Props to a stand up company

I recently had shoulder surgery (December 2014) and during that time I basically had to do nothing. My arm was in a sling for 6 weeks and I'm still going to physical therapy. But this isn't about my shoulder....

I started being able to jog/run about a month ago and also started DDPYOGA (if you don't know what that is, click here). In order to really accomplish the workouts and get the most out of them, I needed a heart rate monitor. I also needed a watch! I wasn't too thrilled about wearing a chest strap which to many, is the way to go. After doing my usual web search, I came upon a company called Mio Global. (www.mioglobal.com) They make heart rate monitors without the need for a chest strap. I did endless research, watched tons of youtube reviews, etc and decided this was what I wanted. I found a company online called Moosejaw and they were offering 20% on your first order so I placed the order for the Mio Alpha 2 and waited. The watch arrived in a week's time and I immediately set it up, entered my stats and was ready to go. After a couple of hours, I noticed the backlight wasn't working on the watch. I contacted Mio customer support and didn't receive an answer quickly so I called their support line. The woman I spoke to wasn't sure why it wasn't working and advised me to send it back to Moosejaw for an exchange. I called Moosejaw's customer support and told them of the problem and they were very helpful. They wanted me to send the watch back first and then they would send another out. I had just waited a week and didn't want to put my workouts off any longer so I asked if they could send the replacement first. They agreed to send it once they saw the return tracking in FedEx's system...fair enough.

About a week later, the replacement arrives, I set it up and check the light right away. It works!! Great...now I can start my workouts. I spoke too soon though as not even 3 hours later, the backlight started coming on EVERY minute. I thought maybe it would eventually turn off but it didn't stop. On the phone again with Mio, they told me to let it drain completely and then recharge it to see if that would help. The manual doesn't state how to do a factory reset which is a downfall. I decided to let it discharge but knew that this would take another day. I called Moosejaw, spoke to the same person I originally spoke to on the first return and she told me to call back in 24 hours to let her know if the discharge/recharge worked. 24 hours later, I was on the phone with her again and this watch was being returned. I didn't want an exchange, just my money back.

Now I still needed a heart rate monitor after 2 weeks of having 2 that didn't work correctly. I decided to go to a local store, REI, to try one there as of all the reviews I've read, not one mentioned this issue. They were out of the Alpha 2. Damn! I broke down and bought a Polar FT7 with chest strap. It was worth a try after waiting this long.

As soon as I returned home, I opened the box and took out the watch. It felt and looked like a toy. Remember those kids watches back in the day? They had them for Superman, Batman, Cabbage Patch Kids...whatever you wanted. They were mounted on a card and cost about $1.99. That's what this watch looked like and it looked ridiculously small on my wrist. I looked past that and tried on the chest strap. I followed the instructions but I could tell right away that this wasn't going to work. It kept moving no matter what I did and in order for it to stay where it needed to be, I had to tighten it A LOT. So much that it became somewhat painful. I boxed it back up and returned it the next day. I went to Mio's site and ordered the Alpha 2 direct from them this time. I figured I'd get a good one straight from the company that makes it!

While this was all going on, I had been in a constant state of frustration over the whole heart rate monitor ordeal. Going on 3 weeks and still nothing. I finally figured out how to do a factory reset after manually searching the web and finding the answer on Mio's Amazon store page. I still don't know why it isn't in the manual but at least I know how to do it now. The NEW Alpha 2 arrives in a week (Mio doesn't offer any shipping options...it's free but it took forever). I set it up (again), test the light...it works. I go for a run, come back, and guess what. I notice that the backlight IS TURNING ON EVERY MINUTE! At this point I'm ready to blow my lid. This is the 3rd Alpha 2 I've had in 3 weeks time and this can't be happening again. I try emailing Mio support but since it's a friday afternoon, they don't respond as they are closed for the weekend. I post a question on their Facebook page and Amazon page looking for answers. Finally, someone that runs the Amazon store says they found a glitch in the firmware that affects some watches' backlights. I just happened to get 2 of them! They offer to send me the upgraded firmware as the fix will be in a future app update but not for another 6 weeks. Rather than risk waiting and having that not work and being stuck with the watch, I ask for the upgrade. I'm thinking they are going to have me update the app.

On monday afternoon I finally get a call from Mio. The person I spoke to was very apologetic and concerned and couldn't believe that this was my 3rd watch. She offers to send me a replacement watch that has already been upgraded to the new, unreleased firmware. I gladly accept and after a bit of back and forth, I'm told her product manager will get a hold of me when it's ready to ship. I'm emailed a return label to send back the Alpha 2 that I have.

On tuesday, I hear from the product manager, who is also very nice, and she sends me a FedEx tracking number and that the new watch will be at my house by 8:30am the very next morning. It was sent International First Class apparently! I box up the watch I have and get it ready to drop off at the post office on wednesday. Not even 2 hours later, the product manager emails me again and tells me that if I didn't send the watch back yet, to just keep it as a backup as they can't resell it. I replied "Are you sure???" It's not a cheap watch. She tells me yes, for all the troubles I had, it'll be good to have a backup for myself. Wow. The new watch arrives on wednesday morning and as I'm typing this on thursday evening, it seems to be working great with no issues.

This is what I call going above and beyond for a customer. I was having some doubt about the product and Mio Global but I can assure anyone out there that I'm happy with the experience and can recommend Mio for your fitness needs when it comes to tracking, whether it be heart rate, steps, calories and more. Thank you once again for showing a consumer that not all companies are out to get the customer. There are some good ones left!

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