Adventures In Running

Friday, July 9, 2010

BodyBUGG review (and support SLAM)

I have been wanted to purchase a BodyBUGG from 24 Hour Fitness for quite some time after hearing about them on The Biggest Loser. Let's face it – I'm a running/workout technology geek. I like my running toys.

About a month ago, one of my co-workers told me that he had purchase a BodyBUGG and that the BB itself and the display watch were on sale for $250. I liked the discounted price and took the leap. I needed to lose a little weight and it only seems like I get the motivation when it hurts me financially.

Unfortunately, my new 'toys' arrived the day I left on a business trip to Michigan, so I had to wait an entire week to get my grubby hands on them.

From the beginning, I loved my new BodyBUGG. I liked checking the calorie burn on my computer and seeing how many calories I had burned and how many steps I had taken. I really liked that I lost 9.4 pounds in the first three weeks by focusing on exercise and diet.

Was I recommending the BodyBUGG to everyone? You bet. It was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Until this week….

I was back in Michigan again this week for some more testing of our new application at work. Wednesday night I went out for a late evening run to avoid the worst of the heat and humidity. The sky was overcast when I left, but did not look like rain. The weather channel did not predict rain. I knew the BodyBUGG was not supposed to get wet. 5 miles into my 7 mile run, guess what happened? Yep. It rained. Not just sprinkles, but a drenching downpour. I worried about both the BodyBUGG and iPhone I had on me, but I was on a path alongside the freeway with nowhere to seek cover and no way to protect my electronics. As soon as possible, I got back to the hotel and dried off my BodyBUGG and iPhone.

Thursday morning, I strapped the BodyBUGG on. No sound. A few beeps a little later. I decided to charge the BB at work. After a little while, all lights indicated they were green and happy. Still no response when I strapped on the BB. I sent off an email to their support team and got no response. (It turns out this is fairly common). Today I called the Technical Support line. After several attempts to reboot the instrument, put new firmware on the instrument, etc, etc, etc, I was told that I was out of luck because getting the BodyBUGG wet had voided the warranty. I politely complained and she spoke with her manager and came back with the same response. She directed me to customer service, where I was told the same thing. No offers of a replacement, no offers of reduced pricing on a replacement, nada.

This was a hard lesson to learn At $25 a pound of weight loss, I no longer recommend the BodyBUGG. I will sing loud and clear that Apex Fitness is a rip-off and has lousy customer support. And, several people that were considering a BodyBUGG are now jumping off that bandwagon.

All I can say is: "Shame on you BodyBUGG."

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