Fitness Town Service – Big-Box Retailers vs Specialty Retailers

Fitness Town Service, it’s more than just “fix it”…
it’s a commitment!


 What does it truly mean to give great service? Many people have asked me this over the 17 years I’ve been working for Fitness Town and the Health and Fitness Industry. Truth is, there are so many factors that add up to that level of quality service. At Fitness Town, our main focus is on our customers. We understand that when buying a piece of fitness equipment, you’re making a long term investment. By this, I mean that you’re probably hoping to have it for many years to come. If you’re going to have it for awhile, you’re going to want to make sure it’s still going to function as well as the first day you bought it. Unlike the other electronics in your home, fitness equipment gets quite the beating from its day to day usage. In this post I’ll discuss some of my tips to keeping your equipment lasting longer. First, we should talk about what makes us at Fitness Town stand out from “big-box retailers” or department stores who may also sell fitness equipment.


Big Box Retailers & Department Stores vs. Specialty Retailers

big boxThese big-box or department stores have large retail spaces that generally have more than 50,000 square feet of floor space. That’s like the size of a NFL football field! These retailers have a wide array of items available for sale from grocery items to fitness equipment. These big-box stores can often offer low prices because they buy products in high volume and have a large amount of buying power. Personally, I find that these companies who don’t particularly specialize in fitness equipment end up selling products that may be considered as cheap or lacking quality compared to those at a specialty fitness retailer.

Specialty retailers are companies like Fitness Town. Fitness equipment is what we do and it’s what we specialize in. Generally, these companies are smaller retail outlets that focus on selling a particular product range or category. Most specialty stores will carry a considerable range of products within that product category in which they specialize in. Though specialty retailers may generally be priced higher, Fitness Town continues to be market relevant with its pricing. Fitness Town, much like other specialty retailers puts a bigger focus on providing higher service quality and expert guidance to all shoppers. Going forward, let me point out some of the most obvious differences between specialty retailers and big-box retailers.


Is your call getting forwarded all over the place?

In my years of experience, on holdpeople who have dealt with these big-box companies in the past have told me it’s been very exhausting. When you have an issue with your equipment, do you know who to call? Most of the time, you’re being transferred all over the place. Did the company request you to call a 1-800 number? If yes, then chances are you’re talking to someone who doesn’t even live in the same country as you let alone state or province. How can this person relate to you on that personal level or request a proper part when they can’t even see the issue? Personally, I believe that 80% of the time they are unable to solve the issue the first time. This could be because they’re simply going off of what you’re telling them on the phone. In the end, you may not know a whole lot about the mechanics of the machine so this can be very stressful. At Fitness Town, you get to talk with a real person right away who is committed to helping you for years to come. You can rest assured that a year from now, you’ll still be able to call in and have the same quality experience rather than repeating the frustrating experience all over again.


Experience Matters – Fitness Town specializes in the products and brands it carries

logosAt Fitness Town our service staff has over 50 years of combined service experience. When you have an issue with your equipment, we’re able to come directly to you so we can diagnose the issue and solve it the first time. We know that your time and money is precious, so why would we waste it? Like many big-box retailers, rather than having a designated company who specializes in their brands and machines, they contract out the work. We strive on going above and beyond for our customers.  If you did not purchase equipment from Fitness Town but are still looking to get your product serviced, we will try our very best to find the correct piece that works for your machine. Sometimes, this can be a very difficult task as big-box retailers can have parts for one machine coming from several manufacturers. This can be very challenging to track down specific pieces of various machines. At Fitness Town, we hold ourselves accountable for the work we do. We are confident that you’re experience with us will be simple and straight forward.


Simple and straight forward service requests

service request

 Have a problem with your equipment? No problem. At Fitness Town we know our customers are busy. Whether they are heading to work, taking their kids out to soccer practice or just having dinner with friends, the last thing you want on your mind is fixing your fitness equipment. Our service staff try to make the process as smooth as possible for you. Whether you’d prefer to call in or simply fill out our request form available on our website, it’s up to you! Again, our service department will try our absolute best to fix your machines, even if you have not purchased from Fitness Town. Unfortunately, due to parts being discontinued or not easily found may lead us to suggesting you contact the manufacturer directly.


We negotiate longer warranties directly with the manufacturer

warrantyWhen it comes down to it, if your equipment is a week over its warranty so many companies will turn you away. At Fitness Town, we communicate directly with the manufacturer to get the best possible warranties for our customers. We won’t simply turn you away, instead, we will work with you to ensure your equipment gets the maintenance it needs. To prevent having to pay out of pocket, I highly recommend purchasing the extended warranty. It is very important when looking at purchasing any fitness equipment that you look to see the manufacturer’s warranty as it can save you a bunch of money! When you’re making a long term investment such as a piece of fitness equipment, it’s important to know that it’s going to last until you’re ready to purchase another. At Fitness Town, we also offer a Customer Care Program (CCP). If you do not use your CCP it becomes an in store credit. This extended service plan can cover things such as parts, labour and additional fees. To learn more about our Customer Care Plan, click here.


Tips to keeping your equipment working at its best

If you have any additional questions you’d like answered about your machine, feel free to give us a call! Our Fitness Town experts can help to educate you on the best methods to keeping your machine working at it’s best. Below I have compiled a few inexpensive tips that are sure to make a difference in the life expectancy of your equipment.

  1. Read the Owners Manual and actually do the maintenance suggested! Typically the manufacturer will highlight a check list of things to do or check over a period of time. In my experience, those who follow this procedure increase the life expectancy of their machine by 25%.
  2. Keep your machine clean! After you use your equipment, I suggest you wipe it down to remove dust, sweat and other not so friendly stuff. This can prevent build up on the inside of the machines that will eventually cause issues down the road.
  3. Don’t put your fitness equipment directly on carpet flooring, instead, purchase an inexpensive mat. For example, a treadmill when in use will suck in all the dust and dirt that’s in the carpet due to its moving belt. Much like the tip above, this will cause issues in the future. Every once in awhile, I suggest that you purchase a can of condensed air and use it to clean out the dust particles.
  4. During the warranty term, you should stay on top of anything that seems unusual with your machine. Make sure you deal with the problem as soon as possible so you can get it fixed for free. Don’t procrastinate or wait as you could easily save yourself hundreds of dollars in the future. By keeping track of your warranty, you are less likely to get hit by an unexpected issue and cost down the road. Additionally, I suggest you look into purchasing the extended warranty or our Customer Care Plan. This really isn’t about costing you money, it’s about saving you money! Besides the money factor, using a machine to workout that needs maintenance can be unsafe.
  5. Lastly, I recommend that you get your fitness equipment set up by a professional. At Fitness Town, we have well trained staff that is familiar with setting up various pieces and machines. Most people who decide to take on this challenge themselves regret it in the days following. Setting up equipment is a lot more difficult than it sounds, in fact, most people who I talk to in this situation have realized that they bit off a bit more than they could chew. If you decide to have Fitness Town set up your equipment, we include a 60 day Protection Plan. This ensures that your equipment will be running perfectly from the first day you use it. If there are any issues, we’ll fix it for free, though some restrictions may apply. All equipment is complicated whether you are trying to center a treadmill’s belt to setting up the machines specific wiring. When purchasing equipment, make sure you always ask your sales associate to see if they even offer this service. Unfortunately, some big-box retailers do not even offer this service to its customers! By having it set up for you, you will save your valuable time and energy. If you are making the commitment on a good piece of fitness equipment, ensure it is set up correctly and that it’s safe.

No matter what piece of equipment you are looking for, doing some research is very important. If you think long term on your investment, is a big-box retailer really the best route to go? I think I’ll leave that decision to you. If you have any questions about your fitness equipment, I’d love to talk with you! Visit our website for more information on service inquiries or to find a Fitness Town location closest to you.


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