Saturday, January 03, 2009

Brain Fitness or Crossword Puzzles?

{{de|:de:Phrenologie}}Image via WikipediaNot too long ago an assisted living client included Brain Fitness in a grant I was writing for them. I'd never heard of Brain Fitness so I did a bit of research and was impressed -- the research supports the brain's plasticity and the testimonials are impressive.

The benefits have been rolling around in the back of my mind since then. It costs a hefty sum for the two-person versions of both the visual and auditory products -- almost $900 before the Holiday discount and the rebates upon completion -- but I decided I'd invest, a Christmas present for Glenn and me.

Several of our friends are interested in how it goes so I decided to write about our experience here.

Here's our first installment.

Installation Nightmare
The package arrived New Year's Eve but we weren't ready to get started until Friday. We ordered both the Brain Fitness and Insight products for two figuring we'd work on different products and compare notes.

The installation directions seemed straight forward. We're both computer savvy, and Glenn hovers on the border of geekiness, so we expected no problems.

Closed all running programs. Addressed the firewall. Installed. Nothing. Neither program installed correctly. Uninstall. Reboot. Reinstall. Nothing.

Two different machines, two different programs. Nothing.

Checked the website. Little troubleshooting help, none that addressed our problems.

Called the support line - open Monday thru Friday.
The message -- "Support is helping other customers. Leave a message or hold on."
After holding for 15 minutes, I was switched automatically to the message system.
Then, no one called me back.

Here's my guess: It was yesterday, the Friday after New Years, and no one was there -- but they didn't change their message. A company run by academics who haven't made the switch to a customer focus. They run the company for their own convenience. Take the long weekend off. After all, school is closed. Don't even bother to change the phone message or put a notice on the website. Grrrrrr.

So, we've had a rocky start. No way to resolve the issues until Monday.

  • What if we were 80 year-olds, counting on a family member who works 9-5 to install for us? (We work from home at our computers; we'll be here Monday.)
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Martin Walker said...

Hello, Ruth.

Doesn't sound like a good start!

I wanted to reach out and bring my company to your attention. We have a brain training program that uses the most effective training protocol yet designed for improving working-memory and fluid intelligence.

In these areas it is more effective than the Posit Science products that you've purchased (although they address somewhat broader cognitive areas than this).

My business philosophy is to produce effective products that are also affordable. The software costs just $57 (or $47 for a download copy).

At the moment the software contains just one training method (although most people find this just fine and quite addictive) but we will be adding more at no charge to existing customers.

Best wishes,
Martin Walker
Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro

Ruth Wahtera said...

Hi, Martin,
Thanks for writing about your company. As you may have seen, Brain Fitness got sorted out today so I'll work my way through that. I'll check MindSparke out when I've got a few minutes, though. Sounds interesting.