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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 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)


JENNY CRAIG COMPLAINTS: Problems getting refunds

Jenny Craig weight loss customers have reported problems getting refunds due to them.  Have you had a problem getting a refund from Jenny Craig?  Or have you had a good experience?  Share a comment below.

On the Consumer Affairs board, Susan of Simi Valley, CA wrote:

“On Sept. 23, 2009 I joined Jenny Craig in Simi Valley, Ca.,however, the next day I changed my mind. I was not given a copy of the contract I signed so I went to the center and got my copy which said I had 3 business days to cancel “without penalty or obligation. I sent my request to cancel via Fed Ex on 9/24/09 and Jenny Craig Corporate offices received my cancellation letter on 9/25/09 at 2:42pm signed for by K F at Jenny Craig per FED EX. Several attempts to find out the status of my refund have been futile. The corporate offices state my letter is “m.i.a” and the manager at the Jenny Craig office in Simi Valley where I signed up states I was obligated to purchase a full week of the product in order to qualify for a refund even though the contract clearly states I had 3 business days to cancel “without penalty or obligation”.

“Futhermore, the contract states that upon receipt of request to cancel the buyer will be refunded in 10 days. I am getting a run around now from the corporate offices and the center. The very fact that the manager of the center did not give me my copy of the contract made my husband suspicious. And when I went to pick it up the next day an employee retrieved it in an unsecured area of the office with my credit card information available to anyone that entered this area. I left a message for the manager who did not call me back until the corporate offices told her I was unhappy with the treatment I received from her.

“All I want is my credit card to be refunded as I did all the right things according to the contract. Instead I am being told by the manager that I am going to be penalized because I did not keep the agreement for a full year!”


JENNY CRAIG COMPLAINTS: Outrageous shipping, No refund

Jenny Craig online weight loss members have complained about outrageous shipping charges, and to not receiving refunds promised to them.  Have you had a similar experience with Jenny Craig online?  Share a comment below.

February 4, 2010 Jenifer of Garland, TX posted this complaint with Consumer Affairs:

“On January 14, 2010 I joined the Jenny Craig on-line program. On January 15, I called back to cancel after I realized they misrepresented their program and SHIPPING COSTS WERE 65.00!!!!!!!!!! They said 7-10 days for a refund. The next day the representative who signed me up for the program originally called me to confirm I wanted to cancel which is completely retarded. She said she had to talk to me before she could release my order. I told her to release the order.

“THEN by January 28 (13 days after I cancelled) I still did not have a refund. Lyndsey Nims is a supervisor at Jenny Craig and she said she was walking the refund upstairs "right then" when I spoke to her on February 3, 2010. However, when I called back today, Feburary 4 to make sure she had actually taken it "upstairs" I was told by "Brenda" that they didn’t have my credit card information and therefore could not process my refund. Now I’ve spoken to about 5 people regarding my refund and Brenda is the first person to ask for my credit card number. I am livid.”


LA Weight Loss Pushing LA Lites via LA to Your Door

Despite the fact that hundreds and maybe thousands of cheated LA Weight Loss customers can’t get the products they prepaid for before their LA Weight Loss Centers closed, it appears LA Weight Loss (or someone licensing their name) is still in business, pushing their LA Lites directly. Continue reading LA Weight Loss Pushing LA Lites via LA to Your Door

LA Weight Loss to Refund Members $200,000

The Oregon Attorney General has issued the following press release:

The Defunct Diet Center Chain and Oregon Franchise Agree to Pay $200,000.

Attorney General John Kroger announced a settlement that will provide up to $200,000 for Oregon consumers who bought services and products from a now-defunct diet center chain.

“Misleading Oregon consumers is not acceptable,” said Attorney General Kroger.

Consumers who believe they are due refunds from LA Weight Loss should contact the Attorney General’s hot line: 877-877-9392 or fill out a refund form on the Oregon Department of Justice’s website:

A 2007 lawsuit by The Oregon Department of Justice alleged that LA Weight Loss and its Oregon franchise owner made false and misleading claims about the program’s costs and fees. The state received 295 complaints about LA Weight Loss centers in Oregon.

The lawsuit named LA Weight Loss Franchise Company, a Pennsylvania-based company, and NWM, Inc., a Lake Oswego-based company.

NWM went out of business two months after DOJ filed suit.

By December 2008, all LA Weight Loss centers in Oregon had closed.

Today, DOJ filed in Marion County Circuit Court a $200,000 settlement with LA Weight Loss Franchise Company and LATO, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of LA Weight Loss Franchise Company. Under the settlement, the companies will also pay additional refunds directly to approximately 100 Oregonians for pre-paid amounts that were unused at the time their center closed in Oregon.

Earlier this year, DOJ reached a settlement with NWM.

Assistant Attorney General Eva H. Novick handled the case with assistance from Senior Assistant Attorneys General Greg Smith and Tim Nord.

Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department’s mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.


Stipulated Partial General Judgement

LA Weight Loss Assurance of Voluntary Compliance

LA WEIGHT LOSS Employees Admit They Deceived Members

As LA Weight Loss centers close abruptly throughout the US and Canada, we receive stories from LA Weight Loss employees attesting to the fact that many of the weight loss facilities continued to sell long-term programs right up until the day before they are closing.

la1thumbSome employees admit to knowing in advance, others claim their franchise owners did not tell them that the center would be closing and that their members would be left stranded with neither their money nor the promised products and services they paid for.

On the post LA WEIGHT LOSS: Employee Alleges Unethical Closing Practices Jessica wrote:

“I was a sales Counselor for LA weight loss who then changed their name to Pure Weight loss. I loved to working with the clients and I really believed in the program. What made me extremely upset was when I found out tuesday morning that by the next week I would no longer have a job. The night before, I sold an A package for 1300 dollars. I had no idea that they would be closing the door. It really bothered me that they never told me and let us sell product like that!!! What makes it worse is that the headquarters was located in PA and people knew me around town. The corporation does not have to run into clients who want a refund, I do and I do not even have the information so that I can help them. I still run into clients who do not have their refund and it has been close to 2 years!!”

On the post La Weight Loss ex-employee warns of closings. Don’t prepay! Charlotte, NC  wrote:

I worked at LAWL in Charlotte are NC. I was let go for caring too much about the clients. I got inside word that our stores were closing down and though I did not tell the clients (tho I wish I would have) I did tell them to get all of their products because so many were closing down and I wanted them to be safe. When our District Mgr heard of this she let me go and held a big meeting for all the centers in north and south Carolinas assuring them that I was bitter and full of lies, that in fact they were growing and would not be closing…….6 weeks later low and behold all my friends went to work to find the locks changed and notes on the doors. Worst place I’ve ever worked, all the upper management got EXACTLY what they deserved, my heart goes out to all the clients though, good luck.

On the post LA Weight Loss Charlotte Franchisee Sheds Unwanted Members, Employees Desi Alexander* wrote

Hi there, when I heard of this terribly tragic end to LA Weightloss of Charlotte, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for both sides of the complaints. Both the employees & the clients. I was the manager of the Rock Hill, SC location for 6 months. We were trained to steal peoples money by the owner of the company, [name withheld]. I made Mr. [name withheld] so much money by taking the money of people I knew would likely not complete the program. Mr. [name withheld] often gave cash rewards to those managers who could get the most money off of people…

It was so bad, that clients gave clothes to one of my staff member who couldn’t even afford to clothe her child. Meanwhile, the center was earning over $30,000 per week. The company’s success rate at the time I was employed there was less than 10%. I came upon clients that were robbed out of weeks, food and essential tools so that they could meet their plans because of the owner.

* The identity of this commenter has been questioned by another commenter.


LA WEIGHT LOSS: Scammed in Mooresville, NC

Another sad story of a couple scammed by LA Weight Loss.  They prepaid for 6 months and never received a thing, not their money back:

“In July of 2008, My husband and I joined La Weight Loss at the Mooresville,NC location. We joined knowing that we could not do it if we did not do it together. The next day I found out that I was pregnant. We went to the center and they told us that we had recieved a huge discount and if we ask for the refund and wanted to join again it would be 2-3 times more expensive. So we said that we would pay and do the program after the baby was born (which he was just born March 26). The told my husband to try the program without me and if it did not work (because we kept saying that one of us could not do the program without the other) then he could start again when I started. Well obviously it did not work and we were so excited to start the program May 1st just to find out that the center had closed and there is NO centers opened. The phone numbers on the websites had busy-like sounds when you call.

I never even got anything from them and never got any consultations…..I gave them my money and got NOTHING!!!! How do I get my money back. We did not have the Care card but did set up a 6 month payment plan which is already paid for. Can someone help….do i need to contact an attorney? Thank you for any suggestions. On top of needing this money bad since my husband and I are both out of work with a newborn and another child, I feel scammed.”


LA Weight Loss to Pay Refunds to New York Members

Here’s the story posted on Fitness Business Pro:

ALBANY, NY — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced last week that LA Weight Loss Centers Inc. reached a settlement to pay $275,000 in refunds to thousands of New York state customers who paid for but never received services after LA Weight Loss closed its doors in January 2008.

Cuomo’s office has identified more than 100 customers so far who were affected by the closures.

“As more companies fall victim to the harsh economy, they still have an obligation to abide by the law and be forthright with their patrons,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Many New Yorkers who paid for and never received services from LA Weight Loss now have some vindication.”

In January 2008, LA Weight Loss Centers closed all of its 45 centers in New York state, then filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Philadelphia. Cuomo’s office had received several complaints from customers who did not receive a refund from the company or did not have the charges removed from their credit cards for advanced payments.

What do you think? Leave a message below.

LA Weight Loss Took Our Money, Then Closed

Comments and complaints are pouring in from LA Weight Loss customers who are finding themselves without their weight loss program, without the products they paid for, and without a way to get a refund. Vicki Carter wrote: “Hi i know how you all feel as well, i joined LAWL the beginning of oct 08 and then brought a friend with the bring a friend promotion, we were never told that the business was having problems, they took our money talked me into getting a visa card to pay for my bulk bars, and then announced they were closing the office in our area down and that we’d have to go to an office an hour away. then the next week we hear they’ve gone bankrupt, we filled out our refund papers as to date have not heard a damn thing from them… i too am tryoig to understand how a company that charges so much money and had so many offices could have gone bankrupt. i’m wondering if i’ll ever see my $300 odd again, i was lucky enough to have only had like 10 box’s of bulk left and went and got them very quickly…” Have you been burned by LA Weight Loss?  Share your story below.

LA Weight Loss Emails Infuriate Member

“I live in Saint John, NB. When they told me that the center was closing they gave us all an email address to contact. When we contact the email address this is what we got in response:

” Dear Chelsey

Thank you for your note.

We are sorry that our Centre closing has caused you some inconvenience and concern.

We acknowledge receiving your request for a refund. Please note, that should you wish to continue on the L A Weight Loss program, you can do so by taking advantage of our “LA-On-the-Go” program. This program will provide you with weekly one-on-one counselling over the phone and access to our optional products. LA-On-the-Go was designed for clients who could not attend the Centres on a regular basis. Should you wish to reconsider, then kindly contact or call 902-830-7076.

We are now in the process of getting all the client files from the Centre. As the Centre is closing on Dec. 5, we anticipate receiving the files by no later than Dec. 15. Upon receipt of the files we can then look into your request and establish, what amount, if anything, is owing. In the interim, we ask you to please be patient as we do our best to attend to these issues as quickly as possible.

We thank you for your understanding while we go through this process.

Yours truly,

Customer Service”

Then when I replied again on January 5 and asked when I could expect my refund this is the response that I received:

“We take this opportunity to inform you that LAWL Maritimes Inc., the company that operated the Centre you attended, has been put into receivership by the secured creditors of the Company.

Unfortunately as a result of the receivership, the Company no longer has any capital and is unable to provide any refund. We are sorry but we are unable to process your request.

Customer Service”