I love the bodybugg®. Unfortunately, what I didn't know when I purchased it was that it required a subscription to the Web site in order to get data out of the bodybugg®.
First, I object to this in principle. I should have done more research, but I did know it was a bargain when I saw it on special for $99 when signing up for five 25-minute personal training sessions (also a good deal) at 24 Hour Fitness. I just stupidly assumed that a physical electronic device like the bodybugg® would be like a PDA (or any other physical electronic device I've bought in the last 20 years) - it would work with software I installed on my PC, period.
Second, it came with a three month subscription (which expired two days ago) to bodybugg.com (apexfitness.com). I don't like the user interface; the site's slow; and it does only ONE thing I want: gets the data out of the bodybugg®. I have other tools I prefer for tracking my food intake and such, and those tools are FREE (see SparkPeople.com). I lost nearly a month's worth of the three-month subscription when my PC crashed - my new PC runs Vista Home Premium 64-bit operating system, and getting the right version of Java to work with the bodybugg® was a little tricky (hint, it's the 32-bit version - the 64-bit version doesn't contain all the needed components, but rather than display an intelligent error message explaining the problem, the Web site just hangs when you attempt to log on).
We interrupt this rant to give compliments where they're deserved: Customer support gave me the clues I needed, but I couldn't stay on the phone with them long enough, right before the holidays, to troubleshoot the problem and configure the new PC it properly. They get major kudos, though, for friendliness and for having a clue, which was enough to enable me to eventually solve the problem on my own. 24 Hour Fitness and bodybugg® customer support do treat their customers well, and in an era when so many customer support centers are bearing the brunt of customer ire and so deservedly so, this is worth mentioning.
Third, the subscription plans are expensive, in my opinion, for what you get (remember, all I want to do is download the data from the device - I am not using any of the other tools on the site, nor do I have any interest whatsoever in doing so):
bodybugg® Web Subscription Monthly Recurring ($14.95)
bodybugg® Web Subscription 1 Month Only ($29.95)
bodybugg® Web Subscription 3 Months ($39.95)
bodybugg® Web Subscription 12 Months ($99.95)
Fourth, the Web site doesn't work with anything but Internet Explorer. Need I say more?
So, it's a bit of a dilemma:
Keep paying, over and over, just to keep the $99 device (normally $249 and now a newer, sleeker model) functioning? Give it up and call it a $99 trial and an expensive lesson learned in assuming anything ("user error" in failing to do extensive research)? Smack myself repeatedly for making a stupid "impulse purchase" at 24 Hour Fitness (which OWNS the bodybugg®)?
And to think, I was actually really tempted to buy the display unit. Until I realized it still required the @#$% Web site subscription. Now it's not even an either-or choice (obviously, if it were, I'd get the display and skip the Web site altogether).
I'm going to have to think about this a while. Meanwhile, the bodybugg®'s been tossed aside and my arm - which looks a little like I ripped a Band-Aid off wet skin, since I forgot to move the device around and let my skin breathe - is happy to be rid of the thing. My brain, still hyped on fitness resolutions for the new year is less jazzed - it's still urging me to consider the overpriced subscription.
But right now, I'm leaning towards listening to my arm. Unlike my brain, it has never led me astray.