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 canceled 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 blatant 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.