I Heart HRMs, But Not Polar

‘Ello eaters!

Today was my first day of class and my head is swirling a bit. (The wine may have helped with that, too.) And since I haven’t really gotten back into the swing of things as far as yummy cooking and super sweating, I’m going to take a break from London-talk.

Instead, I’m going to rant a wee bit.

Ya see eaters, I had been planning on writing a post sometime after Christmas about how great my first year of exercising with a heart rate monitor (HRM) was. I was going to talk about how wonderful my Polar FT7 HRM was for gym rats like me (who don’t need a GPS).

Really, I was going to gush and plead with you to invest in your fitness and buy one.

And I could still gush about how great HRMs are. But Polar…ehh…not so much anymore.

No, now instead of gushing I’m going to explode a bit.

(But don’t worry, I’m going to try to be brief and objective.)

Starting sometime around fall my HRM was acting up. It wasn’t always registering my heart rate, which is extra annoying because that’s what it’s supposed to do.

I eventually figured out that the problem was likely that the battery on my transmitter (the part that attaches to the band around your chest) was dead. I say eventually because Polar doesn’t actually give you an owners’ manual with their products.

Anyway, once I figured out what might be the problem I followed their suggestion for how to change the battery.

Did you know Polar makes a big hooplah about how their products now have user-changeable batteries? Yeah, they definitely do.

So I found a quarter and tried to twist off the battery cover.

Um…yeah…Two turns of my quarter and the plastic was so ripped off the back that it was completely stripped.

Can you see where the plastic ripped off?

When this happened I was super pissed. I hadn’t even had the product for a year! And it’s not like I used it every day, either.

I got even more pissed when a customer service rep told me (via their online chat option) that since I didn’t have my original sales receipt (because it was a gift!) I didn’t have proof of my warranty.

Yes eaters, the fact that I registered my product online after I got it didn’t count for shit. The fact that I owned my product for less than a year at the time and Polar guarantees a two-year warranty didn’t count for shit either.

So my options became 1) send my transmitter in, spend who knows how much (the customer service rep wasn’t able to give me any kind of estimate because she couldn’t definitively say what the problem was), and hope it came back before I had to leave for London, or 2) spend $75 to buy a new transmitter and have it rushed to me to ensure that I got it before I left.

Can you guess what I did?

Hello, thing that I spent too much of my Christmas money on.

And can you guess what I did as soon as I opened the package?

You bet your bottom dollar I tested to see if I could open it.

Luckily this one opened without too much difficulty. And it synched seamlessly with my existing watch.

So now I’m back to happily monitoring my heart. But I’m not a happy Polar customer. And I would have bought a new HRM entirely so I could make a clean “fuck you” break with Polar, but as much as I hate to admit it, they are the best for what I need. And buying a new transmitter was cheaper than any other HRM.

So maybe I’m setting myself up for further anger and frustration. But Polar is setting themselves up for more angry reviews like this one, so at least we’re on the same level.

What do you think, eaters:

Do you ever write angry reviews?

Would you spend more money on principle or save a few bucks and hope the problems don’t happen again?

G’night eaters!


  1. nicole says:

    I really appreciate an honest review! Don't feel bad for posting it, I always want to hear the truth about products!

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