I bought an Oura Ring 2 second hand in September 2021. I had been aware of them for some time, but when looking for a tool to monitor my sleep and recovery, I initially opted for a Whoop Strap. After six months with Whoop I decided that, whilst I valued the information it gathered, it was hard to justify the very pricey monthly subscription. I instead decided to ditch my Apple Watch and got a Garmin Felix 6 Pro to replace both the Watch and the Whoop.
Whilst the Felix is great for measuring workouts, I missed the sleep and recovery scores from Whoop and so decided to look once again at the Oura. It looked great so in September 2021 I placed an order. I received a sizing kit within a week (I placed the order on a Sunday and received the sizing kit via Royal Mail on the Friday). I wore the sizers over the weekend, and on Sunday, confirmed my ring size and awaited the arrival of my ring.
Having been advised that the ring would arrive in about a week, I was surprised to see on Oura’s website that rings would ship from November 15th. I asked Oura customer services if this applied to my order too, and was advised that yes, it did.
At that point I asked to cancel my order, and said that I would continue reordering when they actually had stock available. They kindly offered me a $50 discount if I reconsidered when stock was available once more.
I subsequently found an Oura Ring in my size for sale on Facebook Marketplace, and decided to buy that instead.
It arrived two days after I had agreed to buy it, much quicker than a new ring, and was considerably cheaper. Even better, I didn’t get stung for VAT, customs fees and carrier charges!
During October I received a cryptic message from Oura stating that “The next evolution of Oura is here.” It looked like an updated ring was to come soon, something I had speculated when all orders were delayed, but which Oura had made no comment on. Sure enough, on October 26th, Oura launched Oura Gen 3, with a range of updates and improvements. With the new model they also unveiled their new subscription; to access all the data on Oura 3 it would be necessary to pay a fee of $5.99 before tax in the USA, €5.99 after tax in the EU, and in the rest of the world, $6.99 after tax (£5.17 approximately in the United Kingdom). These clearly proved very controversial. Whilst Whoop’s subscription is significantly more expensive, the hardware itself is generally free. Oura Rings are not cheap, and with the new generation, incur an additional and ongoing fee.
In order to soften the blow for existing customers, Oura stated that anyone who owns a Gen2 ring will be able to continue accessing all of their data for no additional fee. What’s more, Gen2 owners were offered a discounted ring, and a free lifetime Oura membership, free from subscription fees, if they upgraded to Gen3 within a limited window.
No sooner had the Gen3 ring been announced than I placed an order, using my $50 discount. I suspected that I was entitled to the free lifetime membership and was happy to proceed with my order.
I was rather surprised, therefore, when shortly after I had placed my order I received my upgrade offer. Oura were offering me a free Oura Gen3 and a free lifetime membership if I agreed to send my Gen2 ring back to them! This seemed to good to be true, but after a few attempts, I was able to place an order for my free upgrade. I’m not really sure why I was offered such a good deal, but was happy to take up the offer.
I contacted Oura to cancel my initial Gen3 order, and eventually received a response confirming that the order had been cancelled. Getting a refund is proving somewhat trickier; despite assurances that I would be refunded, it has now been two weeks and no refund has been forthcoming.
When an order was placed, Oura sent out a confirmation email which stated,
The first step to receiving your new Oura Ring is choosing your ring size. We've revised our sizing instructions slightly, so we’re sending each person who has placed an order a sizing kit to ensure their ring fits just right. We have already put a sizing kit in the mail for you. Please follow our new sizing instructions to confirm your ring size.
Many people were surprised, some cross, about what they saw as an unnecessary step in the ordering process, and a waste of resources. Oura continued to stress that the new sizing kits were necessary to ensure that Oura Gen3 fitted effectively.
When sizing kits began to arrive, there was much consternation when these appeared to be exactly the same as Gen2 sizing kits. The only difference was the instructions in the lid of the box (which now included an exciting QR code linking to a page on their website).