Wednesday, 26 September 2012

I'm finished with Gym-Pact

This week I finally gave up on my Gym-Pact app. 

I will be honest and say that when I was first using the app, more than 17 weeks ago, I needed motivation to keep me working out the 5 days a week that were in my plan at the time.  Back then, I worked out on the recumbent bike and the rowing machine, and while these machines were having an impact and were working, it was torture to motivate myself to work out each morning.  The bike was so boring, and it was tough to get and keep my heart rate up high enough to make it worth while.  It was difficult to hold my iPad so that I could read whilst pedaling, and it was tough for me to get up and down off the bike and rowing machine because they were each very low, and my knees and back were so very very bad. 
Plus, did I mention how boring these were?  Mind numbingly boring.  By the end of May, I was starting to skip workouts.  It was clear that I needed to do something to keep on my routine, and this is where Gym-Pact came in.

For those of you who have not read my previous posts on this app, the premise is simple.  You simply make a bet with yourself that you will work out a set number of days each week.  For each week that you make your bet, you receive money for each day that you worked out.  For each day that you miss, you pay the amount of money you bet.  The idea behind the app is that the money collected from the missed bets goes into a pot of money to be split between all the people who made their bets. 

The money is not paid on the basis of how many times you actually work out, but rather, how many days you commit to work out in your bet, or pact.  I started out with a pact of 5 workouts per week, which meant that I was entitled to 5 shares of the overall pot of money when I met my pact.  Eventually I changed my pact to 6 days per week, entitling me to a slightly larger share.  Each week money was credited to my user ID.

Initially only workouts at accredited gyms counted towards your pact, but recently Gym-Pact integrated with Runkeeper, which meant that one could do walks or runs using the Runkeeper app and it would count towards your pact. 

Overall, the Gym-Pact app worked pretty well, for a while.  I had one massive issue shortly after signing up with the app because my sign-in was incomplete, which led to me being billed for missing my pact for the first 6 weeks - - for charges of more than $300 on my Visa.  Gym-Pact eventually credited back the money, but it took a week of emails back and forth and a lot of nagging on my part.

But the issue that broke the camel's back was the repeated issue I had with the app not recognizing workouts that I had done.  Time and time again I would do a workout, it would show on the app, and Gym-Pact would not count it off against my total workouts pledged.  The whole point of the app is that you are rewarded for working out, and punished (monetarily) for missing workouts.  When the app does not count a workout, it puts you at risk of having to pay money despite doing the required workouts.

Time after time I had to email Gym-Pact customer service to get them to fix whatever was the problem causing them to fail to track my workouts.  Time after time it would be corrected, until last week, when I simply never heard back from customer service.  They never got back to me, and that was the final straw.  I put the app on suspension so that I would not be charged, and then withdrew the funds that had accumulated on my account, and deleted the app. 

I was concerned that the same issue was coming up over and over.  If you look at Gym-Pact's Twitter feed you will see that I am not the only one who has been having issues with the app. 

Overall, I was happy to use the app when I first got it, and it helped me get back into good workout habits.  But the poor customer service and repeated technical issues put me at financial risk, and that I could not have. 

We'll see whether I ever receive the promised funds. 

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