The NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike: A Shipping and Handling Disaster
I recently decided to invest in a recumbent bike. Over the past 2 years my schedule has gone from what I might call leisurely to what I must call very crowded. Heck, some days swamped is more accurate!
Consequently, as my business grew, and the demands on my time doubled, so did my waistline…or at least it seemed that way to me!
So, a few days ago I decided to take the plunge and invest in a recumbent bike. I felt I could use the bike in my home office. I am always reading and watching videos as part of an ongoing self-education program. I often spend time reading or reviewing material online in order to prepare for clients I am hired to work with. I also prepare for students I coach, mentor, and tutor.
The time savings, even just the drive time alone, seemed more than enough to justify the purchase. Additionally, if I add in all the other wasted moments commuting to and from the gym, it’s simply a no-brainer!
Add to the above-mentioned time savings the convenience of being able to work out when I want? No longer having to worry about whether or not the gym is open? Putting away once and for all the thoughts about time limits? Never having to worry about the availability of aerobic fitness machines when I arrived…in my case the recumbent bikes?
The idea not only had legs, it was a done deal…sign me up!
NORDICTRACK COMMERCIAL VR BIKE (NTEX13808): A Huge Mistake
Now, keep in mind that as recently as August of 2008 I really wasn’t sure how much longer I was even going to be around.
As I began my fight for life, and no I am not being melodramatic, a $25 per month gym membership was at about the top of my budget allotment for fitness expenses.
Consequently, I owned a month-to-month gym membership in a very “quaint” little iron gym. Yes, I am being facetious. And yes, I did like it very much. Why? Because I felt alive again!
I also owned a good pair of walking shoes; and they were invaluable! Take care of your feet…always!
And, I partnered with a super walking companion…a Bull Mastiff trapped in a Puggle’s body, a little guy named TuffGuy!
Many of you know the rest of the story!
Back to the NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike
A few days ago I had all but completed the online ordering process for the recumbent bike I believed would best fit the bill. Interestingly, the NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike was on sale, marked down more than 50%! How could I pass up such a great price?
I’ll tell you how!
I got to the NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike Shipping Options page and was floored. Here are NordicTrack’s shipping and assembly options:
NordicTrack's Delivery Service Options: From Free to Platinum - NordicTrack's Shipping and Assembly Revealed
Well, I stopped the order process right then and there…before it was ever completed!
$239 for NordicTrack to deliver and assemble the recumbent bike I was going to pay over $700 for?
I was incredulous! And it wasn’t about the money, really. It was the idea that I was going to buy something and then paying half-again as much for someone to walk it into my house and assemble it. A complex mechanical machine weighing close to 500 pounds and they were going to drop it on my porch and leave for $99?
Again, I was incredulous!
Incredibly, I mentioned it online a few times and the only message I got was a @Mention on Twitter that included the following:
That was it…the entire message!
Today I received a canned offer from NordicTrack, a failed or incomplete order follow-up, no doubt. I have copied it below (a Dear John letter!):
Thank you for visiting us online store recently. We noticed that you left something in your cart without
placing your order, and we wanted to make sure that you didn’t experience any problems
with our ordering system.
Sometimes glitches happen, and we don’t want want to let that get in the way of our
For that reason, we are happy to offer you a 10% discount on your entire order.
This offer is good until 02/18/2011.
To make it easier to redeem your discount click this link to go back to your shopping cart
enter NTSAVE10 in the Redeem Promotion Code box.
One item that is currently in your cart:
NordicTrack Commercial VR Bike
(NTEX13808) FREE SHIPPING (NOT!)
We offer FREE SHIPPING on most orders above $499.
We offer a 30 day, risk free trial on all of our machines.
We look forward to seeing you online again soon!
XXXXX XXXXX (name removed as a show of respect for the specialist’s privacy)
Customer Service Specialist
Guess what I did? I tried again!
Hey, I wanted the recumbent bike and I felt if they were going to throw in the shipping and give me another 10% off? I’d take a look at their offer!
I should have saved my time!
Here was my final reply, as I am done and disgusted with NordicTrack:
To Whom This May Concern:
I tried once again to order.
1) I was fast tracked and my total went from $599 to $694 without explanation on the shopping cart…and if it was tax it was not labeled as such!
2)I typed in the 10% savings but given the new $694 charge? I wondered what I was saving 10% on…and why the bump?
3) Your stock email follow-up states that I am entitled to Free Shipping. The code provided under the bike name was invalid.
4) Then, the only shipping options I was provided started at $99 and went up to the aforementioned and ridiculous $239…no free lunch here! And certainly no free shipping offered!
Given the difficult nature of the ordering process and the extremely pricey shipping options? I think I will pass! Not to mention the fact that the recumbent bike I was going to order was already supposed to be “off the table” at that price.
Was the sale was extended?
Good fortune for those still interested in the NordicTrack Commercial VR Recumbent Bike! But I wonder how many people who purchased the bike a few days ago, feeling they had to make a decision or lose the discounted price, feel hoodwinked? And hoodwinked is expressing what many may feel mildly.
How in the world can NordicTrack justify a shipping option that more or less says that if you pay us $99 we’ll drop your 200 pound plus machine off at the front door? Not in the front door but outside the front door?
You are offering items to men and women in various states of “disrepair!”
The fact that NordicTrack bumps the price in this manner? Just to bring it in the door and put it together? The common courtesy of bringing it through the front door costs over $100?
To bring the NordicTrack Commerical VR Recumbent Bike in and assemble it costs close to 50% of the sale price of the bike?
You have got to be kidding!
NordicTrack’s shipping and assembly policy is absolutely the worst one I have come across in over half a century! I am 56 years old and I have been purchasing items online and via direct mail for most of my adult life. I have never come across anything like this from a company like NordicTrack.
A sales price with a bump of almost 50% just to deliver it and set it up?
You are selling big ticket items, particularly given the present state of the economy. You are also selling a complex piece of machinery that weighs anywhere from a couple of hundred pounds up to more than a quarter of a ton. And you charge extra to have two men carry it over the threshold? Never mind assemble it? And in light of the age and “disrepair” of many of your clients?
Once again, that is reprehensible!
Well good luck to you. I won’t be one of your clients any time soon. However, I might write about my experience as this has been both edifying and, in spite of a certain amount of frustration, quite interesting.
Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
PS, Just a suggestion. I would have happily paid $240 more on the retail side for the product I wanted and needed…particularly if it included what you refer to as “NordicTrack Platinum Shipping!” So much for marketing…never mind presentation and packaging. Someone really dropped the ball on this one! But then exercise balls really aren’t your thing…are they?
What more can I say? This is why so many people quit on their way through the shopping cart-sales process! Someone really dropped the ball and thought they could bump someone on the back end and make up for a portion of the front-end incentive. How much more wrong could NordicTrack possibly be?
NordicTrack has obviously never heard of the Law of 250!
Comments? I would love to hear about similar experiences or get your take on the process described above!
Thank you for taking the time to read the article above…and please comment and pass it along!