While most of the Peloton treadmill news from yesterday focused on the high-end Tread + and child safety risks, there was actually a side story at work – the recall of the cheaper Tread units ( without the + after their mode name). These models were recalled because their display consoles broke. This model costs around $ 1,800 less than the Tread + and has a standard treadmill belt as opposed to a slatted belt. It’s also smaller and has a smaller screen, but it was not recalled for the same reasons as the Tread +. You can see both units below for comparison:
This story tells about what happened to a customer who knocked down his Tread unit’s screen and then the customer service journey he took – which included the user struggling to get Peloton to actually respond, with Peloton then saying for the user to install the screen themselves, then cancel their account, get their treadmill ready, then tell them they could pay $ 13 / month if they wanted to continue using Peloton.
The forehead fell:
After yesterday’s story, a DCRAINMAKER reader from Canada actually contacted, as halfway through the race their Platoon Tread unit decided to ditch the front screen at mid-training, throwing what the reader called “an impromptu session on obstacles”. In this case, the individual – an avid triathlete and runner – was able to jump over the flight demonstration without injury. She is one of six known clients who had the unit split halfway through. Some suffered minor injuries as a result, according to the CPSC. A total of 18 Tread customers in the US, Canada and UK had issues with the screens loosening, of which the aforementioned 6 units had the screen fully separated at mid-workout.
Rebecca Gardiner from Ontario, Canada ordered her Tread on the day it launched in Canada, February 9. He arrived a week later, on February 16. It was 3 weeks later, on March 9, that he fell in mid-workout. She had just finished a 45 minute running session with instructor Selena Samuela. As you can see, it went without incident:
After completing this workout, she started a 10 minute recovery run, also with Selena Samuela. This race lasted less than 30 seconds. From the middle of nowhere, the screen began to flicker. She thought to herself “Oh, the screen moves like the bike’s” (which is true), and for a split second – the screen has completed its train of thought and separated from the treadmill. You can see the training recording below, at least as far as the screen (which doubles as a computer) got killed.
With the screen no longer attached, it fell down, hitting the belt, then shifted with the tread ultimately resting against the wall behind the treadmill. Rebecca must have stood in the way of the display as part of this, but wasn’t hurt. Here is a photo of Platoon Tread, its decapitated screen and the location of the conveyor belt during the incident. She moved the screen in front of the treadmill to make it more visible in a photo:
Here, the Peloton Tread with its front dropped:
It turned out that her hurdles session wouldn’t be the only obstacle she would have to overcome with Peloton.
A support nightmare:
She called support, where she spent hours pretending to be without any real resolution. She said it was clear Peloton didn’t seem to know how to handle it. Peloton declined to book a technician to come and fix the tread, but said someone would call “by the end of the week.” A week later, no one had contacted her from Peloton.
She called back and spent a few more hours on the phone. Eventually, Peloton decided to just send her a new screen and told her to install it herself. They sent him the service videos that Peloton has for their own on-site support technicians and basically said “good luck” to him. Here is the support email with instructions to install it:
The instructions say that two people should install it together, with a torque wrench:
Neither requirement is huge, but it should be noted that only two screws are used to secure the heavy screen to the handlebar frame of the treadmill:
Two days later (March 17), the posting arrives via FedEx. Rebecca ties it up, but it doesn’t turn on. She contacts customer service again. This time, they accept a technician to come out 11 days later – March 28. She has now lost three weeks of use and Peloton is not reimbursing her any of her $ 40 / month membership fees.
The technician (singular) comes in and fixes the problem, which was due to the wrong plug used during the reinstallation. Although the solution was quick, the technician noted (paraphrased) to the customer that “although the handlebar part of the treadmill looks nice, it is not as strong”, and that she should “check the screws on the treadmill. screen ”every two weeks to make sure an incident does not repeat itself. No particular attention was paid to his case from Peloton support, Peloton head office or any other Peloton entity. In their mind, the situation with a few new screws has been resolved.
From there until May 5 (yesterday, recall day), Rebecca used the treadmill without incident. However, early that morning at 6.30am when she went to use the Peloton Tread yesterday it didn’t start.
She contacts Peloton via a 45-minute chat support that walks her through a hard reboot of the machine, which appears to resolve the issue. Whether or not this was related to the recall is unclear. After restarting, she asks what she should do or if Peloton is offering compensation to people willing to wait. She has no option. At the same time, she was also waiting on hold by phone, to inquire about planning a repair or a refund.
In the end, she was offered the option of waiting for a repair or opting for a refund. She tells the audience that she will accept the refund, as she “has already played this game”. An appointment is scheduled for Wednesday, May 12, so that Peloton gets the treadmill while waiting.
Peloton stated in their FAQ page that they hope to have a solution / fix for Peloton Tread owners in the coming weeks, possibly some form of hardware support app. Note that they didn’t offer it to this customer, just offering a refund or repair at an unknown time.
“Peloton is implementing a voluntary recall of the Tread in cooperation with the CPSC. We are already working on developing a repair for your Tread Touchscreen Console and hope that this CPSC approved repair will be available soon. Until this repair is available, Tread owners can either wait for the repair to be approved in the coming weeks or request a full refund. “
You would think the story would end here, but it doesn’t.
As part of the material refund process, they automatically canceled her and her family’s Peloton accounts and memberships. This came as a surprise to her, as she and her daughters had planned to continue using the digital app until she could order one. Peloton then offered to continue using the platform at $ 13 / month.
She responded to this support email noting that it sounded like a ‘slap in the face’ given the dozens of hours she spent with Peloton support, the weeks without a working treadmill and all unaware that she was doing it. was one of only six members of the Peloton Hurdlers Club.
Shortly after, Peloton sent out a subscription renewal email template that appeared to imply that her membership was renewed at no cost, but she received no communication whether or not that was the case (or for how long).
At no point during this entire process did Peloton contact her in any capacity. She initiated all the conversations and always had to wait for hours on the phone, or long chat sessions, for help. Despite all this, she says she will come back to buy another one, saying:
“The most disappointing part of it all is that when it worked, I really liked the treadmill. The lessons were excellent and made the indoor WAY run less boring. It also motivated my daughters who can sometimes have trouble moving. And, believe it or not, if they fix the issues, I would really love to buy another one. Let’s wait a bit – I’ve learned my lesson in the pioneer role! “
She just wished Peloton would have had better support and just hold her and other people who actually had the problem with something more than a standard response. Since Peloton has been reconsidering a lot of treadmill decisions lately, maybe they’ll reconsider this one too.
Thanks for reading!
(I reached out to Peloton PR for clarification on what, if anything, they were doing to contact / support more directly those with broken treadmills. But they have yet to respond. .)