Learning from Nutrisystem negative reviews & complaints: Nutrisystem is one of the most popular commercial diets, and generally people say it works, as it rates highly for convenience and short-term weight loss. Even so, you can find a lot of online complaints about Nutrisystem, which are worth reading if you are considering signing up for their diet.
Remember, people are vastly different, and one-size doesn’t fit all. That’s the secret to assembling a good boy band, and why there are so many flavors of Doritos!
This healthy difference of opinion is what makes America great, and you always benefit by hearing both sides of an argument. So, if you are doing your homework on Nutrisystem, lets look at why people quit or don’t like it.
Before we get into that, here’s a quick word on how the diet works.
First, how Nutrisystem works
Nutrisystem claims that both men and women will lose about 15 pounds in the first month. So, how does this magic happen? The gist of the diet is that weight loss is easier when you don’t have to cook, count points, or make a lot of meal or recipe choices.
Basically, there are 3 plan levels to choose from, as well as plans for diabetics and vegetarians. Every month they send you pre-packaged, “perfectly” portioned meals, and you eat more frequently throughout the day.
They basically tell you what to eat and when, and you won’t need to buy a lot (except some fresh fruits and vegetables) from the grocery store. Therefore, Nutrisystem ranks highly for convenience, and is a favorite of busy people.
If you have a hectic schedule and don’t mind the idea of microwaving frozen meals, you’ll probably like this diet. If you enjoy 2-hour meals at Thai restaurants and making French recipes from scratch, you’ll probably be disappointed in Nutrisystem’s taste and lack of variety. (try Weight Watchers instead?)
Nutrisystem: You can learn a lot from NEGATIVE reviews
You can learn a lot from reading customer reviews; especially the bad ones! Before I buy or sign up for something, I always try to find negative reviews. It seems you can learn more from the bad reviews than the good ones, which are never quite as interesting.
Now, if 4 out of 5 reviews for a product are bad, you obviously shouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole. (Do people still say that?) However, with products that generally rated highly, like Nutrisystem, you can learn a lot by finding common customer complaints and then imagining if you would have the same issues.
Nutrisystem: Visualizing 250 Customer Ratings
So, what does a 4-star rating on Consumer Affairs really mean? Here is a chart showing the star ratings that Nutrisystem got from 250 customers:
Looks like 31 out of 250 people rated Nutrisystem “unfavorably”, (less than 3 stars) so let’s see what bad things people said about the diet!
Common complaints about Nutrisystem
On ConsumerAffairs.com, Nutrisystem gets an impressive 4/5 stars, but not everyone rated it highly. First, let’s throw out the bad reviews that aren’t helpful or constructive.
That includes the negative one-star review I read from a man who kept Nutrisystem’s (frozen!) meals in his refrigerator for 2 weeks, then complained that they went bad:
“I put them in refrigerator and they were spoiled when I tried to eat.” – John – The Villages. FL
It also includes the bad one-star review from an angry woman who opened the box of meals upside-down, then complained that everything fell out:
“…that idiot delivered it upside down and there was no arrow saying ‘this side up’ or anything. I am very unhappy as it all was scattered across the floor and I had a mess.” – Karla – Richfield, UT
Ok, Karla… Well, if you were standing on your head, it would have been right-side up! I’m also not going to indulge the complaints of people who are complain about the price. That’s pretty straight-forward on their site, and you can save $100+ if you use a coupon.
Ok, now let’s ignore all of the good reviews too, as right now, we’re not interested in praise. So, what are the common themes of negative reviews, and what can we learn from them? Let’s look at what people complain about:
Complaint #1: It can be difficult to customize orders
“I attempted to customize my order. I participated in 2 online chats and in both instances I was unable to get in and customize my order so my problem was not resolved.” – Sandra of Aurora, CO
“I had tried and tried to manage my auto delivery a la carte order and I was not able to customize my order. After several failed attempts and emails to customer service, it was still not possible for me to customize my order…” Mark – Visalia, Ca
If you have specific dietary needs, like Diabetes, the very first thing that you will want to do is customize your order. Of course, it’s essential that you get a plan that suits your taste and needs. This is one of the areas in which Nutrisystem supposedly pride themselves.
Despite this, one of the things that people seem to struggle with is the customizing system. If you flick through the many reviews online, there are a load of customers who say that this is a tricky service and, unfortunately, not one they would recommend.
There was also more than one customer who complained that food selection was limited, especially in the least expensive “Basic” plan.
“Well, when I went to choose my food I noticed that for this plan they greatly reduced the options for all meals! I am not certain if it was because I used a Groupon or because it’s the type of plan but I think it’s not appropriate. The choices should be the same regardless of how much you pay!” – Karla Morristown, NJ
Complaint #2. There’s too much sugar and salt in the meals
“Everything is loaded with sodium and sugar. Another problem, everything needs to be microwaved – I don’t own a microwave and don’t plan on ever owning one.” – Valerie of Thornton, CO
“Sugar in everything I’ve had already. Why do you need sugar in Mac and Cheese? Then there is sodium. I have high blood pressure and have been checking labels for years.” Karelyn, Fernandina Beach, FL
Eating healthy is a top priority for most people looking to start a diet, and some people feel that Nutrisystem’s pre-packaged meals have too much sugar and sodium content.
According to Nutrisystem, their plans provide about 2,000 mg of sodium per day, which is actually less than the FDA recommended sodium intake of 2,300 mg per day, but apparently still too high for some customers.
In Nutrisystem’s defence, the average American does consume about 3,400 mg of sodium, which is 50% more than the FDA recommends! That means that in theory, if the average person signed up for Nutrisystem they’d actually be significantly reducing their sodium intake.
Do you on the go? Here’s some food for thought about sodium and sugar:
- A Burger King chicken sandwich with fries has 1740 mg of sodium!
- Add a large Coke, and you’ll be consuming 102g of sugar!
Yikes! Sodium and sugar levels are especially important to diabetics who try to limit salt and have to constantly monitor their sugar intake. The relatively high salt and sugar content of Nutrisystem’s prepackaged meals are a big reason why the diet was not ranked as one of the Best Diabetes Diets.
We should add that Nutrisystem can customize their plans to a lower sodium intake of 1,500 mg per day, and also offer plans specifically for diabetics called “Nutrisystem D”.
Complaint #3: There’s a cancellation fee
“I called to cancel my order and had to spend 10 minutes on the phone with Katelyn telling me why I shouldn’t and that I would be charged a $125 cancellation fee. I feel I have been scammed.” – Shaina of Denver, CO
Nutrisystem offers a money-back guarantee, but you have to cancel in the first 14 days and mail your unused food back for a refund. Here’s what they say on their site:
“If you cancel after the first 14 days and prior to paying for your second 4-week plan shipment, your payment method will credit Nutrisystem $125 for the auto-delivery discount received on your first shipment. You may cancel after the second 4-week plan shipment with no charge whatsoever.” – Nutrisystem.com
While Nutrisystem for (both men and women) states that you have to commit to auto-delivery of meals (or face a cancellation fee), some customers are unhappy with this issue.
There are actually a great many reviews which state that people were surprised by the cancelation fee and did not want to pay it. Before you sign up to the service, be sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly to avoid any nasty shocks!
Complaint #4: The customer service can be bad
“It’s just a shame that it took several dead end calls and emails to finally get my situation resolved. That’s customer service at its absolute worst. I sure hope I don’t have a replay of this if I have another question or problem.” – Donna of Plainfield, IL
“I think this is a great program, but your customer service leaves little to get desired. I requested a supervisor get in touch with me but was told 3-5 days waiting period. Totally unprofessional.” – Elisa, Baltimore, MD
When it comes to choosing a diet plan, one of the things that is sure to be a deciding factor is the customer service. However, several reviews of Nutrisystem suggest that they come up short in their customer service and email response times.
A number of disgruntled customers noted that customer service reps weren’t friendly or helpful in certain cases. This was common with people who wished to quit the diet, but did not want to pay the hefty cancellation fee.
In Nutrisystem’s defense, they did respond to every single negative review that we could find on consumeraffairs.com, which is a good sign. They even offered a $20 off coupon to anyone reading the reviews, and didn’t try to hide anything.
Complaint #5. The taste of the food
“Finally received the food, tasted it and was completely disgusted by it. The food was so inedible that after a single spoonful the food ends up in the garbage.” – Samera of Freehold, NJ
“Upon receiving the food, the food was very stale, tasted horrible and loaded with tons of sodium. I tried to stick it out and see what the results would be, but I just couldn’t take it anymore” – Anna, Edmonton, AB
Wow, tell us how you REALLY feel! The taste of the food was a major source of debate in online reviews. For every negative review we found that complained about the taste of the food, we probably found two or more reviews from people who enjoyed the taste:
“Nutrisystem worked for me because the program is easy to follow, the food tastes great, and it gave me the structure I needed to accomplish my weight loss goals. So far I have lost 105 lbs and I feel great!” – Stephen, Charlottesville, VA
Taste is, of course, very subjective, so it’s really a personal preference. As we mentioned, Nutrisystem scores highly for convenience, but it seems that some people just don’t like pre-packaged food in general, and miss home-cooked meals.
What I learned by reading so many Nutrisystem Reviews
After reading scores of positive and negative reviews, I feel that they support the ratings given to Nutrisystem by trusted sources like U.S. News.
The diet is very convenient, and scores well for short-term weight loss. Generally it works well for busy people who don’t mind microwaving most of their meals.
While there are other popular commercial diets that offer pre-packaged meals (like the shakes offered by Medifast), it seems that eventually many people miss grocery store meals and restaurant food.
- If you’d like to see today’s best promotion for Nutrisystem click here
- We compare Weight Watchers vs Nutrisystem here
- If you don’t like the idea of packaged food or limits on what you can eat, consider Weight Watchers instead! Also, check out our reviews for the Medifast diet here