App for That

NYC Marathon App Fails to Track Runners, Users Demand Refunds

ss 480 2 0 NYC Marathon App Fails to Track Runners, Users Demand RefundsThe Official ING New York City Marathon Mobile Spectator App Presented by Subway was supposed to allow marathon spectators to track up to ten runners in real time and watch a livestream of the races this weekend. Oops. While the $3 app worked fine before marathon day, it seems to have been overloaded during the actual event. Users are demanding refunds and the app’s ratings have plummeted in both the Android Market and iPhone App Store. Of the 120 Android reviews viewable on the web, 106 are single star; the current version of the app has a one-star rating in the App Store after 940 reviews.

A sampling:

“Did not work. Drained battery. Crashed phone.”

“Bought it to track my wife run nyc marathon and it failed despite constant attempts. Refund is least the developer can do”

“What a rip. Everyone but 1 person I talked to could not get it to work. Ought to be a total refund. Never again.”

“Getting past the login was fine for me … but the runner tracking functionality first was extremely slow, then stopped working entirely on race day! Did the developers do any load testing??? The app also should cache the marathon information instead of reloading it every time – doesn’t work when I’m in the subway! The route map also did not display mile markers, which would have been very useful. With some improvements, this could be a decent app, but as is it kinda sucks.”

Another wrench in the game: iPhone users were able to download the app for free, but had to download a $3 in-app package in order to get it to work. “Sad! It didn’t work for anyone I spoke to,” said MessageParty’s Amanda Peyton, who thinks she may have been overcharged for the app as well.

We reached out to the app maker, Map My Fitness, which makes other popular, well-rated apps such as Map My Run. We’ll update if we hear back.

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com

Comments

  1. Rolando says:

    I purchased the app to track my friends and it didn’t track once. Luckily, our iOS Friend Finder worked.

  2. this app didn’t work – was useless except i think it drained my battery quickly. i think it should have been a free beta so they could work out the kinks for next year

  3. This app did not work at all. Refund would be nice, but the real shame is all the people I encountered who missed their loved ones because of this failure! Last year my friends and family were luckily able to follow me so they could see me on the course. It sucks this year was not the same. 

  4. Frank V says:

    It sucked last year as well and I held out hope it would be better this year.  Obviously it wasn’t but luckily I had a backup plan and used Google Latitude.  Worked perfectly.  I recommend that for future runs as it is free and reliable.

  5. John Kohl says:

    LOL, MMF put out an official response claiming it was the cell networks (even though it didn’t work on wifi), they claimed that it worked for many users throughout the race, yet, of those many users, 0 of them gave them a review on the app store, and 80% left a 1star review, I think 99% of reviews left after 9am were 1 star. crazy that they would come back with that lie, http://support.mapmyfitness.com/mapmyfitness/topics/nyc_marathon_app_not_sprint

  6. John Kohl says:

    LOL, MMF put out an official response claiming it was the cell networks (even though it didn’t work on wifi), they claimed that it worked for many users throughout the race, yet, of those many users, 0 of them gave them a review on the app store, and 80% left a 1star review, I think 99% of reviews left after 9am were 1 star. crazy that they would come back with that lie, http://support.mapmyfitness.com/mapmyfitness/topics/nyc_marathon_app_not_sprint

  7. Linda says:

    It was an absolute waste of my $3, and I plan to pursue it until I get my refund.  Not that $3 will make or break me, but come on, don’t advertise an app, charge for it, then not make it functional!  That’s just crappy.

  8. Mghany96 says:

    has anyone gotten a refund yet?