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Popular Weight Loss App Noom Has Received Thousands of Complaints Due to This

The Better Business Bureau is now investigating the innovative health program for shady subscription charges.

Anyone who watches even a little bit of television is probably familiar with the weight loss app Noom and its ubiquitous TV ads that tout a new and more accessible approach to losing weight. According to the non-profit watchdog Better Business Bureau (BBB), however, Noom's questionable billing and customer service policies have been gaining a lot of complaints as of late.

What is Noom? It's the smartphone app that some call "Weight Watchers for Millennials," as it claims to take a "behavioral" approach to weight loss and is part meal-planner, fitness-tracker, and motivational life coach. It tracks daily activity, asks users to log their exercise and meals, and offers motivational tips—all for a monthly subscription fee.

But, consumers are lining up in droves to complain about Noom to the Better Business Bureau after experiencing strange charges for subscriptions they may or may not have even signed up for. Many users who have signed up for Noom's free trial offer, and later, have canceled before its deadline, say that they were still billed for an entire subscription. A number of these complaints also come from users who say that, after their free trial ended, they were charged anywhere from $120 to $180 upfront for what's supposed to be a  $20-$40 membership that's billed monthly.

According to KXAN, "between August 16, 2019, and August 18, 2020, BBB received 1,213 consumer complaints regarding Noom, representing a significant uptick in complaint volume over previous years. Since July 2017, Noom has drawn a total of 2,023 complaints."

The BBB also reports that nearly all of these Noom complainers have had trouble getting into contact with the app's customer service in order to get their money back or dispute the charges. As a result, BBB currently gives Noom a "D" rating because they have "failed to resolve underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints."

"Many stay-at-home consumers are looking for options that can help them achieve their health and wellness goals during this pandemic time," said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of BBB Serving Metropolitan New York. "Smartphone applications and online programs may seem convenient–especially when coupled with attractive free trial offers–but consumers must always be cautious when shopping for a weight loss service."

In May of 2020, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Noom alleging that the app has "lure(d) customers with deceptive promises of 'low cost' or 'zero cost' trial periods that turn out to be extraordinarily difficult to cancel and instead result in customers being trapped in costly auto-recurring plans."

Judged purely by its television marketing budget, it appears Noom has been a very successful app. But unless and until it gets its trial offer and customer service sorted, it is their reputation that will decrease in size. For more on other app-based diet plans, check out 11 Best Meal-Planning Apps for Weight Loss.

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