Thursday, February 20, 2020

TRUE Fitness Corp

I am in the process of evaluating the TRUE Fitness Corporation and the retailer, GymSource. So far, TRUE seems true to their excellent reputation. GymSource does not. It started a while back when the brand new machine froze.

I wrote and called the company and the store. I chatted online with the store customer service and was told they don't exchange, but they would come out and service the machine because it is under warranty. I made it very clear that I wanted a refund or a new machine. They said they can't do that, which is when I wrote to TRUE Corporate.

All that was last night.

Today I got a phone message from the Hollywood Florida headquarters of the store asking me to set up a service call. I called back tonight saying I don't want service on a brand new machine, I want a refund.

Then I checked email. No email response from the store, but the TRUE Corporate sent this:

Thank you for the information.

I just got off the phone with Gym Source. They are going to contact you to get you a replacement machine and take that one back. Joseph Papke from Gym Source should be reaching out to you. Once you get in contact with them they will handle the whole swap and we will deal with them about the machine that you currently have.

Maybe there are some ethical Corporations after all. I'll believe it when the new machine is here. :)

. . .

Weeks later, the story gets long from there. The store, GymSource, has been doing everything they can to try to convince me to agree to a repair instead of an exchange, even though the manufacturer agreed to an exchange. Gymsource has been deceptive, manipulative, and apparently hoping I am stupid enough to fall for their delay tactics. Joseph Papke never called. The calls I did get were talking about setting up a service call. They told me they don't do exchanges. Then, after pretending the True Corporation did not do what they said they did, after a few phone calls pretending they had no clue that an exchange was to be made, after a few phone calls transferring me to people who did not know what was going on, they finally acknowledged a replacement was the agreement.

Then, different delay tactics started. We don't have a replacement in stock... It could take a while to find another machine... blah blah blah. Finally, after wasting a lot of my time and getting another call from TRUE, I get a call that they will deliver the new machine Friday afternoon. So I move my appointments to the morning and plan for the afternoon off. On Thursday, they call and say they will be here between 10am and 11am. Not happening. They say it's the only time they can deliver, so they'll set up another date for next Friday.

Here's the whole conversation with TRUE online and a summary of phone calls with GymSource so far...

My First Message, 2/10, around midnight...

How many True ES700 owners have had to have their first service call after 17 days and 6 or 7 uses of less than 20 minutes on level 2? I haven't even made my first payment yet, and it's not going to be refurbished when I make it. Tonight, for the first time, I took it up past level 10 and extended the stride length. After fifteen minutes, brake error, frozen screen, failure to work. Are you serious? Trust in a True product is going to be hard to come by after this experience. I bought damaged goods, a lemon. Do you replace bad machines when they can't even make it until their first payment is due? That would bring us back to square one on the trust True possibility. Your move.

TRUE's First Response, 2/11, around 9:00am...

Thank you for contacting TRUE Fitness.

To better assist you we will need the serial number of the unit to get as much information as possible.

The serial number can be located on the base of the unit on white sticker.

My Second message, 2/11, around noon...

Thank you for the quick response. I called the store, in Orlando near the Millenia Mall area. The Manager, Rashad, was very informative and polite, though I am still waiting for the 1/2 mat that was promised. They said they would get back to me, but I have not heard from them yet. The label is attached. I unplugged the machine when the screen would not turn off with the brake motor error frozen on it. I have not plugged it back in again because I don't know if that would damage the motor or rotors.

This is the first time this has ever happened in many years of riding ellipticals. I am concerned it is a flaw in the mid-rotor design as I knew I was taking a chance on the new configuration. I want a machine that can handle 100% capacity, level 30, full stride. Wouldn't be on this one. This freeze came the first time I pushed it over level 10 after about 15 minutes. I was actually just testing the feel at a slow light pace. Only about the 6th time I used it. A machine a this price should not need service after six very short very light tests. I am hoping this was a lemon and a replacement will live up to the great reviews. Thank you.

TRUE's second response, 2/11, 40 minutes later...

Thank you for the information.

I just got off the phone with Gym Source. They are going to contact you to get you a replacement machine and take that one back. Joseph Papke from Gym Source should be reaching out to you. Once you get in contact with them they will handle the whole swap and we will deal with them about the machine that you currently have.

My reaction, 2/11, about 10pm...

Thank you very much. You just lived up to the hype about your company. I got a message from Gymsource and about setting up a service call. I couldn't get back to them until just now. I have a very busy week at work but I will do my best to answer if they call again tomorrow.

TRUE's response, 2/12, about 8am...

That is good to hear Ric. Glad we could get this sorted out for you. Let me know if you have any issues going forward and I can get into contact with Joseph again.

My update, 2/14, 3:39pm, after returning GymSource messages talking about setting up a service call...

I am not sure if the Florida Gymsource people actually got your message. I received a message about setting up an appointment for service. When I called back, the person who answered, James, had no clue about an exchange. He asked if I contacted Gymsource, and I did via two calls (left messages), email to two addresses, and a live chat on their website. So I called asking for Joseph Papke and he said I need to speak with James. I explained that I spoke with James and James said he would check with Rashad, the manager of the store where I bought the elliptical, and he would get back with me. He didn't get back with me, so I called Joseph. Joseph said he sees an exchange in the system, so he transferred me to James and I went straight to voicemail. I left a message. It feels like the run-around to me. If there is an exchange in the system, why didn't James see it when he looked? He didn't even know I contacted Gymsource or you. I can only hope this is a communication breakdown. I suppose I'll have to try to find time to call next week as I'll be out of town this weekend.

Just one more suspicious thing - I wrote a review on the Gymsource website, but they seem to be refusing to publish it. I wrote it before I heard from anyone, so it's just the facts and contacted the review service to ask if I can update it with the positive information you've provided, but the review service didn't respond. Seems Florida communications for your product is not nearly as good as your immediate clear reply. I'll stay hopeful.

TRUE's response, 2/14, 3:45pm (wow)

Ric, I will get into contact with Joseph again and STRONGLY advise him to get into contact with you about this.

When is the best time for them to get in contact with you?

My response to TRUE, 2/14, 6pm...

I don't like putting pressure on anyone who is providing service, like putting together an expensive and delicate machine. I also can be very hard to reach and James did call several times this week when I couldn't answer (due to work). That's why I was so surprised when he didn't seem to know why he was calling me. I'll be away at a softball tournament until Monday. I have an hour between 12-1 on Monday. I'm booked Tuesday and much of Wednesday, But Wednesday afternoon might open up. Thursday is free at the moment, but my work can pop up at any moment so it's seldom easy to predict without an appointment. Even then, I respond to accidents and emergencies and they change my schedule at any moment. I'd like to see if they call back, so even though I really want to get a working elliptical at home, hold off until Tuesday please. If they contact me Monday, I'll try to get here to update. I'd rather not make them feel like they are being forced. I hope you understand. Thank you.

TRUE's reply...

Sounds good. Just update me when you hear something.

My next update, 2/20, late evening...

I am trying to be patient. James called earlier this week and told me it would be a while before they could find another True ES700 for me. He offered me the repair again. I told him If it's going to take more than a week, I want the repair and the new machine, or we can start talking refund the total cost. He hesitated and said he'd call back. When he called back, he said he found an ES700 that could be delivered Friday. I told him I have a meeting in the morning but I'll take the afternoon off. He said he'd call Thursday to confirm. Today he called to say they'd be here between 10am and 11am. I reminded him I had a meeting and he offered next Friday. I told him that won't work for me. He said he'd call me back. Meanwhile, I'm stepping out of meetings for this shell game gamesmanship, which really leaves a bad taste in my mouth. He called back again and said how about Saturday. I said fine, I'll stay home Saturday, asking for a window of time. He said he'll call back tomorrow to set the time, but it'll probably be the afternoon. I said fine. Meanwhile, the 1/2 inch mat that I expected, that Rashad assured me would be as good as the 3/4 inch mat I asked about, never arrived. Maybe they'll surprise me with it Saturday. I won't be recommending Gymsource to anyone because of these attempts to manipulate me into disregarding the agreement you and I came to. If the machine comes Saturday, I'm done with them. If it doesn't, I want a refund and I'll buy another machine from a less manipulative store. Please do not contact Gymsource until I have the machine. I don't trust them and the turn of a screw in assembly could cost me a lot of money. I just wanted you to know the tricks they are trying to avoid the exchange you offered. Hopefully they are done and will deliver a well put together machine Saturday. I appreciate your consistency and follow up. I'll let you know what happens. For the record, the attached photo is why I won't plug the machine I have here in again. The screen when from my workout to the start screen, but nothing I did would close the error, so I unplugged it after a while. I'm still kind of queasy about the lack of history of reliability of mid-rotor machines, but I do appreciate the way True is standing behind the product in this case. Thank you.

That's where we are today...

Friday, February 22, 2019

Delta Airlines

At 8:12am on Saturday morning, the phone rings from a local number and being fast asleep, and I foolishly answer. It is a voice with an Indian accept calling from a busy call center (the unmistakable din of call center babble is clearly heard in the background) to tell me that my number won some contest for Delta airlines. I told then to take me off their list and do not call again and hung up. The voice was talking over me, but did not sound recorded. A little while later, I called the number back from my work phone and sure enough, it was a disconnected number.

Here is my advice to Delta and all corporations. Delta Airlines should investigate. In fact, instead of paying their executives multi-mullions, all corporations should use some of their ridiculously unethical profits to invest in computer software developers that can create programs that can investigate and stop SPAMMERS (not to mention feed the hungry and save the planet, but that's another story). To encourage corporate responsibility, Delta Airlines is off my list of airlines to fly.

Not your fault Delta? Too bad, do something about it. Delta, if you prove to me that you are actively investing in anti-SPAM measures, I'll consider taking you off my banned corporation list.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Torn Between Phones

So the iPhone died suddenly and there's nothing backed up or recoverable. The software just froze with the apple on it after a restart. The geniuses at the apple store couldn't figure it out. the phone rings and makes the text message sound, but the screen is frozen. The home button doesn't work, so a hard restart is not happening. Some company apple sent me to wants $800 - $2000 to attempt data recovery. Right.

So now I am torn between Android and Apple. The S9 is supposed to be good right now. A chinese phone is possibly better, but the big phone companies won't touch it because of rumors of the chinese government spying on phone users. Part of the lies our government is telling us these days or just another country/corporation spying on us? Like Facebook, for instance. Collecting and selling personal information is a trillion dollar business.

Then there's the iPhone. So many flaws, yet still, the hype sells.

Not being able to open it and do a battery reset is one of the deal breakers. A bigger deal breaker is not being able to back up the phone without the internet. But I am so used to it after two years, or is it three. Samsung's bloat is a deal breaker, but the phone is so much better that the iPhone on so many levels, including price, size, screen resolution, cameras, contacts, and the list goes on.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Windows 10

So far, the advertisements greeting me every time I open the laptop are turning me off to Windows 10 big time. I know it is a free operating system and Corporate Greed runs this country, but I do not want ads greeting me every time I turn on the computer. Just one more reason why Jackson switched to a Mac and why Mac users do not like Windows I suppose.

Once I click passed the unwanted advertising, we get to strike two. More advertising. Right on the MSN page they force on me, the top stories are click-bait for the kind of sites I try my best to avoid. Sites that download so much crap that they slow the computer. For these two reasons alone I am done with trying to enjoy Windows 10 and yet, I am stuck with it for now so I will spend time trying to figure out how to change the defaults so my computer can be my computer again.

Ok, so I seem to have maybe figured out how to stop the Office advertisements from appearing. We shall see the next time I restart. In System-Notifications & actions, I clocked "OFF" for Office notifications. Since I seldom use Office right now, why should I be notified about anything about a product I seldom use, right?

I accept that with every new operating system there is a lot to learn. I do not accept that any operating system should push advertisements in my face when I turn on my computer.

My initial experience with Edge, the replacement web browser for Internet Explorer, was similar though it may be faster and cleaner than Chrome or Firefox. That may be wishful thinking, however, as I have not used it to log into anything anywhere nor have I browser the web with it.

So I found the way to turn off auto-restart for Windows 10 auto-updates. Unfortunately, I found that out too late and lost writings and other stuff I was doing because I fell asleep without saving all of the files I was working in. User friendly my ass. Any OS that automatically closes any files without the user's permission is not only not user friendly, it's user disrespectful, user undermining, and user not-for-me. Microsoft, you did it again. You turned me off using your products or trusting your company.

I am also noticing Windows 10 and iphones are not compatible.

Sucks to be stuck in Windows.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Android vs. iPhone

A friend gave me an iPhone 5s when my HTC Inspire finally bit the dust. This 5s is my first iPhone and therefore my first chance to compare the two operating systems so this entry is intended to be a loose list of differences, pluses, and minuses I find as I explore the iPhone and either cheer something I could not do before or mourn the loss of something I took for granted. There's no science, testing, or formal comparison in this entry. Just ramblings of a user switching from Android to iPhone.

There are people who swear by Apple products and would not touch a Microsoft (Windows) or Google (Android) product if their life depended on it (well, maybe if their life depended on it, but they'd have serious doubts it would save them). There are people who never touched an Apple product simply because the opportunity never arose. I fall in the later category. I recently was gifted an iPhone 5s by a dear person (son of a friend) when my Android finally became too problematic after six years of reliable dedicated frequent use. I knew how to do everything I needed to do on my old Android and though it had limited memory and poor battery, I adjusted because it did what I wanted it to do.

Now I am learning the iPhone features and so far, the only one jumping out is the talk to text feature because that did not work all the time with my Android (it would not work when I was connected to WiFi for some reason... it was a cutting dge phone ahead of it's time six years ago, but definitely limited by 1Gb memory). Still, I miss the ease of use that came with familiarity. Not faulting the iPhone (yet) as I hope to learn to do most of what I did and am a little excited about learning new tricks my old Android could not do.

To this end (whatever end this may be), I am going to keep two lists in this blog entry. On the left will be the new things I can do that inspire my smile. On the right will be the missing and the flaws, things I used to be able to do that I no longer can do. Hopefully none will be deal breakers for the iPhone for me, but that is why I am keeping track. Part of me already wants to move back to Android. This list will help me see the benefits of the iPhone and let me measure them against the losses.

I think I will start each feature or flaw in the iPhone 5s simply because it is the phone I use at the moment. The Android had many flaws, though some may have been the age as it was at least four years old. Unfair, I know, but whoever said life was fair? :)

Flaws in the iPhone 5s

Serious flaw - No ability to save a draft text message. With Android I was used to tying out a text message anytime and saving it in draft for a more appropriate time for sending (like a late night text I would rather send in the morning or a text I'd rather send when someone got off work). In fact there was the ability to send a text on delay. No such feature in the iPhone.

Possible Dealbreaker - The inability to save a draft text is bad enough, but the suggestion I read online was to type out the text then close the phone. The trouble is, if another text message comes in, the temporarily saved message is gone. That is the first potential dealbreaker I've found in the iPhone 5s. I researched online and found Apple has no phone that saves draft text messages, so while the decision not carved in stone, I may go back to Android when I replace this phone.

to be continued (if I remember)...

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fila Slide Sandals

PRO: The best thing about these Fila Slide Sandals is the material. It is comfortazble and the material shrinks with heat to mold to your individual foot. I have several pairs and love them for the fit (especially after they are broken in), convenience of a slip on, and the price ($14.95 at Kohls). The footbed is textured and padded in three layers to add to comfort and grip. It is made of EVA so it is completely waterproof, great for any weather, showers, and pool wear. CON: These sandals will seem stiff at first, but the mold well. The worst thing about these sandals is they shrink, so they usually run small and you might find big differences in the same size even when new, even within pairs. I would not buy them without trying on both in the box. If you leave them in the sun or in the car in 90+ degree heat, they will shrink a couple of sizes. If you have kids that might not be too bad, but unless you know someone with smaller feet who will wear your shrunken sandals, don't leave them in the sun or hot places. If you live in a hot climate, they will eventually shrink and need to be replaced or handed down to a smaller foot. I will definitely buy these again and keep a couple of pair of these around.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Always Dailies Xtra-Protection

PRO: Very low cost, about a nickle a piece. Very lightweight. CON: They are small and thin, as advertised (the box says 20% thinner, 5x drier, though those claims always lead me to ask than what? as exactly what the product is being compared to is missing from the comparison). Heavy perspiration will soak them. The box does not reseal or reclose well and they are not invididually wrapped, nor are they in an airtight wrapper within the box, so the sanitary and dryness aspect comes into question and you must package them in your own plastic bag for storage and travel, especially after the box of 50 is opened. They have no wrapper for disposal. They will protect clothing, but only for a very short while.