The New Year brings along with it a fresh set of resolutions and promises to ourselves-get a new car, bigger house, get married, finish education etc. But top amongst them since time immemorial has been the one to lose weight.
This year, the Better Business Bureau warned its customers to think twice before jumping on the inch-loss bandwagon because the weight-loss companies are slipping from their mark and the number of complaints against them rose by a staggering 50% since 2004.
The Federal Trade Commission conducted a survey on the magnitude of these weight-loss products and schemes. They gauged that a record 4.8 million Americans were into purchasing bogus pills, creams and patches in the fight against fat. The CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) found that almost 34% of adult Americans over the age of 20 years were obese i.e. had a BMI (Body Mass Index) above 25units, directly putting them at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) published data about some of these scams as follows-
- Tea for Weight Loss- A Company propagating its weight-loss tea claimed to give a 100% refund on failure. When questioned, numerous customers claimed that to stall payment according to the 60-day mark of refund policy, the company representatives asked them to use the tea for at least a 4-6 week period along with exercising and dieting!
- Non-existent Pill Trials — The BBB also received complaints about a particular company which requested people to enrol in their weight loss trial by paying a sum of $144 online for a special new weight loss pill. It claimed to refund the $144 after the first month and give an additional $319.73 per month there on. After the complainants paid the $144 and received the pills the company simply vanished.
- Lipolytic Injections- Over 350 complaints came in for a St. Louis based company that claimed to dissolve fat with micro-injections starting from $10,000. Not only was the procedure unapproved by the FDA but complainants say, also lead to immense swelling and pain, had improper billing practice and difficulty getting refunds. It went out of business citing “economic conditions” and is just a crab in the bucket of this public scam.
- Hypnotic weight loss- Another company promised weight loss and quitting smoking in just one hypnosis session with a 100% refund 10-year guarantee on failure. Consumers reported that the $250 hypnosis seminar and CD were ineffective and the company failed to refund the promised money.