Why You Should Think Twice Before Paying for MyFitnessPal Premium

Fitness, productivity, Technology

MyFitnessPal (owned by parent company Under Armour) is a calorie counting and fitness application designed to help people manage their caloric intake in either an effort to lose, maintain, or gain weight. The service is free with an option to go add free for $49.99 a year. I chose the paid option, and based on my experience, I caution you not to make the same mistake. Here’s my story:

There are two ways you can go about using the service. You can stay completely quiet and count your calories or you can participate in the “community” and , like all social media, post and communicate with others from around the world. For some reason, I decided to participate in the forums.

On Sunday morning I found my account blocked. Blocked means completely unusable. My $50 gone. I couldn’t get on to the site at all, even to log things I had kept private. Why? According to the pop up, I had violated their policy. Specifically their policy on eating disorders. The problem? I didn’t. I’ve read the policy several times, I know what I posted and in no way, shape, or form did I violate their policy. The bigger problem? There’s no way for me to prove my case. The company has zero customer support or series of checks and balances. I realize it sounds crazy, this is a company that trades on the stock market how do they not have a customer service department? I don’t know, all I know is that I reached out via the “contact us” portal on the website (twice!) because I wanted to see a quote of the post they claimed violated their rules (I was convinced it had to be a mistake). No response. Check out my Twitter (@CarolynNicole) I tried reaching them through social media with at least 5 tweets in an attempt to solve my problem. No response. Facebook messenger. No response. Instagram. No response. So how did my account become blocked if no one appears to actually work there? According to the website they rely on community members to monitor the forums. I’m not sure what that means exactly (and of course there’s no way to ask, because there is no customer service) but I believe that means that other members have the ability to suspend your account (even paid) if they feel offended by your posts. Now things make sense.

So what did I post that could have set someone running to their safe space:

– I am a recovered anorexic. I’ve been healthy since 1995.

– I am technically underweight. I DID NOT post my weight, measurements, clothing size, or BMI which I thought might trigger someone. But I am large enough to get pregnant and have a child (so, not unhealthy underweight).

– I am happy with my body. (That makes at least 50% of the female population hate you right away. Everyone’s for body positivity, as long as you aren’t happy with your own body)

– At the time I received help I weighed 72lbs. I had a wonderful counselor, had a positive experience, and encouraged anyone in my position to get help.

– I am a Christian, prayer helps me retain my health and guides my life.

– I’ve modeled in the past.

– I eat to live. I don’t enjoy eating and count calories to make sure I am getting enough food and nutrition every day.

– I sometimes pack my own food if I’m afraid I’ll freak myself out and choose to not eat in social situations. Eating is very important and you should never skip meals.

None of the above mentioned information violated any of their rules or guidelines. BUT, if you’re a random person, unhappy with your life, I may have posted something you found offensive. Maybe it was another person who has struggled with an eating disorder and doesn’t want to hear about help. Or possibly someone who suffers from a binge eating disorder and hates underweight women. Heck, it could’ve been someone who was anti-Christian. The point is, I’ll never know, and the company itself will never step in to figure it out. If I were a vindictive person (or just crazy) I could creat a fake account and randomly report people because I didn’t like their profile photo, or so it appears.

Consequently, until there is a better method of regulating how posts are flagged and accounts suspended, I highly suggest you stick to the free version of this app. Thankfully, since I purchased the subscription through the Apple App Store, Apple stepped in and within 24 hours my $50 was refunded. I would still love to hear from the company and be vindicated but I seriously doubt that will happen. I moved back to LoseIt! and am quite happy. I’ll make sure to write a review after using the service for a longer period of time.

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A Very RealReal Problem With Online Consignment 

fashion, Technology

In 1951 Ray Bradbury predicted a futuristic world in which people wouldn’t leave their homes electing instead to remain indoors “Everything went on in the tomblike houses at night now, he thought, continuing his fancy. The tombs, ill-lit by television light, where the people sat like the dead, the gray or multicolored lights touching their faces, but never really touching them.” (“The Pedestrian”). Well, Mr. Bradbury, you were correct but it wasn’t television that dehumanized us: It was the internet. I’m going through a particularly stressful situation with a consignment company called TheRealReal. They’ve lost a fairly expensive bag I sent to them in July and are attempting to get me to settle for a nominal amount of money. I do want to be compensated for the bag (a Louis Vuitton Speedy B 35 purchased 8/4/16) but more than that I want to find out how this could have happened and prevent it from happening to anyone else. So how is this the fault of the internet? Technically, I guess it isn’t, but at no time in the past three weeks since the discovery of the problem, has anyone from the company called me personally. My only telephone conversation was initiated by me and despite the customer service representative acknowledging the fact that I was clearly upset no further personal communication was ever attempted. Everything was communicated via email. I find this an insult added to my injury. 

Let me explain exactly what happened and how the bag went missing:

– At the end of July 2017 I consigned five bags with TheRealReal, a highly reputable online consignment business. The company sent me a packing list which had all five items and assigned them each a bar code. 

– Shipped the bags. 

– I received an email that the bags were received and that I could expect a combined selling price of around $4,000. At this time all of the bags were accounted for. No one told me a bag was missing. They sent me a packing list for five bags, I was given an accurate and fair price for the five bags. Everything was in order. If a bag was missing, I’d assume this would have been the time to mention it. 

– All five bags were listed in my account. 

– Mid August I checked on the bags and they had all sold with the exception of the bag in question. I did not check on the remaining bag until mid September. 

– The bag had been removed from my account and when I made an inquiry, I was told the bag did not exist. 

What. Just. Happened? 

As soon as I discovered the bag was missing I called (the customer service rep said someone would call me shortly after looking into it, which never happened), emailed, and tweeted the company. When I hadn’t heard from them after a week I emailed them again. Finally I was told that there was camera footage from the warehouse. Thank goodness, right? Fail safes in place. Nope. I was told a week later that they could not locate the bag. So sorry. Please accept $200. I can’t tell you how sick to my stomach I felt after reading that email. 

The problem is I have no idea what I could have done differently. The bag was received and listed on my account. I should have paid closer attention, I guess. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. 

I have no idea what happened. Like I said, this is a reputable company and I’ve had positive experiences with them in the past but the way this was handled was (is…I’m not letting it go. I want to see that camera footage along with proof that they confirmed every LV SpeedyB 35 in mono print sold between 7-28 & 9-18 2017 was credited to the correct account) inappropriate and unacceptable. 

* As an amendment: I have all of my original emails concerning the consignment. After sending the bags they were received by a consignment specialist in the LA area. She held the bags, inspected the bags, and assigned them a value. It is 100% my fault that I did not realize that the bag in question was not named in the validation email. It was assessed and given a value, ironically enough, but not specifically named. I take full responsibility for not catching the error and I will post all of my email correspondence, but should that be a 1,000 dollar error? This woman had my bag in her hands. I’ve emailed her and am eagerly awaiting her response. My next step is to do a screencast of the email chain to send to customer service. I would like to believe that this is a clerical error and that somehow my bag was accredited to another account and not some “funny business” and at this point, I believe this is the case. Since tomorrow is Monday, I assume that I will hear from the company. I have no plans to reach out to them tomorrow since I’ve already sent several emails and tweets over the weekend. We shall see what happens.