Diets In Review welcomes Paul Slater to the Diet Column today. He is, or was, an eDiets Deliciously Yours customer and after his own frustrating experience with the company, he started a Web site called Ediets Sucks!. There he learned that he was not alone. Other customers finding themselves caught in the same situation as Paul reached out to share their stories as well. We bring Paul’s first-hand account of his experience to you today so that you have a little more information and as a consumer can use that in making your own decisions.
Now I’ve hit my mid-30s, it’s not only more difficult to get rid of that spare tire, it seems to sag a little more every day. It’s time to do something about it. This time properly.
I don’t have the time or patience to formally count calories, but I can follow rules, and eat what I’m told. So recently I began to think seriously about using a meal delivery service. NutriSystem is of course the most widely advertised, but I’ve never been a fan of shelf-stable food. I was looking for a healthier alternative, but still at a reasonable price. After much research online, I decided to pick the Ediets Deliciously Yours program.
The Deliciously Yours program is a new move for Ediets, although they have provided a slightly different meal delivery program in the past. You get 3 meals a day, plus a small snack, and you are expected to supplement with 3 portions of fresh fruit and two of dairy. The website provides a meal plan, but you can substitute any of the meals and snacks as you wish (albeit on a very unintuitive website). Food is fresh, and delivered once a week in a cooler by FedEx. Or at least so Ediets claims.
My first delivery was due to be delivered on a Saturday, so a day or so before I went online to get the tracking number. Surprisingly there is no way to view it. The website also was showing me food to eat for the day as though I had already had a package delivered. All in all I was starting to get a little worried. Still, a projected delivery date was still listed as Saturday, so I decided to have a little faith and wait patiently for it to arrive.
t didn’t. Not on Saturday, nor the following Monday, not even during the following week. Extremely frustrated, I tried calling them and waited on hold – for more than two hours. Eventually I was cut off. I tried calling multiple times, each with the same result. I tried e-mailing, no reply. Eventually in frustration I started my own blog – www.edietssucks.com mainly in an attempt to get their attention.
It rapidly became clear that I am by no means alone. I’ve received e-mails from many other frustrated customers, pointing me to discussion groups and blogs that document similar experiences. Many, many customers have been receiving shipments at the wrong time, shipments with the wrong food, and frequently no shipments at all. And all of us being billed weekly for up to about $130 a week with no obvious way to cancel the service.
The second week I finally did receive my food. It arrived on the wrong day, some of the food was missing and one of the dishes was substituted for something that I don’t eat. But at least it arrived. And actually, I hate to admit it, it tastes really good! This is exactly the kind of meal delivery service I would use, if I felt remotely confident in the company delivering it.
Finally, after about two weeks of less than subtle prodding from me – I got a phone call from an Ediets representative called Robert. Robert admitted that the company has had significant problems since launching the new service, but assured me that those problems are now being resolved. Ediets have apparently now pretty much tripled their customer service team, and are now answering calls “within minutes”. After some negotiation, Robert also told me that I will get a refund for my missing week, additional compensation for my missing and substituted meals, and a free week for my trouble. I’m supposed to get an e-mail confirming all this, but it has yet to arrive.
Unfortunately, for me Robert’s assurances were not enough. Despite loving the food I need to be able to trust the provider to deliver it, on time and accurately. So I have cancelled my service. If you are thinking of signing up for the Deliciously Yours program – I would urge you to check closely to see if these problems have been resolved. I really hope they are, but it is difficult to see how they can be until the company publicly owns up to these issues, formally apologizes and shows how it is resolving the situation.
Meantime, I’m back to looking for a decent meal delivery service…
Thank you, Paul, for bringing your concerns to our attention. There are many meal delivery services designed to help people lose and manage weight. Others that promise prompt and fresh service include:
March 17th, 2008