A Comedy of Errors: Horizon Fitness/Johnson Health Tech

comedy of errors
a situation made amusing by bungling and incompetence

Well, I don’t know about “amusing” but the situation has become absurd.

After much research into the QUALITY of Horizon Fitness‘* T101 Treadmill, we ordered one directly from the company (mainly because they were offering FREE SHIPPING). The order came to a total of $891.62 which included the treadmill, Room of Choice delivery ($119.00) and tax.

  1. Jan 13, 2021 (11:10AM):  Email from Horizon confirming the order.
  2. Jan 13, 2021 (11:15AM):  Email from Horizon letting us know the T101 was “back in stock” and ready to ship.
  3. Jan 14, 2021 (9:00AM & 5:00PM):  Email from EFW (Horizon’s shipping company) giving us a TRACKING # and instructing us that EFW would contact us with a delivery date (and 4-hour window). EFW also said that someone 18 years or older must be present to sign for the delivery and that the treadmill would be carried inside to our Room of Choice.
  4. Jan 14, 2021 (12:01PM):  Email from Horizon letting us know the order was being processed, but that it might be delayed for a couple extra days.
  5. Jan 17, 2021 (12:01PM):  Email from Horizon thanking us for our patience.
  6. Jan 19, 2021 (11:30AM):  Email from Horizon letting us know the order had shipped.
  7. Jan 20, 2021:  $891.62 transaction processed through our financial institution.
  8. Jan 25, 2021 (4:57AM & 9:02PM):  Email from EFW stating they would deliver on Jan 27, 2021 between 9:00AM and 1:00PM. The item would be placed OUTSIDE (NOTE: This is contrary to the Room of Choice delivery we paid extra for and noted on EFW’s email of Jan 14, 2021.) and must be signed for.
  9. Jan 27, 2021:  A day off work was taken in order to receive and sign for the delivery. By noon we had not been contacted by EFW and began to be concerned. At 12:19PM we logged on to EFW‘s website and began a CHAT. This is the exact transcript:
  10. Chat Started
    12:19 PM

    Thank you for using our online chat. Please standby. An EFW Customer Service Rep will be with you as soon as possible.

    Sebastian has joined the conversation

    Hi, my name is Sebastian. How can I assist you today?

    Hello. We were notified that delivery would be between 9:00am and 1:00pm today and that we would receive a phone call 30 minutes before truck arrived at our place. We are getting a bit nervous because we’ve not heard from anyone yet and it’s almost 12:30.

    To ensure we are discussing the correct order and for your security, please verify the full name, shipping address, and phone number.

    Txxxxxx Pxxxxxxxx
    XXXX Gxxxxxx Axxxxx #xx
    Xxxxx Xxxxx, CA

    Thank you! Please allow 3-5 minutes while I research this for you.

    (NOTE: We waited for 30 minutes for Sebastian to get back to us.)

    are you still with me?

    I am sir, I apologize for the delay, and thank you for your patience as well.

    Any word on where the truck is?

    Unfortunately, your shipment was confirmed as recovered by our dispatch in error and thus, it won’t be delivered today. Our dispatch will conduct dock checks on this to confirm if indeed this has been recovered already, or if it needs to be recovered.

    What does that all mean? Is the shipment lost?

    You should be receiving a new text message from our dispatch to advise you of the new appointment date by Monday or Tuesday.

    Monday or Tuesday next week?

    No sir, we know it is in the possession of either our transit or delivery terminals, we just need to determine which one has it.

    Once they do, they will schedule you for the earliest available date and advise you through text message.

    Thank you.

    You are welcome.

    Is there anything else I can assist you with?


    Since Horizon had chosen EFW as their delivery service we felt the onus was on Horizon to rectify the issue.

  11. Jan 27, 2021 (approximately 1:00PM):  Unable to contact anyone at Horizon either by phone or their online Chat, we used their online contact form to send them a message detailing the problem.
  12. Jan 27, 2021 (1:24PM):  Email from Horizon acknowledging receipt of our message/complaint and that someone would get back to us.
  13. Jan 28, 2021 (10:07AM):  Horizon did not “get back to us”, and after discovering numerous complaints of this kind lodged against them we decided to cancel the order due to non-delivery and asked for a complete refund.
  14. Image: Screenshot acknowledging our cancellation request.

  15. Jan 28, 2021 (5:13PM):  Email from Horizon acknowledging receipt of our Cancellation Request and letting us know they will get in touch with us within 3 days.
  16. Feb 4, 2021 (4:58PM):  After waiting a week for Horizon to “get in touch with us” (which they never did) a complaint was filed with the Better Business Bureau against Horizon’s parent company, Johnson Health Tech.
  17. Image: BBB Complaint filed 2.4.2021

  18. Feb 5, 2021 (time unknown):  BBB sent a copy of our complaint to JHT.

  19. Now, here’s where it gets to be a “Comedy of Errors”. Keep in mind that we HAD NOT RECEIVED the merchandise and HAD CANCELLED our order on January 28, 2021.

  20. Feb 10, 2021 (2:20PM):  Email from Horizon saying “Now that you’ve had your Horizon treadmill for a few weeks, you might be wondering, how can I measure my results?” The rest of the email consisted of trying to sell us additional products.
  21. Feb 13, 2021 (9:00AM):  Email from Horizon letting us know “It’s important to keep your software available for your machine up to date. Here’s how to update…”
  22. Feb 23, 2021 (7:50AM):  Email from Horizon with the Subject: Action Needed. “Thanks for your recent purchase of your Horizon exercise equipment. Here’s a friendly reminder to register your product if you haven’t already. Register to activate your warranty…”
  23. The following occurred a full FOUR WEEKS (one month) AFTER we cancelled the order. (And, I might add, THREE WEEKS after filing complaint with the BBB.)

  24. Feb 25, 2021 (10:05AM):  A delivery person knocked on our door claiming to have a delivery. When asked “What kind of delivery?” he said it was “a treadmill”. He was then told the order “had been cancelled weeks ago” whereupon he held up both his hands and said “I understand”. He then left the premises. (NOTE: We had no notice from either Horizon or delivery service that an attempted delivery was going to be made. If so, we might’ve had the chance to tell either company that delivery would not be accepted because the order had been cancelled a full month prior.)
  25. Feb 25, 2021 (4:58PM):  Email sent to the BBB detailing the Horizon emails of Feb 10 thru 23, 2021, the attempted delivery of the CANCELLED item, and reiterated that: We have never received the product, we don’t want the product, the order was cancelled, and that we want a full refund. We also asked if we should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
  26. Feb 27, 2021 (4:04AM):  Email from Horizon saying “We understand there was a problem with the delivery of your order: XXXXXXXXX. This is a courtesy email to let you know we opened a customer service case on your behalf with the shipping company, Estes Forwarding Worldwide (EFW). We’ll call you soon when we have more information on your order.” (It appears that JHT/Horizon is trying to place the blame on EFW which is odd. My guess is that this is just a ploy by JHT/Horizon to continue stalling on our refund. Given the number of recent complaints against them might they be preparing to declare BANKRUPTCY?)
  27. March 1, 2021 (8:15AM):  Posted a review on Trustpilot (one of MANY complaints against Horizon Fitness):  https://www.trustpilot.com/review/horizonfitness.com
  28. March 1, 2021 (9:32AM):  BBB received this response from JHT regarding the complaint filed on Feb 4, 2021:
    (NOTE: ONE MONTH from the time JHT received a copy of complaint from BBB [Feb 5, 2021])

    Dear Ms. XXXXX,

    Thank you for informing us of this complaint. I have reviewed the customer’s file and compared it to the details provided in the complaint letter.

    First, I would like to apologize that the Horizon Fitness T101 treadmill the customer ordered was not delivered by EFW, the freight carrier assigned to the order, during the scheduled delivery window. After learning of the missed delivery, we followed up with EFW for an update and were informed that delivery was instead scheduled on 2/5/21. Fortunately, our records indicate that the treadmill has been delivered. However, if the customer has further questions or needs any support for the treadmill, we would be happy to assist him.

    On behalf of Johnson, I would like to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Best regards,
    Jamie Beining
    Product Safety Coordinator
    Johnson Health Tech

  29. Note the line “Fortunately, our records indicate that the treadmill has been delivered.” JHT was a little quick on the draw there, weren’t they? See Feb 25 and Feb 27, above.

  30. March 2, 2021 (4:37PM):  REJECTED JHT’s response above (dated Mar 1, 2021):

    Better Business Bureau:

    I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID XXXXXXXX, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint. For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

    First of all, JHT has not “reviewed the customer’s file” because if they did they would find:

    1. The order was CANCELLED on Jan 28, 2021
    2. Horizon sent an email to me ACKNOWLEDGING RECEIPT of the Cancellation Request
    3. I have not been refunded the $891.62.

    Furthermore, the Cancellation Request stated that (1) The Product was not delivered and (2) A Refund was requested. (I retained a screenshot of the online form prior to submitting.)

    Additionally, when the company never got back to me “within 3 days” (according to aforesaid email) a complaint was filed with the BBB on Feb 4, 2021 – with a copy of said complaint sent by BBB to JHT on Feb 5, 2021.

    Over a MONTH has gone by without so much as a by-your-leave from either Horizon or JHT regarding my REFUND. Instead, the company attempts to deliver the CANCELLED ORDER on Feb 25, 2021. The delivery was REFUSED because


    It appears JHT/Horizon is trying to pull a fast one here and has no intention of honoring my Cancellation Request and reimburse me the entire $891.62.


  31. March 5, 2021:  Posted a “Worst experience with Horizon” review on Treadmilltips (one of MANY “worst experiences” regarding Horizon):  https://www.treadmilltips.com/worst-experience-with-horizon-treadmill.html
  32. March 9, 2021:  BBB called JHT for a “rebuttal response” to our REJECTION (March 2, 2021, above).
    Additionally, posted a complaint on ResellerRatings.com.
  33. HAHA. You should see the complaints posted on their own FB page! (The only positive aspect about this experience thus far is that we never took possession of the product. Now if we can just get them to cough-up the $891.62 they still owe us…otherwise, we intend to make their life a living Hell. BWAHAHAHAHAHAH.)

  34. March 11, 2021 (7:54 AM):  In spite of CANCELLING the order and the company’s absolutely ludicrous attempt to deliver the order A FULL MONTH AFTER CANCELLING IT, am still getting emails from HorizonBUT NOT ABOUT THE $892.62 THEY OWE. No, this time it was about investing in a “blood test with InsideTracker”.
  35. March 13, 2021:  BBB notified us that our complaint had been closed as UNRESOLVED: “Customer not satisfied with the business response; BBB did not find business made good faith effort to resolve complaint.”

  36. (Indeed. We paid for the product back on January 20, 2021, cancelled the order January 28, 2021, AND HAVE YET TO BE REIMBURSED. THIS IS AGAINST THE LAW.)

  37. March 17, 2021 (3:32 PM):  Per BBB’s suggestion, filed a complaint with WI Dept of Ag, Bureau of Consumer Protection
  38. March 19, 2021 (4:03 AM):  Received an email from WI Dept of Ag, Bureau of Consumer Protection: “Please be advised that our agency has no administrative authority regarding transactions between residents of other states and companies located in Wisconsin unless the transaction actually occurred in Wisconsin…I have written to the business to try to assist you to find a solution to your complaint. I asked them to review your concerns and then contact you directly. Some issues in your complaint may be within the authority of the agency listed in the letter, so I am forwarding a copy of your complaint directly to CALIFORNIA OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, PUBLIC INQUIRY UNIT, PO BOX 944255, SACRAMENTO CA 94244-2550.”
  39. March 19, 2021:  Johnson Health Tech very quietly credited back to our account the $891.62 they owed.

FINALLY, after waiting almost two months (from the date the order was cancelled) we got our money back!

* Johnson Health Tech is the parent company of Horizon Fitness. They have the gall to actually state on their homepage that they are “built on family values”.

From Wikipedia:
In August 2015, Johnson Health Tech was fined $3 million by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission for failing to report defects in its Matrix Fitness Ascent and Elliptical trainers. The commission was not notified promptly of multiple reports of smoking, fires, and melted power components. Johnson Health Tech agreed to pay the fine but did not admit to the charges. (So much for their family values…)


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