Gephardt: Computer Glitch Blamed For Treadmill Users Being Locked Out
This story has been updated to include a response from ProForm and additional information.
AMERICAN FORK, Utah – One sure way to get in exercise at home during the coronavirus pandemic is to use a treadmill. One Utah woman found herself locked out of her ProForm treadmill two years after she bought it.
“It’s just dead to me. That treadmill is dead to me. I can’t use it anymore,” an exasperated Bonnie Sykes said.
The thing is, her treadmill really wasn’t dead. She had been locked out of using it by an interactive training service called iFit. Several manufacturers have started packaging the workout program with their machines in recent years.
Previously, Sykes wasn’t required to sign into iFit to do a simple run or walk in manual mode, without the service.
But now, her $1,000-plus machine would not let her hop on, unless she logged onto iFit. After several calls to ProForm’s customer service and many disconnects, Sykes finally got through and figured out what had changed.
From her discussion with a customer service representative, Sykes was left with the impression that she would have to buy an iFit subscription to use her treadmill. A subscription for a single person runs $180 a year.
She decided it was time to contact the KSL Investigators.
KSL-TV contacted ProForm to ask if they were really requiring users to sign up for interactive coaching even for treadmills bought years ago – and we asked, why?
While we didn’t hear back from the manufacturer at the time, Sykes got an email from ProForm days later saying that a new update had become available for her treadmill. Once installed, it would allow her to use her machine without having to log into an iFit account.
Sykes said being able to use her machine freely was all she wanted.
“I just wanted to use the manual mode so I could walk on it,” she said.
After our story aired on July 14, 2020, KSL-TV received an email from ProForm.
ProForm explained that a glitch in a software update made it impossible to work out on certain ProForm machines without an iFit login, but it was not by design.
ProForm stated that ProForm users are NOT required to purchase an iFit subscription to use their machines. In fact, while users like Sykes can purchase the interactive coaching service, it is NOT even necessary to create an iFit login for people who want to use certain function their machines. ProForm said manual mode does not even require a customer log in.
The company heard from several frustrated ProForm owners about the issue, including Sykes. The glitch, which occurred in early June, was fixed within one business day.
ProForm acknowledged receiving KSL-TV’s requests for comment however did not see them until after the original story aired because they went to an email spam folder.
If you’re having an issue with a company you can’t get resolved, the KSL Investigators want to help. Call 385-707-6152 or better yet, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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