‘Unfit’: Class Action Claims iFIT At-Home Fitness Equipment Plagued by Connectivity Problems
by Erin Shaak
A proposed class action filed this week claims home fitness equipment made by iFIT Health and Fitness, Inc. is defective in that the machines’ workout-streaming capabilities are hampered by severe connectivity problems.
The 54-page case says that although iFIT has advertised its NordicTrack-, ProForm-, Freemotion- and Matrix-brand equipment as able to “function seamlessly” with the company’s on-demand workout streaming service, which purportedly allows users to stream “a wide variety” of fitness classes directly to their video-equipped machines, the products frequently experience connectivity and performance problems, including audio and video lag, buffering, freezing, poor picture quality, and even total failure.
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The connectivity issues apparently occur so frequently that some users have found that they’re unable to complete most workouts without experiencing a problem, the filing relays.
Be sure to scroll down to see which iFit NordicTrack, ProForm, Freemotion and Matrix products are covered by the lawsuit.
As the lawsuit tells it, it’s only after paying a “substantial premium,” sometimes thousands of dollars, for iFIT’s treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, rowers and other streaming-capable home training equipment that consumers come to learn of the pervasive connectivity and streaming issues, which the case says render the products essentially useless.
The suit contends that the various “fixes” iFIT has recommended to users—such as restarting their equipment, placing a wireless router next to their machine, asking other household members to stop using the internet during a workout, purchasing a dual band router or mesh network, or using a cell phone as a hotspot—have failed to consistently solve the connectivity problems at issue. As a result, the case says, consumers have paid a premium price for fitness equipment that fails to stream video as expected and intended.
“Absent these performance properties, iFIT equipment is nothing more than outdated fitness equipment sold at inflated prices,” the complaint reads.
iFIT equipment far from “connected,” suit says
The lawsuit charges that although iFIT describes itself as a “health and fitness subscription technology company” that provides “connected fitness products” in a market dominated by giants such as Peloton, these representations are a far cry from customers’ experiences with the company’s at-home machines and streaming service. According to the suit, online forums are filled with consumer complaints about connectivity problems with their iFIT devices, including buffering, freezing, poor audio/video quality, and complete video failure.
One plaintiff, for example, says he experiences total video failure during 75 to 80 percent of the workouts he performs on his $850 NordicTrack s22i Studio Bike. When a video doesn’t completely fail, the man otherwise experiences audio and video lag, buffering, and poor picture quality about 20 to 25 percent of the time, according to the complaint.
The other plaintiff in case reports having experienced similar issues with his $1,999 s22i Studio Bike, claiming that “a substantial percentage of his workouts have resulted in the workout dropping and the bike having to reboot and/or total video failure.”
Consumers report that iFIT-enabled fitness equipment will spontaneously cease streaming (or repeatedly freeze) while the equipment is in use, often notifying users that the video should resume in 5 seconds, only to fail to do so.”
Although consumers have attempted to address the streaming connectivity problems—including by moving their router, adding a WiFi extender or mesh networking device (such as Google mesh), stopping other streaming activities while someone is exercising, purchasing a dual band router, and using their cell phone’s hot spot instead of their home internet network—these efforts have all failed to fix the underlying defect, the lawsuit alleges.
According to the suit, iFIT “knew or should have known” that its fitness equipment and streaming service are defective yet “made no effort” to resolve the problem before selling the devices to the public.
Per the suit, iFIT has attempted to avoid performing warranty repairs by placing the onus on consumers to attempt to fix the connectivity problems, commonly by blaming their WiFi networks. Even when the company determines that a warranty repair is needed, customers are often required to pay a handling charge for replacement parts, or a trip charge for in-home service, according to the case.
Meanwhile, iFIT has failed to disclose the apparent defect to consumers or come up with a permanent fix “despite knowing the Defect persists today,” the lawsuit contends.
Which iFIT devices are covered by the lawsuit?
The lawsuit looks to cover all iFIT-enabled fitness equipment, but specifically identifies the following machines:
|Commercial 1750||S27i Studio Bike||FS14i||Fusion CST Studio||RW900|
|Commercial 2450||S22i Studio Bike||FS10i||Fusion CST||RW700|
|Elite Treadmill||FREE S15i Bike||Commercial 14.9||Vault: Complete||RW600|
|Commercial X22i||Commercial R35||FREE Commercial 9.9||Vault: Standalone|
|Commercial X32i||Commercial VR25||Studio Elliptical||iSelect Voice-Controlled Dumbbells|
|EXP 14i||Commercial VU 29||SpaceSaver SE9i|
|EXP 10i||Commercial VU 19||SpaceSaver SE7i|
|FREE C 1100i|
|Pro 9000||Studio Bike Pro 22||Pro HIIT H14||Pro 750R Rower||Vue|
|Pro 2000||Carbon CX||Pro HIIT H14 (Prev. Model)||Pro R10 Rower|
|Carbon T14||Studio Bike Pro||Carbon HIIT H7||440R Rower|
|Carbon T10||Pro C10R||Carbon EL|
|Carbon T7||Pro C10U||Carbon E10|
|City L6||Hybrid Trainer XT||Hybrid Trainer XT|
|Trainer 9.0||Studio Bike Limited||Carbon HIIT H10|
|Trainer 8.0||TDF CSC|
|i22.9 Incline Trainer||CoachBike||e10.9b Total Body Elliptical|
|i10.9b Incline Trainer||u22.9 Upright Bike||e8.9b Total Body Elliptical|
|t22.9 Reflex||r22.9 Recumbent Bike|
|t10.9 Internal Reflex||r10.9b Recumbent Bike|
|t10.9b Reflex||u10.9b Upright Bike|
|t8.9b||u8.9b Upright Bike|
|r8.9b Recumbent Bike|
Who does the lawsuit look to cover?
The lawsuit aims to cover any person or entity in the United States who purchased an iFIT-enabled fitness device, including those mentioned above.
How do I join the lawsuit?
There’s usually nothing you need to do to join or be considered part of a class action lawsuit when it’s first filed. The time to take action is typically if and when a lawsuit settles, which could take months or years. If the case settles, those who are covered, called “class members,” should receive notice of the settlement (often by mail or email) with instructions on how to file a claim for their share.
In the meantime, one of the best things you can do is stay informed. We’ll update this page with any notable news.
If you own a NordicTrack, ProForm, Freemotion or Matrix fitness machine, or just want to stay in the loop on class action lawsuit and settlement news, sign up for ClassAction.org’s free weekly newsletter.
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