with a fully charged battery.  Without having to remember to put it on, I’d be able to still count my steps each day since I carry my purse with me most of the time.

Fitbit parked on my purse strap, for effortless point accumulation
Fitbit parked on my purse strap, for effortless point accumulation

These step counts can be linked to your Walgreens Balance Rewards account (as I wrote about in this blog post) and with minimal effort, I kept getting points each day. I reached 18,000 points (with my walking points added to some points from filling prescriptions and other purchases) and just the other day I had $20 credit to use at Walgreens!

They do limit the things you can redeem your points for, so don’t plan on buying gift cards or alcohol with points.  But I decided to get a bunch of food and household goods that we needed with my points.  Originally, I had thought I’d only spend the points on ‘fun’ purchases like nail polish, fancy-smelling shampoo or other treats, but since we moved recently and are in the midst of a major home renovation, I wanted to instead buy useful things.

$20 credit applied to my purchase!
Rewards redemption of $20 applied to my purchase! Woo!

Look at all the stuff I got for free!

Earned mostly for just walking around
Earned mostly for just walking around

I know that Windex is normally not something to get excited about, but in this case I was stoked because we needed it to clean our windows– our first windows to clean as homeowners! I can highly recommend those coconut almond fiber bars! Think of it as an almond joy that’s also good for your digestive system. Sooooo tasty! Even though we live in Hawaii, I thought with fall setting in, Campbell’s tomato soup and grilled cheese would be a good meal someday soon. With all the renovation work, I think it’s important to treat yo’self with good food… and the occasional pumpkin-shaped treat.

Free Money for Walking

Earlier this year I began learning about fitness trackers and wondered if it would make sense to get one.  I knew I walked a lot, and usually took the stairs at work (6 flights) at least once a day, but wanted to know more. I liked that some of them track your sleep and exercise sessions as well. So much data could be at your fingertips, not to mention the free money!

I received a Fitbit for Valentine’s Day ❤ from my boyfriend, and thought it was really fun to see how many steps per day I took.   Other inputs on the Fitbit include water intake, food planning and calories burned, and weight.  I don’t use those features, but think it’s great that they’re included for those who have specific weight loss or health goals.

Besides the obvious health benefits of increasing the steps you take and your exercise sessions, shortly after starting to use my Fitbit I found out that Walgreens has a system where you can link your fitness tracker to their rewards program– basically, you get points according to the number of steps you take every day!

The Walgreens system, called Balance Rewards for healthy choices, translates every mile you walk or run into 20 points (up to 1,000 points per calendar month). Once you get 5,000 points, that’s a $5 credit to use at Walgreens. 10,000 points is a $10 credit; 18,000 points gets you a $20 credit. I also get my prescriptions filled at the Walgreens near my apartment, and buy the odd food or cosmetic item at Walgreens, so those purchases also earn me points.

Since syncing my Fitbit to my Walgreens account, I’ve earned thousands of points just for wearing my Fitbit while I walk around like normal. I redeemed some of the points for a fun purchase of toe separators (messy pedicures are the worst) and made up my mind to only use my points for ‘Treat Yo’self’ items. The way I figure it, I’m earning the points by making the healthy choice to walk instead of ride in a car or on the bus, and that earns me a bit of fun money as well as the obvious health benefits.

Hanauma Bay Ridge hike on Oahu
Why not earn some free store credits while hiking Hanauma Bay Ridge on Oahu, simply by wearing your fitness tracker?

Do you own a fitness tracker?  Have you heard of other programs where stores or companies reward you for sharing your fitness data? What do you think of this concept?  Share your thoughts in a comment below!