When Ana Maria Roque’s yoga app stops working, she calls this advocate for help. But can the problems with this nonworking program be untangled?
Question: I know you will think this complaint is not worth the time to write about, but here it goes: I bought the Yoga Studio by Gaiam app for my iPad in December 2015. I paid $5.99 and have been using it every day ever since.
Last month, my iPad app was disconnected, so I started using it on my iPhone. On July 4 my phone app stopped working. What I get now is a prompt to “sign up” for a “monthly fee.” My use of the app has been terminated.
This was not part of the original agreement, there is no customer rep to take your calls and the supposed “fix” is not working.
I know what you’re thinking: “$5.99? Really? You are wasting time and energy for a $5.99 app?”
Well, what if all app designers decide to renege on their sales and go to “monthly usage fees”? Yes, much more profitable, of course, but that sounds to me like a bait-and-switch. If we don’t stop this from happening on the internet, then consumers are going to be abused — and to me, this is fraud.
I would like Gaiam to honor the customers who bought the app to be able to restore the service. Can you help? — Ana Maria Roque, Miami
Answer: This is definitely worth your time — and mine. Yoga Studio by Gaiam appears to have arbitrarily changed its terms, forcing users like you to either upgrade to its subscription model or stop using the app.
The app reviews on the iTunes store suggest you’re not alone. (Spoiler alert: If you can’t handle the suspense, the link will tell you how this is resolved.)
It’s frustrating when you buy a product with an expectation that it will work as promised for as long as the company that sold it to you exists. Yet Gaiam’s terms and conditions seem to suggest otherwise. Don’t believe me? Check section 21 on “disclaimer of warranties.”
Getting to the right person was a little difficult. We managed to track down the right person at a company called Fit For Life. A representative explained that the problem you experienced was a “bug” known to its developers, that it was currently working to fix.
“Given its complexity it has taken more time than anticipated,” he told me. “But we are working on a solution to a restore function that will give access to users who purchased Yoga Studio prior to our last update.”
He explained that in its last release, some users were able to continue using the app, while others weren’t. You were in the latter group.
“We had to dig into the code to see why there wasn’t parity,” he explained. “We have a test build we are looking at today, so we hope to have a new update soon which will restore access.”
To make a long story a little longer, Gaiam implemented the new code, and your app now works. Namaste, Gaiam.