WEIGHT WATCHERS ONLINE: Free Trial scam, unauthorized billing

Weight Watchers weight loss customers have reported problems getting refunds due to them, and having their credit cards charged after they’ve cancelled.  Some have alleged that the Weight Watchers free trial is a bait-and-switch scam.   Have you had a problem getting a refund from Weight Watchers?  Or have you had a good experience?  Share a comment below.

Friday, January 22, 2010 on the Ripoff Report, Haraldg of Washington, Iowa) wrote:

“After canceling our online account and WeightWatchers closing it so we could no longer access it, they continued to charge our credit card.  I did not notice it because they waited three months to charge the first amount then did it intermittently sometimes monthly, sometimes with two months in between.”

Saturday, February 21, 2009, James of Atlanta, GA wrote:

“I am a online user experience expert reviewing weightwatchers.com for an upcoming blog article. I signed up for the FREE 7 DAY trial to conduct the review.

“I clicked the FREE TRIAL button and was redirected to a sign up page. I didn’t see anything about a free trial so I went back to the previous page and clicked the FREE TRIAL button again. The website landed me back on the same sign up page.

“So I assumed I was signing up for the free trial and continued through the flow. When I came to the credit card entry form I assumed my card would be charged at the end of the seven day trial or at the least the funds be refunded when I canceled.

“After I completed a my usability review of the website I clicked on the Cancel Account link. I also sent a cancellation email to the customer service department.

“An agent named “Kelle” with Weight Watchers Online accounting department responded to let me know that my credit card was charged $65.00 and that I would only be receiving an $18.10 refund. So my two-hour “FREE TRIAL” actually cost $46.90.

“The agent was not at all concerned when I told her that I clicked on the FREE TRIAL link and cancelled after only 2 hours. Instead of addressing a significant error in the user interface, she referred me to the 10 page legal agreement I was supposed to read during sign up.

“After a bit more research I learned that Weight Watchers Online has an UNSATISFACTORY record with the BBB of New York and has had 43 complaints in the last 12 months! I also found many more users complaining about this very same issue in various forums.

“Weight Watchers Online baited me with a FREE TRIAL offer on their website. I signed up under this pretense. The fact that they immediately invoked the legal agreement without addressing an obvious problem on the website leads me to conclude that this is a deliberate BAIT AND SWITCH technique employed by what I believed was a trustworthy brand.

“In my opinion this despicable practice constitutes blatent online fraud. I will do everything in my power to make sure that Weight Watchers Online is investigated by the New York attorney general’s office. James Atlanta, Georgia
U.S.A.” (Ripoff Report)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005, Corrie from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania wrote:

“Last posting: Wednesday, September 17, 2008
I purchased one month of weight watchers online in June. After two weeks, I decided that the service wasn’t worth the cost. I decided not to renew. However, I apparently did not read the terms of service/small print closely enough.

“They automatically renew your subscription without telling you. They have charged me for June (the month that I purhased), plus July, August, September, October, and November at a rate of 16.95 each month.

“I have emailed them at least 20 times. After about 15 emails, they decided that I can have a refund of 2 months. What about the other three months of service they charged me for but I did not use? Corrie, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania U.S.A.” ((Ripoff Report)


17 thoughts on “WEIGHT WATCHERS ONLINE: Free Trial scam, unauthorized billing”

    This company sells you a free membership and 3 months of online use for 57.00 – what they never tell you is that the site is lame – they give you an overflow of basic information and once you figure that out and try to cancel after a week or 2 they take all of your money! They charge you the sign up fee and then inflate the monthly membership. They are so terrible, so terrible for lying and tricking people who want to loose weight! I am never going to look at that company the same. The diet does work, it is a good product but how they lie to you and steal from you in regards to the online site.. is outrages and should be against the law!

  2. Yes! Weight Watcher provides false advertising and using deceptive advertising on their website bait-n-switch! all I know is I wanted to try it for 7 days. It was very confusing to me and finding numbers on everything I ate. on 02/04/2011 I tried the program under the impression that I was trying it for 7 days. they charge my card $53.85. I tried the program for 3 days and I did not like it. I went to the online protal to cancel my order on 02/09/2011. The system stated that I would only get a refund for $5.95. I called the 1-800 number and the operator stated that I was not on the 7 day plan and that I will only get $5.95. I explain to them that I am not interested in the serivce and that want to cancel it today and not use it for another month. As of this date, I have not recieved my refund and they have not cancelled my order. All I have been getting is emails from the cancellation department with a bunch of excuses.

  3. Forget these ripoff advertisements. Best thing is to walk, walk, walk and drink blenty of water. Also, drink two 8 once glass of water before your meal. That way, you won’t eat that much because your stomach will tell you, Stop! I’m full.

  4. This is the message i got from Weight Watchers when i decided to cancel service after two days of use. They charged me $53.85 and refunded me $ 5.95 that i still have not seen in my credit card. Basically, customer service wrote me the email below.

    “In keeping with the refund policy outlined in our subscription agreement, we have cancelled your subscription and you will be credited $5.95. This amount should show up on your next credit card statement. Your account will expire on 7/9/2011.
    The reason your potential refund comes to $5.95 is as follows, in accordance with our subscription agreement.
    You paid $53.85 for a three-month subscription to Weight Watchers Online, three times our monthly price of $17.95. With early cancellation, you are liable for our $29.95 sign up fee. Thus, $53.85 (3-month subscription plan) – $29.95(non-refundable sign up fee) = $23.90 – $17.95(one month’s service, pro-rated) = $5.95.
    You may refer to our subscription agreement via the following web page for additional inquiries you may have regarding our refund policy.
    Customer Service Associate

    4. Cancellation of Subscription
    Either you or WeightWatchers.com may terminate or cancel your subscription to our Fee-Based Products at any time. You understand and agree that the cancellation or termination of your subscription is your sole right and remedy with respect to any dispute with us including, without limitation, any dispute related to, or arising out of: (i) any terms of this Agreement or our enforcement or application of this Agreement; (ii) any practice or policy of WeightWatchers.com, including our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy, or our enforcement or application of these policies; (iii) the content available through this Website or any change in content provided through the Website or on a Fee-Based Product; (iv) your ability to access and/or use our Website or any Fee-Based Product; or (v) the amount or types of our fees or charges, surcharges, applicable taxes, or billing methods, or any change to our fees or charges, applicable taxes, or billing methods. Upon cancellation or termination of your subscription to our Fee-Based Products, we may immediately deactivate your user account and all related information and/or files in your user account and/or bar any further access to such information and/or files, our Website (or part thereof) and/or our Fee-Based Products, except as we may otherwise provide from time to time.

    You can cancel your subscription by contacting Customer Service or by such other means as we may provide from time to time. We will attempt to process all cancellation requests within 72 hours after we receive your request. If you cancel near the end of your billing period and are inadvertently charged for the next period’s fee, contact Customer Service to have the charges reversed. If you use our Fee-Based Product during that next period, you will not be entitled to a refund. We reserve the right to collect fees, surcharges, or costs incurred before your cancellation takes effect.

  5. Just spent an hour reading about this weight watcher scam.makes me nervos and untrusting to any online sites .thanks for writing in to let others know.also someone said there was an online site for weight loss that really is free? Could you let me know how to find this site .I am also sure others can beifet.thanks so much

  6. Agree with all previous comments, WW confuse you with lots of info then screw you over when it comes to taking your money. The below is a copy paste of an email I sent to them last week – needless to say I’ve had no response – Don’t trust these Guys and don’t do the free trial – ’cause it isn’t!….

    “Last week, upon recommendation of a colleague, I checked out the Weight Watchers Program on-line. Although impressed by the methodology and the introductory price of £32.85 for three months, I wasn’t totally committed to trying it so I closed down the browser Window. Upon doing this a ‘Pop Up’ Appeared saying basically – try free for one week.

    The Options, as I understood them, were to try the program FOC for 1 Week and then either cancel during this period or continue – to which WW would extract the fund for three months.

    Fair enough, however here I made my mistake , I didn’t read the T&C’s closely enough and assumed WW would take £32.85 as per the offer I had been looking at.
    If I had closely read the T&C’s and not relied on ,what I perceived to be, the good name of WW I would have either cancelled my weekly ‘Free’ and signed up for the offer after say 5 Days or not bothered at all.

    Why? – Because instead of paying £ 32.85 for Three Months , by taking the ‘Free Trial’ I have been charged £49.80 ( £ 16.95 or 51% more ).

    I am annoyed with myself, mainly as I don’t normally get caught in this kind of Scam / Confidence Trick and will normally read T&C’s diligently so I know I don’t have a ‘leg’ to stand on – it’s my own fault for trusting the integrity of Weight watchers and not looking for the small print which has resulted in me paying £16.95 for a ‘Free Weeks Trial’.

    Having been caught out by you I don’t expect anything as a result of this e-mail as you have done nothing illegal or technically wrong – the error is my fault for trusting you and I disagree strongly about the way you have made extra money out of the fact that made assumptions on the offer instead of reading every line of the T&C’s ( why would anyone willingly pay more to have a free trial – I don’t understand!)

    Shame, as a brand I have always thought positively about Weight Watchers until having now been suckered in!

  7. I did the free 7 day etool online which expired yesterday. I had copied and pasted how to cancel the trial and put it in my outlook calendar so I knew when to cancel it. When I went through the steps, it didn’t give you an option to cancel the trial, it just states to cancel a one month or three month subscription. I chose the least time (one month) and then to my surprise, it said they had issued a refund of $16.10 to my credit card. I knew that meant that they had charged me for a subscription so today I called the 1-800 number and the representative adv’d my card had been charged $64. and change. I told her I only was doing the 7 day free trial but couldn’t find an option to cancel the trial. She said no problem and issued a credit for $48.00 and change so that with the $16.10, cleared off the charge to my card. Now I will watch my statement, but I had no problem with this transaction after calling them and love the WW program. It’s the only plan that works for me. I am starting WW at work on Monday so I will be back online with e-tools in a few days.

  8. WW online is a SORRY SERVICE! On May 17th, I signed for 3 month of the site for $65. After just 6 days, I was getting tired of trying to remember every bite of food I ate and entering that in the journal each day. Besides that, it is just too much food to eat if you want to lose 10 lbs. I sent a cancellation request on May 23rd and found out today they are planning to give me $16.95 refund….. This is really poor service. Our country is trying to recover from a recession and WW online are deceiving customers by taking their money! Believe me, this is not over yet….. My money is just as important as their money.

  9. Has anyone started a class action against WW due to the deceptive opt-out membership practice, and their refusal to credit unknowing customers months of unauthorized charges?

  10. Congratulations to Weight Watchers, they make cancelling a cell phone contract look like a walk in the park. When you cancel something within the first 30 days of service, you should get your money back for what you did not use. I am disgusted with my weight and I got suckered into signing up for their men’s online program and paid $57 (3 months). After a few days, I realized this was just not going to work – for one thing, their Android application won’t even load on my phone. So I need to write everything down? I don’t think so. And really, you can find lots of free calorie counters online which is all their program is anyway I should have known better, act in haste … I’m sure Jennifer Hudson probably went to some fat farm for a month to lose her weight – I don’t see her counting points.

  11. I have signed up 3 different times for the free trial with different emails and all three times have canceled it without charge or problem.

  12. RIP OFF!!!!! Charging your credit card after you are not using the service is just wrong! They did it to me too!

  13. Can you help me? When you join Weight Watchers they say you will pay $40.00 plus the joining fee. However, what they don’t tell you is that two weeks later, they take another $40.00. Because of this, I chose to pay weekly in cash. I am now paying them $60.00 a month and I don’t have the same benefits as those who pay the $40.00 with automatic withdrawal. Why should I pay more for less services? Is there anyone doing a lawsuit against Weight Watchers over their business practices? If so, I would join.

  14. I got ripped off too! I was talked into joining the online monthly pass, which was a mistake! I’m moving out of state and realized that it’s not a good time to join. I only attended the first 2 meetings and then cancelled my membership. I noticed that I was paid up for another month. I called WW to try to get a refund, but was told that I couldn’t get one. I was only a member for 20 days and have to pay 90 dollars for attending 2 meetings??? I don’t understand how they can legally do this to people. They try to explain by saying that they double bill you the first month, so they can send you your pass, but if you’re not going to use it and you cancel before the 1st month is even over, why can’t you get a refund? it’s so unfair! The customer service is terrible as well. They’re rude and keep you on hold for 10 mins or more to talk to someone and then another 15 to talk to a supervisor, who can’t help you either. I always thought WW was a good company. I had no idea.

  15. Weighwatchers.com just continues to scam people over and over and no one can stop them? I’ve never seen a product that you can’t get a refund for 15 seconds after you sign up?? I can tell you any business that has a strict no refund policy knows that their product is pure garbage.

  16. Joined Weight Watchers in October. We signed up at a meeting. The following day I received an email stating that due to a computer glitch, we needed to register again and they offered 50% off for the inconvenience. When I received my credit card bill I noticed that they charged me initially and then again at the 50% off rate for the same period. It took several calls and I finally received a refund two statements later.

    I then received a notice of a security breech that allowed my personal information to be available to be viewed by someone other than myself.

    On December 16, I went through the complex process of figuring out how to cancel online prior to when the next cycle that began on December 20. I went through the steps to cancel and hit the button. It stated that the account had been cancelled.

    On my January credit card bill, I noticed that I was not only not reimbursed for the membership that would have started four days after I cancelled, but I was also charge in January for the membership that would be effective from January 21 to February 20.

    I contacted WW and was told by the representative and explained the situation. She was aware that there was a problem with the online cancellations not working. I was told that if I mailed in the card for the January 21 to February 20 membership, they would reimburse me for that month only. The account was cancelled for the second time on January 20 and the representative tried to end the call without giving me the confirmation number.

    I later called back and spoke with another representative. That representative told me after a long discussion that she would reimburse me for the Jan – Feb session without making me send back the card. Ridiculous.

    She would not refund the money for the membership that ran December 20 to January 20, as she said that after I hit the cancel button and was told the account was cancelled, a pop up window should have come up that stated that a confirmation email would be sent to my email if the cancellation was successful. This pop-up window never came up and no email was received. This email would have contained a confirmation number that would be needed to get a refund.

    I told the other person that person I had signed up with and had cancelled a day after I did in December. She was also charged after cancelling.

    It is unfortunate that Weight Watchers has become such an unethical company. I would never recommend anyone give them credit card information and suggest people use caution before doing so.

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