Ok this sounds like a wonderful moment, but unfortunately it wasn’t really!
The back story: This week one of the tammers on Facebook pointed out that the latest beginners streaming class was in fact an old advanced streaming class with the end cut off. As previously mentioned in my “Tracy Anderson Method: Where the customer is always wrong” post, customer service are really bad at responding to emails, in fact the last two emails that I sent them got no response whatsoever.
As for a customer service/product quality update; since my last post they both continued to be awful. I hadn’t bothered updating you guys previously as it was getting so repetitive with all the problems, but here’s a quick breakdown:
- No replies to emails, or just automated replies with no further response
- Masterclasses being posted later and later (not even on Wednesday local US time)
- An announcement from Tracy Anderson that EVERY WEEK there would be a new beginners workout and a new cardio workout: which very quickly seemed to be forgotten, as weeks went by without a new beginners workout and there hasn’t been a new cardio workout since December 16th- at the moment that’s coming up to 2 months ago- I know ridiculous!! Why bother going to all the trouble of making an announcement about new weekly content if you can’t be bothered to keep up with it?! It’s really turning into a farce.
- A vitality week which Tracy turned up almost an hour late to most days, with no apology, she also didn’t perform the amount of exercise content as advertised- even doing as little as 10 minutes cardio and then leaving without talking to any of the attendees who had spent a lot of money and travelled for the experience, effectively giving Tracy a free holiday as she would do the workout everyday whether they was an audience in front of her not.
- Some tammers have felt hurt and discluded as there was a free secret Vitality week for a selected group of tammers- where there didn’t seem to be a particular selection criteria- certain tammers couldn’t understand why other people who had been with the method for a vastly shorter amount of time then them had been chosen over them, and attendees were told not to publicly discuss the vitality week and if they had written comments on social media about it to delete them! I personally don’t have a problem that these people got to enjoy a free vitality week with Tracy but do question why this was conducted the way it was and as an effect rather then bringing people together it caused divides between “the selected ones” and ones that couldn’t understand why they had been left out and the feeling of a secret clique- even though the method is supposed to be for everyone.
This bad customer relations conflicts with the messages on Tracy’s website and Instagram posts:
“Quite simply I am here for you”
“I am in the business of really serving each of you with integrity….Your health, self esteem, connection to yourself, and most important your happiness. That means the most to me”
Anyway, back to the recycled streaming content, I decided to message Tracy on instagram as this seemed the best way of reaching her and had worked before when I posted about a streaming video that had the beginning missing:
Dear @tracyandersonmethod @mariabaum27 and the lovely @evanleebreed there seems to be a mistake with this week's streaming: An Advanced class (with the entire warm up and arm section bar 1 minute removed) has been uploaded in the beginners section and there isn't a beginners class for this week, I got in touch with customer service but no response so far, looking forward to hearing from you! 💜 #tarealtime #tracyanderson #tracyandersonmethod
(After I posted it the entire video was uploaded including the beginning, although no explanation was given as to why an advanced class was posted in the beginners.)
To my amazement Tracy actually responded!
So of course I instantly DM’d Tracy in response but got nothing! Two weeks have passed and she hasn’t even SEEN my message!
I commented on the same post again saying that I had DM’d as requested and included the contents of the message but still zip.
Other tammers who had responded to me that had seen my comment to Tracy seemed to fall into three camps:
- How dare you question Tracy, she is the oracle (kind of not really adhering to the whole #gybg got your back girl thing, but oh well!) To those tammers- I love Tracy’s method too! It would just be nice to get some communication! But wonderful that you’re so happy with the product that you’re receiving and customer service, I would love to be as endlessly happy and grateful as you 🙂
- We’re happy with what we’re getting but understand your point of view.
- Totally get it.
And by totally get it- as outlined in my other customer service post- I mean… although we love Tracy’s workouts so much and are totally more than willing to forgive the odd mistake or problem what frustrates people more than anything is when they feel like they’re being fobbed off, in this case being given old content and pretending it’s new as if we wouldn’t realise. We would LOVE to hear from Tracy’s people, if there’s a special reason why this weeks class is the repeat of another streaming class PLEASE communicate that with us, otherwise what are we supposed to think?! Yes we love you and we’re grateful for the product as I’m sure you’re grateful for our brand loyalty and money, but please be respectful towards your customer base. We don’t want the moon on the stick, we just want what is advertised (what we’re PAYING for) and if that can’t be delivered some communication/compensation. Another tammer really helpfully summed this up by saying “I am just wondering what is the purpose behind this cut. We just request a clarification as customers and committed to her method.”
In the absence of a communication from the company about this other people have been defending the company and coming up with excuses/reasons as to why we’re getting the same content again, it’s worrying as I feel like people have so much blind faith in whatever we’re dealt that it’s getting to the point where if a tammer bought a Tracy Anderson DVD that turned out to be blank they would justify this as “Oh this means Tracy wants me to take a week off”!
Anyway I felt a bit left out on a limb as others felt the same as I did but as I was the only one to comment on her post I can only imagine that in Tracy’s eyes I was the only one complaining and needed to change my perspective. Thankfully I got some really nice direct messages- no not from Tracy but from other tammers who were really sweet and supportive and felt the same way. And then a little while later another tammer stood up for me and also commented on Tracy’s post which was really kind and I actually felt like she had my back girl!
Although subsequently that comment got deleted, spooky!
I also got lots of lovely comments on an instagram post I made about about the same topic
Deja vu? This week's beginners #tarealtime class is just week 56's advanced class with 15 minutes shaved off- great spot @ldanee ! Come on @tracyandersonmethod @mariabaum27 @gwynethpaltrow #tammers notice these things! Any chance of a new beginners streaming for this week for the #tamily ?😊 I would contact customer service but they never reply…. #tamily #tracyanderson #tracyandersonmethod #dejavu @accupolo @johanna.e.hackl #workout #exercise
Another person got in touch and phrased it really succinctly: She’s just a person she’s not our friend, she’s also not friends with the girls that stand by her no matter what her mistakes. Also if you just delete or keep yourself hidden from critique you’re not improving your product, there are only a handful of outspoken tammers and they’re not enough to keep the business afloat. She shouldn’t be put on a pedestal. Why have we put her on a pedestal and not other inventors or makers of other products we enjoy?
Other people have said that the Tracy Anderson phenomenon is like a weird cult where it’s all supposed to be about women supporting women until someone speaks up about bad customer service or makes a criticism towards the product and then they’re ganged up on. Even more strangely there are cases of Tracy Anderson “moles” or “spies”- tammers who don’t work for the company but report back private conversations (whether it be on private facebook groups or other private messages) to the company if they feel that someone has said something anti Tracy. Yep seriously cultish behaviour! And I have actually personally experienced this after I complained to others in a private facebook group about how badly customer service were dealing (or not dealing as the case was) with overcharging me and subsequently one of Tracy’s people reached out and contacted me over what I had said in the group- bizzarro!
Someone else got in touch and thanked me for trying to improve things, but they didn’t want to publicly say anything as they were scared of the TA defenders and also feared they would get their streaming cut off! So sweet and so hilarious! Although it’s been compared to a cult they definitely won’t turn away paying customers for having a gripe about one of the products! At least I hope not!!
Although it would’ve been wonderful to have hoards of others also publicly support what I was saying and express what they had complained about privately, it honestly doesn’t matter, I so believe in speaking up for what you think it right and standing up for yourself even if it isn’t welcomed by others and puts you in the line of fire. Okay I totally know that this whole thing sounds way over the top- comparing commenting an instagram post to standing up for what you believe in and not being knocked down by others, but my justification is that as someone who does the Tracy Anderson Method daily, has invested time and money in the product, follows Tracy on social media, gets excited about new interviews and new releases, has introduced friends to the method, writes about the method on this blog and interacts with other TAMMERS so frequently like many of us others do, it feels like we have a relationship with Tracy/the company ,so feels very real.
So….. I don’t really know what to think now! Am I being ejected from the TAM kingdom Parker Wallace style?! By the way I love that girl! It was nice to get comments of support from other tammers who although didn’t feel the same way were being reassuring and said how much they liked me/my account and even that they were sure Tracy loved me! I wish that THEY were running the company! But also worry… have we become so wrapped up in the method/misguided that we take even a rude response from Tracy as a compliment?!
I don’t really know what to do now… I considered stepping away from the #gybg comp as I didn’t really feel like the Tracy Anderson company really has my back. It’s also not being authentic (funnily enough one of Tracy’s #gybg themes). I now don’t know whether to continue posting about the Tracy Anderson Method. Right after it happened I couldn’t even look at all my Tracy Anderson DVDs and equipment without wanting to hurl them out of my house! I don’t have quite so much of an extreme reaction now, but it has definitely tainted the way I feel about Tracy and the method. Unfortunately there are plenty of others who love the method but feel disillusioned with it’s creator. Other Tammers who have been through similar experiences have either stepped away from the method, been initially angry but through time their distaste has mellowed, or have resolved to still continue with the method as a form of exercise but have made the decision not to support it publicly.
Should I also stop publicly supporting the method or should I stay in it for the other Tamily who do seem to appreciate me? The thing is I do want to be there for the Tamily and any others who are trying to navigate the crazy world of health and fitness and looking after yourself. I think we should all be there for each other- we have more in common with each other than a millionaire who we are customers of. It has been great being able to meet and chat to so many other wonderful women who follow the method, whether that be through instagram, facebook groups that have been set up (the comments section on her official facebook page has been deleted) and the Tracy Anderson community that used to exist on her website.
All I know is I do love the method and I will keep doing it but I suppose that doesn’t mean I have to love or support every single aspect surrounding it. You can definitely separate the two. Eg I don’t support the way Alfred Hitchcock treated some of his leading ladies- ie Tippi Hedren- in fact he was appalling! However I think he’s an amazing director and would buy his films. But then again there are countless examples of people boycotting individuals/politicians/artists and their products if they don’t agree with how they behave/their views/lifestyle/past mistakes etc.
Would love to hear from you guys! I almost feel like setting up a support group(!) –
Have YOU been a victim of a TAMMER attack?
Have YOU been banished from the TAM Kingdom?!
Does this happen with any other companies/exercise groups?!
Although it didn’t exactly work for me (although it was great to hear from so many other people who felt the same) it is worthwhile contacting Tracy on Instagram when you’re unable to get anywhere with customer service as a tammer was recently pleased to find out after the company suddenly decided to stop taking payments from her card, thankfully since commenting on Tracy’s instagram this issue has now been resolved.