Apple Watch: Epic Fail - Why I’m Taking It Back After 3 Days

Epic fail, Apple. After three days of wearing my apple watch, I’m taking it back. Why? You broke every customer experience rule you have worked so hard to build up.

The ease of use (no directions needed). The design. The out of box experience. The seamless set up. Delightful and fun user surprises (Siri anyone?). Battery life for days. Limitless customization (background, lock screen, organization of apps). Customer service (texts at every shipping stage for your new product). Where you stayed true: customer service, out of box experience and ease of set up. But that is table stakes now. You set the standard… and you just broke the standard.

Let me caveat this entire post by stating that I did no research before buying. Post purchase, I watched one video. And yesterday while visiting the ladies room during a meeting, a staffer stopped me and said, ‘how do you like your smart watch?’ To my surprise, with no hesitation I said, ‘I hate it!’ And then proceeded to list all of the reasons:
  1. I can’t manually input health data (i.e. workouts, nutrition). I wasted at least 30 minutes of my day using the new ‘force touch’ technology hoping that it would deliver a different result other than ‘change daily goal.’ The only positive – I burned 10 more calories using ‘force touch.’
  2. I can’t type texts. Sure, there is a voice activated feature. Do you know how ridiculous I looked talking into a watch?
  3. I opened my Starbucks app and… no scan bar. Yes, I was the dork showing the barista my wrist so she could enter in my account number off the watch face.
  4. The charge held for less than 24 hours.
  5. Customization of the watch face was very limited. From design to quick views. And a Mickey Mouse version is not delightful and fun. Did I mention it took me 10 minutes of ‘force touch’ tapping to figure it out? I’ve NEVER taken more than 10 seconds to figure something out on any Apple UI.
  6. Apple created the app category. They make money off the apps. Apps are utilitarian and fun. $17,000 for a gold rose watch band? Apple just stooped to the PC manufacturing world they have spent so many years differentiating themselves from. It’s clear the margin is coming from the ‘attach’ of different watch band styles. Big mistake.
  7. The final straw… there I was at 24 hour fitness. I had exactly 30 minutes to work out before my 7:30am meeting start time. I put my bags (and iPhone) in the gym locker and proceeded to the treadmill. I put on my Powerbeats wireless headphones, touched the Pandora music icon and… spinning wheel of nothing. OK, maybe it was a wireless issue. I touched the iTunes app and… nothing. And to top it off? My wireless headphones didn’t pair. Turns out my phone (you know, the thing that I thought the watch would replace for certain activities) was too far away so lost it’s pairing with the watch.

Why would I need a watch replica of my phone – with much less functionality – when I still needed my phone with me to operate it?

One positive? I met my stand goal of 12 hours on day one.

A side note. The woman who stopped me in the bathroom laughed hysterically after my rant. She asked me if I’d seen the front page of the New York Times that morning. Apparently someone else is breaking up with their apple watch, too.