So I know this is practically the zillionth time I’ve written about it, but I’ve ultimately come to a conclusion about the Gym-Pact app for smartphones: It’s more trouble than it’s worth.
I only pledge $10 a week for five days at the gym. What this means is that for every week I go to the gym at least five days, I earn a portion of the money I wagered.
The sucky part is that if I skip a day, or worse, two, I am charged $10 per day I miss in my pact.
As if that weren’t enough, I always disliked the way that Gym-Pact required you to physically visit the gym. Which I thought would be helped by the fact that they recently partnered up with another app, RunKeeper, which uses your phone’s GPS signal to track how far you walk, jog, or cycle somewhere. However, the integration of RunKeeper with Gym-Pact is still rocky.
Yesterday, my RunKeeper logged me at a total of 42 whopping miles when I probably only walked a couple. Knowing that Gym-Pact requires a half-hour minimum as well as distance minimum per check-in, and that RunKeeper is an entirely separate app, I couldn’t even save the walk I’d made because this faulty GPS tracking (which perhaps is due to Apple’s recent iOS 6 upgrade — which, despite my passion for everything Apple, everyone knows has made some major mistakes in the maps department) and I’m sure they would have rejected it as a qualifying check-in. (To be sure, the minimums and maximums — there’s an obvious maximum speed limit for runners/walkers for obvious reasons — make sense. But phone issues inevitably happen, and it’s inconvenient if money’s on the line when they do.)
I don’t even know how many times some kind of issue (admittedly, I did semi-recently go through a ridiculous slew of phone issues that were in the end resolved by having Apple replace my phone) came up, like being automatically logged out when I was still physically at the gym, or not being able to add a new (but legitimate) gym. I have written so many e-mails and/or reported bugs to Gym-Pact that they probably know my name! (In their defense, they are usually quite good about replying. Usually.)
Additionally, Gym-Pact keeps the money you earn and the money you owe separate, by rewarding you the money you earn in your account with them per week cumulating over time — but you have to withdraw it to PayPal. The money you owe, however, is immediately pulled from your credit card, which you keep on file with them.
The fact that you cannot yet use Gym-Pact for in-home workouts infuriates me. What this has led to is the ridiculous: I will do a workout DVD at my house and somehow find a way to schedule a half hour parking lot sit-in just to get credit for my workout at home. Is this convenient? Or worth the measly $3-something I might make a week? So far I’d been operating on the “It’s worth it not to lose $10” mentality, but today it just clicked for me that this is absolutely ludicrous.
How much sense does it make in a busy day to either have to go sit aimlessly in a gym parking lot, or spend the time per week to write an e-mail clarifying to an app company that you in fact did work out last Thursday?
They claim to be too small a company to have the resources for any kind of employees to answer the phone, so if you call them, you get an answering machine explaining to you that you can simply e-mail them or visit their website.
(I had to call them once when a refund issue took several — SEVERAL! — days longer than it should have.)
Now, I know that a measly $10 is hardly anything in the grand scheme of things. But when you’re just starting to gain financial momentum as a new business owner and you’re doing your best to quit relying on parents, friends, or significant others to help you foot various expenses, it’s more than you’re willing to part with, especially if it is a regular fight to defend your right to keep that $10.
I wrote Gym-Pact an irritated e-mail today explaining to them my frustration with the program in general, to see where they lie in terms of customer service.
Here’s what they wrote back to me:
No worries, we have credited you with 1 additional workout.Have a great day!
The GymPact Team
My verdict? Ignoring customer complaints is not the way to solve any problems.
So finally, after such long deliberation, my final judgment on Gym-Pact is a resounding “It’s not worth it.” RunKeeper, on the other hand, is pretty handy if you feel compelled to check it out on its own. . . .
To our healing,