Okay, my Boo-full Mommy called me and wanted to know how the whole servicing the treadmill thing worked out (other than the deliciously hot service man). I was just going to call her back and let her know, but I know that I was really surprised by the cost of servicing a treadmill and figured there might be one or two...okay fine...ONE of you out there that may be thinking of purchasing a treadmill either new or used and should be armed with as much info as possible...so I'm spilling my guts here in the hopes that it'll help you be better prepared than I was.
I called Sears to come and service my treadmill (remember, my mom gave me this treadmill, and it has been in climate controlled storage for the past couple of years). I choose Sears because when I was shopping for a treadmill just before the whole "Charles has to have a TV as wide as my ass to make him happy and it's going to drain all money out of all accounts" drama, I had gone looking there and they had the exact same treadmill that my mother gave me (incidentally - it's also the very one I wanted, so I was snoopy dancing when I saw they were the same).
They were honest with me on the phone when I made the appointment. Before they booked me, they told me up front that it was $96.00 just for them to come to my house. They made it very clear that NO repair work was included in that figure - it was just for the truck roll. After I picked myself off the floor, I told them to go ahead and schedule my appointment and made it clear that I didn't want any repairs done, I just wanted a service...IE - lube it up and/or tighten the belt, and maybe take a look at it and tell me what may be about go so I could budget etc. They said okay and advised me that the service guy was going to call me the night before the appointment to confirm it with me and that if I didn't answer the phone, my appointment would be cancelled. I acknowledged that I understood, gave them my cell phone number as an alternate number just in case.
Deliciously hot service guy showed up and was very professional and knowledgeable (and I'm not just saying that because I lust after his bod) and he was more importantly HONEST. He impressed me. He made it clear before he ever touched the treadmill that the service I wanted done would be in ADDITION to the 96.00 I was being charged...something that the people on the phone didn't bother to tell me...and the cost of that was 88.00. I almost shit myself....but I wasn't exactly in the position to tell him "Never mind, I'll make another appointment" because they only accepted appointments on Tuesday (a work day for me) and not during lunch or before or after work, and would only give me an appointment block and I had already spent 96 friggin bucks for him to show up and tell me that it was going to cost a MINIMUM of another 88 bucks - so I told him to go for it.
He took the time to go over the machine for me, exactly how everything worked, yada yada and praised the treadmill mom gave me as the best one on the market - wide base etc and said that it was in very good condition. Then said that the biggest draw back at this point was that the chest strap used to monitor the heart rate was extremely inaccurate (even more inaccurate that the things you grab on to to check your heart rate) and if I wanted to fix it, it was going to be at least another 150 to upgrade. I told him forget it, I can take my own pulse.
Then he told me the drive belt was really, really loose and needed to be tightened and it was going to be 50 bucks for that. After much debate, I told him to go ahead and do it, but for him to show me how since it was simple (only took him 5 minutes) and I could do it the next time should the need arise.
Then he told me that the roller was getting ready to go out. He said it wouldn't be anytime in the next couple of months, but if I use the thing with any regularity, I'd be calling him before the year was out to come fix it, and that was going to be 200 - and then the truck roll fee of 96 bucks on top of it, and then he would need to charge me for anything else it had screwed up when it went out. My jaw was hanging open the entire visit with this guy and it wasn't just because he was packing (and I don't mean he had a gun). The bill was getting out of control, and there was no way I could afford it and I told him so.
He was upfront and said something along the lines of "Most people can't and I'm the only one who services these things and I want you to know about cost and maintenance ahead of time because I'm the one who's gonna have to deal with you, and nobody likes a mad woman" I cracked up. He went on to say "Most people who buy used treadmills don't know about the service and maintenance costs, and treadmills aren't only expensive to buy, they're expensive to maintain"
Long story short, I bought a service plan for 2 years and he walked out of there with 435.90 - that included the service plan and all the work he had done (96 truck roll, 88 maint. & service, 50 to tighten drive belt, and the service plan for two years and tax)...and I don't have to pay another penny if I see him again in the next 2 years, and it includes an annual check-up and all costs of parts, labor, and what ever else.
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