All About Beachbody Canada
Beachbody Canada is the new Canadian web-presence of the well-known American fitness program company. Did you know that in early 2016, Beachbody opened a geo-targeted website to service their Canadian customer base? Maybe you noticed that no matter how hard you try, you are no longer able to access the .com website. Well, the new Canadian-only site is here to stay so we decided to take a closer look and see what the new sites has to offer and if it is truly Canadian.
- P90X & P90X3
- Body Beast
- Focus T25
- Hip Hop Abs
- 10 Minute Trainer
- Country Heat
- Tia Cheng
Beachbody brings together a number of very popular home fitness and weight loss programs for both men and women. The company was founded in 1998 in Los Angeles, California. Beachbody offers many well-known programs including P90X, P90X3, Power90, Body Beast, Focus T25, Hip Hop Abs, 10 Minute Trainer, INSANITY, Country Heat, Tia Cheng, Piyo and Cise. They specialize in targeted yet entertaining fitness programs for men and women. This page focuses solely on the fitness programs geared for Canadian men but the information is just as relevant for women too. In early 2016, the company opened a Canadian-only website but this site appears to be remote-controlled by staff based in the US .com office.
Pseudo Canadian Website
The new website is great but there are a few major issues where they fall short when it comes to being a truly Canadian-friendly website. These are bordering on being show-stoppers for me because it makes the site much more difficult to use than a Canadian would expect of a “Canadian website”. Some of these issues include: their “Customer Service” pages, “Shipping and Handling” fees as well as how they calculate their Canadian prices. In short, the new Beachbody Canada page is not really a new Canadian website, it looks more likely that it is a “copy and paste” of the American .com page. This is why we are calling it a “Pseudo Canadian” website. Finding out basic Canadian information is not easy. For American information, yes, Canadians, no. Isn't this supposed to be a Canadian website?
If you are looking for any information that a typical Canadian would be looking for, you have to spend a great deal of time sifting through their Customer Service FAQs pages – and then the information is often wrong or misleading. Things like shipping methods and fees are deeply buried and the information provided on these pages is very questionable or clearly incorrect – how hard is it to create a simple up-to-date Canadian shipping page? The Customer Service FAQ pages look like they have been lifted directly from the US website and pasted, unedited, into the Canadian site. As a result, they contain very little information concerning topics important to potential Canadian customers.
Luckily for you, we spent the time and hope to cut right to the facts in the paragraphs below.
Beachbody Canada Shipping and Handling Fees
On a positive note, from a Canadian perspective, Beachbody could be a very Canadian-friendly cross-border merchant but unfortunately their website does not really reveal this fact.
Shipping – Beachbody Canada definitely got this part right (partly). They offer two types of delivery: Standard and Rush. The standard delivery method (the part they got right) is fulfilled through the US Postal Service/Canada Post so there will be no duties or brokerage fees. Rush delivery is provided through Fedex International with a 3 to 4 business day shipping window. Unfortunately, Beachbody does not tell us which of the four Fedex International methods they use – this may lead to additional brokerage fees.
Brokerage Fees – If you select the USPS/Canada Post option, there should be no brokerage fees.
Duty – Under NAFTA items manufactured within North America are not dutiable - this should not be a problem as the products are manufactured in, and shipped from the US.
Sales Taxes – In our test order below, you'll see that the tax field displays are $0.00. When I asked customer service if taxes were included, they said “no, they are extra”. If this is correct information, it is likely that your package may be detained at the border or you’ll have to pay taxes upon receipt at your front door.
Shipping and Handling Fees – This fee is ridiculously high. The FAQ states that the Canadian S&H fee is calculated at 15% of the total purchase price but when we tried a test order, the shipping and handling fee was 33%! Chat and toll-free operators were not able to tell me what the break-down was for these fees. All that they could say was that it was high because: a) it was being shipped to Canada from the United States and; b) the rate was calculated as “auto-renew shipping” because it was my first order. They could not explain this to me either…
Beachbody Canadian Prices
The Canadian list prices are determined by Beachbody in the US. They essentially apply their own in-house conversion rate to the US dollar price list. We could not find this exchange rate anywhere on the site – and with no access to the US site, we have no way of reverse-calculating it. The new site does not offer pricing in anything but Canadian dollars. Unfortunately, now that it is impossible to access the US .com site from a computer located in Canada, we are stuck with this new pricing. So for those of you who would prefer to pay in US dollars, you are out of luck.
Beachbody Bilingual Website
Beachbody Canada looks Canadian-friendly as they do offer both French and English versions of the website but it is very disappointing that none of the products are actually available in French language versions. No bilingual products? Why bother having a French web page?
An Alternative Way to Buy Beachbody Products
Let’s be clear here, my disappointment is with the new Beachbody Canada website – not their actual products. So, I did a little digging and found that many of their products are available for purchase through Amazon Canada. Amazingly, the prices are in Canadian dollars, many ship for free (no 33% S&H fees) and you know that you can trust Amazon. For my money, this is where I would buy Beachbody products in Canada. That exact same “Country Heat base package” that you see in the image above costs C$99.80 – and comes with free shipping (with definitely no brokerage fees or duties). It looks like a bit of a wash price-wise but we would much rather deal with Amazon Canada than the American Beachbody disguised as a Canadian. See all Beachbody products on Amazon here.
The Beachbody formula is a simple one, most of their programs employ a combination of fitness DVDs along with special program-specific diet plans and nutritional supplements. They have made a real name for themselves by providing enjoyable workout programs, easy to follow diets and great nutritional supplements. The company is probably very good at what they do but I could not get enough information to find out during my investigations.
As for the new Canadian website, Beachbody has a lot to learn if they hope to succeed in the Canadian online space. I found their customer service lacked knowledge of key elements of the program (mainly shipping fees) and they were not very helpful but very polite (based in India). It is obvious that the site’s American creators are typical in their lack of understanding about the differences that exist in the Canadian online retail space as evidenced by how often they lazily reuse American text on the Canadian site. I actually feel embarrassed for them. Overall, I was frustrated and disappointed by my dealings with the Beachbody Canada website and I cannot in good faith recommend them to Canadian shoppers.
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