There are a very few things that incite me to hatred, pure and vicious, and one of them is when I spend a shitload of money on something and it is a piece of shit.
Enter the Nordictrack AudioStrider 800.
I got this thing and within 6 months the tensioner broke. I had to get parts, and dealing with their customer service (or should I say disservice) was nearly as painful as I imagine having my testicles rolled over by an M1A1 Abrams would be.
Despite having a 1-800 number, you have to use a fucking Enigma machine to decode all of the hundreds of digits required to actually speak to a human if you so desire. After what seemed an eternity, I finally got a real human.....voicemail.
After a week, I had not received a return call, and thus I called again. Luckily, after dealing with phone systems for years, I keep notes and so I knew precisely which byzantine codes I needed to enter to get to that same real human...voicemail. So, I got a hold of it again.
Another week, no dice.
So, I call a third time, and used a different combination to get to the sales department. Amazingly, when you want to buy something, they're fucking Johnny-On-The-Spot, and when I told them I needed to talk to the warranty people because my piece of shit elliptical broke, they transferred me to....you guessed it, that same fucking voicemail box. It was at this point that I left a scathing remark as only I could do, noting that if someone didn't call me I would be calling either my lawyer or my SEAL friend in Colorado who may be willing to interdict on my behalf.
2 hours later, I received a call. Not only did I not get an apology for not returning my calls for two weeks, I got reprimanded by some cunt about how manners will get me further than being spiteful. I reminded her that she is under legal obligation to serve me via my warranty, and that I would not be talked down to by a bitch who apparently can't figure out how to return a call. Suffice to say, after some negotiation, I got the order entered.
The weeks rolled by.
Three weeks later, I called that number again and got the same whiny bitch, and I asked where my parts were. She said that they had shipped two weeks ago. I asked for a tracking number, and amazingly, she could not manage to produce one. I told her that if she made me fly to Colorado to pick the parts up, I was going to be pissed and would certainly recover my monies in Colorado's local circuit court. She said she would send them out to me immediately.
Ten days later, the parts appeared....well....almost all of them.
I tore the machine apart and realized that she had failed to provide me what can only be described as a specialty tool to remove a part. I improvised, cutting the living shit out of my hand while tin-snipping a bit of scrap metal to craft said tool. After being woozy from blood loss and literally piss mad, I went back to work on it. After 30 minutes, the machine was repaired.
Well, last week the control panel decided to up and die on me. Apparently it did not like the Jillian Michaels SD card with the workout routine on it because as she said, "Come on, keep it up", her voice cracked and the whole bloody thing died. It would be OK if it wasn't for the fact that it was set to level 5, which is equivalent to running uphill on Lombard street in San Francisco. I was OK with it, but the wife isn't too thrilled with the prospect of beefing up her slender, delicious legs, and I have to admit, neither was I.
So, back to the Nordictrack bitch. I called AGAIN, and was informed that the machine only had a 1 year warranty, and that I'd have to pay $300.00 for the part. I explained that I only wanted the PCB, but she explained that the whole control panel ships as one part. I nicely told her to suck a dick, and that there was no way in hell I was dumping more money into this machine. I'd rather run naked in the Kentucky winter freeze than send another cent to those cockweasels.
Anyhow, I cracked the case on it and found what can only be described as the "School For Special Needs"-level printed circuit card. The thing had the cheapest, flimsiest connectors on the planet. To add insult to injury, it was not electro-isolated, so we're talking about a big plastic thing whose purpose is to be run on and create friction not having it's electronic brain isolated from the daily, massive triboelectric charges that would undoubtedly be generated by the machine.
Long story short: Never, ever, ever, ever buy a fucking Nordictrack Elliptical. Ever. The last elliptical I bought was a ProStride or some such shit from Sears for 1/3 the price and we used it for 10 years, running thousands of miles on it without a problem until we literally wore the mounting welds off of it. This one has lasted less than 2 years, and I don't run on it much although my wife runs on it like she's escaping extradition.
FUCK NORDIC TRACK. In the ass, with no vaseline and a razor-wire condom.