Complaints about Nutrisystem
Nutrisystem is one of the most popular diet programs in America...and also one of the most despised. Like Jenny Craig, members of Nutrisystem rely on the company’s pre-packaged meals to lose weight. Although many loyal fans rave about Nutrisystem’s results, many others absolutely hated their Nutrisystem experience. Why?
Less Than Appetizing Taste
You’ve probably heard the rumors and it’s not pretty: Mush. Astronaut meals. Dog food. Negative reviews of Nutrisystem foods range from the gentler “bland” to the more brutal “I wouldn’t even feed this to an animal.” Nutrisystem’s food is the least beloved among national diet programs. "The dehydrated hamburger becomes meat mush when prepared. Tuna and chicken salad are puree. The chocolates are like eating sawdust," lamented one customer on a consumer complaint website.
The problem is mostly with Nutrisystem's "shelf-stable" (no refrigeration necessary) line of meals, which are the only meals offered on the basic Nutrisystem plan.
If you are willing to pay extra for the Nutrisystem Uniquely Yours program, then you'll get one frozen meal options as well. Most people do seem to really like Nutrisystem's frozen meals. But even on this pricier plan, you still get only one frozen meal per day, meaning you'll still be eating their "shelf-stable" put-em-in-your-cupboard nasty meals everyday, as well.
Here are some samples of bad reviews of Nutrisystem's shelf-stable food from Nutrisystem customers (probably ex-customers!):
“I think the reason people lose weight with this product is because the food is so horrible nobody can finish a meal.” – Terri
“Too expensive to ship back so I am donating the food to the local food bank although I can’t conceive of anyone being hungry enough to eat it… My dog will not eat any of it and he eats anything. They brag about eating pizza. Their idea of a pizza is a piece of flat bread the size of a large cookie with a couple of tbsp. of sauce and a little mozzarella. The reason you lose weight eating it is because it takes roughly half an hour to chew it. The rest of their stuff is on the same par.” – Becky
“The food taste like cardboard and the price is excessive for the type of food and the amount. If you want to stay hungry ALL the time, this is the right diet for you, otherwise save your money, this diet does not work.” – Claudette
“We wanted to try this system but it turns out the food is all frozen and prepackaged, full of unhealthy microwaveable things; the only thing that causes you to lose weight is that the portions are very, very small.” – Paul
“I got the program of Favorites because it was all I could afford. The food was mostly bars. Bars for breakfast, bars for lunch, bars for snacks. I quickly became tired of this food.” – Susan
“The food is very carb heavy. Lots of ‘melts’ which are a whole-grain wrap (cardboard), filled with unrecognizable ingredients. One was broccoli and cheese, steak (little tiny beads of meat in a sauce), pepperoni, all disgusting!” – Cyndy
Bad Customer Service
The customer service is...imperfect. Although in fairness, most customers who are moved to write about customer service are angry, so it's expected to see lots of these:
“The worst customer service ever. I sat on the phone the rep taking my initial order for an hour. Together we picked the food as I am a vegetarian. I also told him I don't ever eat bars or muffins. I get the much anticipated package and lo and behold, I have 3 muffins, four lunch bars, four breakfast bars... I am missing 7 breakfasts, 24 lunches, 17 snacks and 11 dinners to have a complete month worth of food."
“I call and call and nobody can send me substitutes. Customer Service refers me to Nutrition; Nutrition says only Customer Service can fulfill such a large portion of missing items, and thus goes the ping pong game. I finally ask to cancel everything and they email me a label. But at the same time they tell me that will charge $150 cancellation fee. Wow. That's the first time they tell me that.”
“Received package on 12 July (2017). No directions. No paperwork. Nothing. No one told me about buying other foods or how to use them. At this point I am totally disgusted with Nutrisystem! Two women said they would send info. One sent an e mail with more info but still do not understand! Sure will not order again!”
“DO NOT DO IT! I have to say that I started out feeling like I was making a good choice for my health, and after 3 weeks of this and dealing with customer service I would advise everyone to do something else and don't get on this plan… I got passed from person to person and told something different each time to the point of frustration.”
“I am very sorry to say that this company's customer service is terrible!! I was on hold for 1 hour being passed from one dept. to another without success. Finally, a rep answered, but was very rude and annoyed that I asked him to spell the street address where I needed to ship the order back…
“I am certainly NOT going to give these jerks my business again. In fact, the very first person who answered the phone was a 'nutrition counselor' who sounded like he was out to lunch himself. Very bad example for a 'counselor' or 'coach'! He gave me incorrect advice on menu planning. I knew I was in trouble soon as I hung up with him. Misleading ads about customer service. Stay away from this unprofessional company!”
“All my negative experiences have been with missing items and delayed deliveries. The first 28 day order, I had to call back twice for missing items and had received three separate shipments. The second 28 day shipment, I had to call back once for missing items.”
The Cost of Canceling Auto-Delivery
The prices of the Nutrisystem plans themselves don't seem to be a big source of complaints. Nutrisystem prices are relatively reasonable, as long as you sign up for their Auto-Delivery. The problems seem to arise due to people's lack of clarity regarding the "fine print" when they try to cancel Nutrisystem.
“Auto delivery charges - I am very annoyed at Nutrisystem as I did not realize you must sign on for two months of their food. I was told you could cancel your second month, if you do so within 14 days of your first order. They do not give you two prices when you order. SCAM.”
“Buyer BEWARE. Read the fine print. The plan wasn't working for me but I didn't want a refund because I was three days past the refund cutoff. I just wanted to cancel future orders. I was immediately hit with a $125 charge. The customer rep. didn't even want to persuade me. A review of the agreement revealed a line I hadn't read. While I still wanted to discuss the charge, he ended the call. A check of my credit card showed that he had immediately processed the charge.”
“I thought I signed up for a 2-month program. I quickly found out it's a lifetime program unless you cancel. I wanted to order ala-carte after 2 months. Again, unless you sign up for the $99.00 yearly program you get raked over the coals with product costs and shipping. I signed up. No big deal. Again, after my first ala-carte order, [Nutrisystem] put me on auto ship. I called in and asked them to STOP auto ship. I remembered the guy on the phone saying, "NO Problem, done." No more auto ship. The other day a package showed up on my doorstep. How do I pay for it? Oh crap! I forgot. [Nutrisystem has] my PayPal account and [they] automatically took the money out of my account without my OK.”
“They scam you with the auto delivery. [I] never selected auto delivery so it must be something you have to unclick. Had already sent me the frozen food so I couldn't get a refund. They sent the food way too early and I had no room for it so a lot of it spoiled. Biggest rip off ever. Would not order again.”
“I signed up for the auto delivery for convenience, and after the first month tried to cancel before another delivery came. When I called to cancel they said I would actually owe them over $100 to do it. They said to check the fine print on the website. Buyers Be Aware! Unless you are willing to commit to spend $800 on packaged food in two months, it's not worth it.”
Members have griped that the Nutrisysem will make substitutions to their meal choices "at random" and several aggravated vegetarians weren’t thrilled to discover that Nutrisystem had decided to substitute meals with meat for their vegan fare. “My biggest issue is the substitution of products,” one Nutrisystem member blogged. “I'm fairly picky and have some food allergies, so when I order I order the food that meets my requirements. On my second order they substituted 16 lunch items (8 were noted as subs while the other 8 were just wrongly picked.”
A Last Word...
Remember, every diet plan (and every product of every kind) will have complaints. Many people have lost weight on Nutrisystem. The company must be doing something right because they are the largest pre-packaged diet delivery program in the world. Keep in mind that this article is about negative reviews, which is why the tone is so...negative!
That said, there seem to be a very large amount of negative reviews and consumer complaints regarding Nutrisystem's food taste. If you're a finicky eater, run!