Jenny Craig - Complaints and Negative Reviews
Newsflash:There is no shortage of Jenny bad reviews online.
This is hardly surprising, as few people love the process of losing weight, no matter how they are doing it. Personally, I truly remember how ornery I was the last time that I was trying to drop a few pounds.
Most of the complaints are not about the taste of the Jenny Craig food, but rather about the food prices, with many of the "Lean Cuisine" style frozen meals coming in at about $7.25 each.
Speaking of Lean Cuisine, the Jenny meals taste pretty similar to them. This may be no coincidence, as until recently, both brands were owned by the same company.
While Jenny Craig food is generally regarded more positively than Nutrisystem food, the Jenny Craig program itself has left a bad taste in many members’ mouths thanks the to high food prices, shipping errors, and counselors that are little more than salespeople for Jenny food.
First, let's be fair. Jenny Craig does work for a lot of people, and every diet program has its downsides, problems, and customer complaints.
That said, if Valerie Bertinelli’s svelte figure has you yearning for your own Jenny Craig success story (though Kirstie Alley's story is more problematic), you should consider several common customer complaints before pulling out your credit card.
The Biggest Problem with Jenny Craig
The biggest gripe about the Jenny Craig program is that its food prices will leave your wallet crying real tears. With an average total cost of around $650 month, the diet plan is far from budget-friendly. People used to dining out frequently may not be thrown by the cost of Jenny Craig, but the average individual spends a lot less than this in the supermarket each month for one person's food. And remember, on Jenny Craig, you'll still have to buy all your fruit, vegetables, and dairy at the supermarket at an additional cost.
Another common complaint voiced by Jenny Craig members is that food shipments are often late or incorrect.
One frustrated diet blogger wrote: “I joined Jenny Direct, the at home program, and I thought that I could justify the cost if the customer service was great but that was not the case. The first shipment of food was sent to the wrong address and I had to go across town to get it. I got over that and then the second shipment of food arrived 9 days later (5 days before schedule) and I had no room in my freezer. To top it off the shipment was not even complete and more had to be sent. The last straw was today. My third shipment of food was to arrive and I received an email that it would not be sent until Friday unless I want to upgrade the shipping to overnight. I cancelled the order and ended my relationship with Jenny Craig.”
Another member voiced similar displeasure on consumeraffairs.com, saying that her food arrived unfrozen, and when she called to complain, a customer service rep told her to throw it out and wait for a replacement shipment. When it arrived, the second shipment was again already thawed (the dry ice ran out in the summer heat), and the member’s complaint went unresolved, with Jenny Craig charging the client for both shipments.
The Jenny Counselors
Although many satisfied Jenny Craig clients have nothing but praise for their counselor, dieters should be aware that the Jenny Craig support staff are not trained nutritionists. Jenny Craig counselors are selected for their salesmanship, as their earnings depend on how many products and upgraded memberships they can coax clients into purchasing.
Some members have voiced frustration that the counseling sessions are exceptionally short. One Jenny Craig member voiced her complaint in a diet thread: “My counselor was pin skinny and fresh out of high school. I felt like I knew more about diet and nutrition than she did.”
Addressing a litany of complaints on one dieting forum, a former Jenny Craig counselor said, “I totally understand everyone's frustration with this program. I was frustrated also. My hands were tied by a 15-minute window of time to work with them. The disorganization resulted in many mix ups with client files and histories. I was pressured into selling products that they did not want or need. I was told that we would have extensive training but was put through a 5-day period where many questions were left unanswered.”
Dieters whose extra weight is the product of emotional eating may want to consider seeing a therapist or a licensed counselor that specializes in food addiction or behavior modification. It's unrealistic and a bit unfair to expect a Jenny Craig counselor to cure emotional eating problems!
Jenny Craig’s approach to weight loss is sound and far less torturous than many popular diets banning food groups or promoting an extremely low calorie intake, but the high cost and hit-or-miss customer service means that a dieting newbie should consider all options before taking Valerie Bertinelli’s, Kirstie Alley's, or any other celeb's advice and calling Jenny.
However, despite others bad reviews and complaints about Jenny, if you're swimming in pools of cash, then Jenny is worth a shot. If you follow the plan strictly, you will lose weight.
For your amusement, I leave you with a sampling of Jenny Craig's bad reviews and complaints from around the internet:
“I have been with Jenny Craig for several months now. All going fine until I ate a chicken burrito last night. Extreme food poisoning within 1.5 hours. Thought I was going to die. I am going to try to get my money back. I picked out the bell peppers and one also still had the sticker on it.”
“I don't have a positive experience to share. The food lack taste. They tried to compensate this issue by increasing the amount of pepper and spices which took a hit on my stomach. I couldn't tolerate the amount of spices they put in their foods. In general the food had an after taste that stayed in my mouth until the next meal. I wasted a lot of money buying different foods and trashing them because of irritants to my digestion.”
“I went on Jenny Craig for about 6 months many years ago and yes I did lose weight; however, I caused major damage to my gut health due to their foods being full of preservatives and chemicals. I would never recommend the Jenny Craig program.”
“I have been on Jenny Craig for 3 weeks and am already sick of the food. The vegetarian menu is tasteless, and every other meal seems to be a bland pasta dish. It feels like the dietitian lacks imagination when it comes to a vegetarian diet.”
“Even on the diabetic diet option, I had the worst blood sugar crash of my life, I was very ill at work, sweated through all my clothes and was very hot and shaky. Thank goodness I work in a hospital so help was there.”
“I needed to lose weight. I am a type 2 Diabetic. I called and signed up… The food made me sick and my sugar got so high. The food is not good. Do not join.”
“I order a trial 3-day food kit and it came with hairs inside the packaging. When I called them, they told me that they would send ‘the hairs’ to a lab to confirm they were indeed hairs. Then they would maybe replace the little dressing sample that touched the hair. REALLY?! WHAT A JOKE. It is disgusting.”
“I do have a problem with the composition of the plan. In real life, I don’t eat sugary breakfast cereals, salty/sugary snacks between meals, and sugary desserts. Yet here, I can’t escape them. They may be small portions but they are still junk foods. I was talking to my consultant today with a view to eliminating the junk food from the plan and I was told that it can’t be done. It is all part of a ‘balanced’ diet!”
“I was surprised by the high number of meals with carbs and sugar. Despite a previous reply from a ‘ JC dietitian’, I find carb loaded meals and quite a few sugary ‘treats’ a strange choice for people wanting to lose weight… It is seemed designed to target those who regular eat junk food and need weaning off. Would I do it again? No.”
“Several weeks ago, I stuffed a half-eaten food into my bag and forgot all about it. I found it the other day, and it had turned into mould-coloured POWDER. The food hadn't turned mouldy – it had completely turned to powder. What is IN their food???”
“I initially signed up for the 'lifelong' plan which I understood to mean I could go back anytime for no fees. So I was a little concerned when last time I attended, I was told 'Oh, that plan is out of date now. We'll have to get you to sign up for a new one’!!!! I didn't.”
“I've been a member for years and over time have unfortunately become dissatisfied with JC. They keep throwing out tools that work (like forms that used to fold nicely and had room to write) and discontinuing popular foods in favor of (in my opinion) cheaper ingredient items. The last straw was losing the veggie sausage with pancakes. They keep tossing out vegetarian options. If you're on a restricted diet like me, you're going to spend your money at the store when you can't buy what you want at the center.”
“Joined in 2009 with lifetime membership. Had a pleasant experience with decent counselors and halfway decent food. Lost a bunch of weight. Went back this May (2016) to try to lose the weight I'd gained back, not as much as I'd lost in the first place! I felt like I was rushed in and out. The ‘counselor’ did not ask me about myself. I didn't know whether she has used JC until I asked. There have been changes since I first joined, she did not address them until I asked.”
“I liked the consultant I had and I lost the weight I wanted to lose, but after that, when you go on Maintenance, there are no resources to help you keep the weight off! I joined JC 12 years ago, on the Lifelong Plan, and back then, they had the pyramid scheme to help you keep track of what you should be eating. 2 fat, 4 veg, etc. Now on my second time around, there are no resources anymore to monitor your dietary intake. How are we supposed to keep track of what we are eating? I'm disappointed in the overall lack of support after you reach your weight loss goal. I don't want to have to buy J.C food forever!!”
"I made an appointment online with Jenny Craig. My appointment was at 7 PM. I arrived 20 minutes early. There was no one at the reception. Shortly after, two people came to the front desk clearly laughing and joking around. I was greeted and advised my representative would be with me at 7 PM. I sat and waited thinking my representative was busy and would be with me as soon as possible. To my surprise, Stacy was one of the two people joking and chatting. Clearly my business was not important to this office. When I was called back Stacy was unprofessional. I asked for pricing and was told, ‘I'm getting to that.’ I walked out. This office is unprofessional and in no way would I ever go back to ANY Jenny Craig.”
“I went to a Jenny Craig location to find out about joining. The counselor appointed to me basically read off what plans they offer and proceeded to take a food order for the week which amounted to over $100. I received no explanation of the plan and the food is not the healthiest (high in sodium) or very satisfying.”
“I left my consultation feeling down. I was given no motivation or tips as to how to continue losing weight… Sometimes you don't get given much flexibility and on top of that, the only advice I got given by this girl was that she didn't know how to help me! Like WTH?! I have gone a little off track this week which doesn't help with losing weight but the least she could've done is give me some tips!”
“I bought a few kits to see how the diet works. After I received the kit, I called up for the 30 days of counseling as it said. The woman who listened to me then said that since I bought it at Walmart, they can't help me. I called back again and tried to find out how to use the kit (if I could substitute dairy products or move the meals around etc.). No help. She just kept trying to sell me a membership, even though I kept telling her I’m trying it out first. That’s all this is, is a way for them to get full memberships. They didn't seem to care if you want to lose weight.”
“The consultant was ok but once when I ‘fell off the wagon’ because my partner was eating KFC before we went for groceries and I was starving [a.k.a. mantra: never go shopping on an empty stomach ;)] and I had the tiniest piece and ‘fessed up – she went completely overboard about it. I needed encouragement to stay on track, not to be berated like a child!”