Minors and Microsoft Band 2

My son is an avid reader and as an incentive to push him, we offered him some cash if he would get a certain point value by the end of the school year. (Each book he reads at school has a point system based on content and grade level.)

Earlier this month, he achieved the goal set for him and wanted to use his money to buy a Microsoft Band 2. About a week ago, the Band arrived from Amazon. It was on sale again for $175.

I had him charge it while I was at work and when I got home, I told him that I would connect it with his Lumia 640.

What should have been a five minute procedure ended up taking 3 ½ hours.

First, the Band is designed to sync with the Microsoft Health application. Unlike Apple products, the Microsoft Band works on Windows, Android, and Apple phones. What I learned is that on a Windows phone, there is no ability to log off of the Microsoft Health app. It is defaulted to use the user signed into the phone. Well the Lumia 640 was my old phone. I uninstalled the app and then reinstalled, hoping to get a log-in prompt. This failed.

I deleted my email accounts, entered my son’s email account, and tried again. The Microsoft health app then tried to log into my son’s account.

I need to give you a bit of background to understand what happened next. My son is listed as my son on my Microsoft Live account. As such, I have some ability to monitor his Internet activity and control things like purchases that he makes on the phone. By having his age listed, I can also control what he does on the XBOX.

When the app tried to log on to my son’s Microsoft account, it gave him an error stating that he was too young to use the Band and locked him out of the app. We deleted the app and reinstalled. The app jumped to this same blocked message.

I ended up wiping the phone completely and starting over. After I tried to run the Microsoft Health app, it once again locked him out due to his age. Please remember that without the ability for him to connect to this application, the Band is a $175 brick.

I researched this on the Internet and found that the Microsoft Health app will only allow connections with people 18 and older. Nowhere is this documented on Microsoft’s sales information on the Band. I then researched how to change his age on the youth account. Once I changed his age to 21 in my Live account, I was told by the website that this made him an adult and he could no longer be under my supervision. Reluctantly, I agreed to this.

Then we tried the MS Health app again. We were still locked-out. So once again I had to wipe the phone and start over. This time when the Microsoft app was installed, it reluctantly allowed him to connect. My problem is that the version of Windows 10 on the phone is a beta copy and not an approved production release. By wiping my account, I’m sure I broke the link to get further updates on the phone.

I think it is stupid that Microsoft targets youth to buy their Band and then won’t let them use it because they are youth. Thus we need to lie to MS about the age of our children to use their products.

What kind of society are we living in? We aren’t supposed to care which bathroom our children use or if they get an abortion but they have to be over 18 to buy a glorified watch?

Clearly there are lawyers involved in this somehow. You’d think Microsoft would get their highly paid lobbyists to fix any issues that might prevent youth from using their products. I’m sure Fitbit has no such concerns about their products. In fact I doubt many people in Fitbit’s ads are over 18.

The bottom line is when you get your kids a Microsoft Band 2 be sure and lie about their age before trying to connect it to the Internet. Great product, but lying is not good behavior to model for your kids.