Pro-Form Tour de France Exercise Bike
by Dave Roberts
I ordered the Tour de France bike from the company's Web site. I liked its ability to work with iFit.com, so that you could map a route using a Google Maps extension that iFit has, then download it to your bike and ride that route.
When the bike came, I had paid for delivery to the second floor--but the delivery team wanted to leave it in the garage. We spend about ten days working out that problem--ten days that were a lot worse than they needed to be because the company takes 15 minutes to a half hour to answer the phone when you call.
Finally it was installed in my home gym. The machine looks good--it's sturdy and well made, and it's silent when you ride it. Quality looks really good.
Sadly, though, all I could ride was the Tour de France routes that are baked into it. Although I'm an engineer and work with the Internet all the time, I could not get the iFit connection to work. I spent a number of hours reviewing every aspect of it, but just couldn't make it work.
So I called their support. What agony! They ask you to leave them your phone number and then they call you back at "the earliest opportunity." Would you believe 6 hours later? The person who talked to me, once I described the problem, said "You'll have to talk to our IT people" and he put me on hold! So once again I heard the familiar music of their on-hold system. After fifteen minutes I gave up.
I know that my experience isn't unusual. An employee told me that although they have 100 help operators, after about 8 am the wait typically grows to 700 customers. So my multi-hour wait to work out what may be a simple problem is the daily routine, not anything unusual. It's clear that this company, while making a good product, is simply not committing the resources it needs to its support obligations.
I also posted a review with this information on their site. The review didn't appear on the site--instead I got an email offering to schedule a support call for me to help me get it working. I decided that I'd still have to contend with their regular support if I ever needed help again, so passed on that offer. I have been checking out their site, and my review never appeared. That's why they don't have reviews on their site that complain about their rotten service--they don't post them!
So I used my guarantee and they're picking it up at my house and taking it back. This is a product that's not as useful if it doesn't work with the Internet, so you really need their support. And trust me, their support, although you need it, is something you do not want to deal with.