Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Weigh-In Wednesday

Need to lose that tiny handful of weight gained over the holidays? Just get sick for a few days! No, really, don't get sick, but it did help. I was really not hungry, and forced myself to eat for about three days. As a result, I was very particular about what I ate- no garbage. Mostly it was grapefruit or oranges and chicken soup or oatmeal. I drank plenty of water and herbal teas with honey- it really was a little cleansing actually. And as a result, I have lost the 4 pounds I gained over the last few months. It may not be the ideal method, but hey, it worked for me this time, and now I can focus on moving forward.

So Monday I promised a rant. Last week after I posted I decided to try and find out more about the Mediterranean Diet. One of the sites my searches led me to was E-Diets. Of course, you can't access much information there without signing up and paying a fee. But I searched around what I could and found out little bits here and there. Then in the bottom corner of the screen I saw a promo ad for trying out E-Diets for just $4.99 for 10 days ( or something very similar, I don't remember exactly). And I turned that around in my head and thought that for $4.99 I could find out anything I wanted to know about the Mediterranean Diet, and really, any other diet supported through E-Diets. That was a good deal to me, since I'd already paid about eight dollars for a South Beach book, and was hesitating about buying any more. So I proceeded to go through the sign up process. I indicated that I was interested in the New Mediterranean Diet, but I was free to change my preferences at any time. I filled in my information, filled in my credit card info, and got to the bottom of the form.

You know that disclaimer box that you see on a lot of online applications or downloads? The one that you usually just check the box and move on. I checked the box, went to click on the "submit" button at the bottom of the page, and something made me pause. I decided that I needed to check that disclaimer box and see what it contained. And sure enough, not far from the bottom there is a bit about by checking this box, you authorize E-Diets to charge $53.99 to your account, to be automatically renewed in 3 months time. Hey. Where did my $4.99 go? There were no options for a shorter time period, and I thought that was rather dishonest of them to lure me in with an ad. And of course, when you divide it out, it is indeed $4.50 per week- but for 12 weeks. My husband is unemployed right now, I need to be careful about where my dollar goes, so I clicked the back button, received an error, and left the site. Later that day I received an E-Diet e-mail and thought nothing of it. Until I was checking on my credit card account online. I wanted to be sure they received a recent payment, and sure enough, there under recent activity was a deduction for $53.99 from E-Diets. Darn e-diets. And stupid me. I had filled the whole form out AND checked the accept box. So I am the proud owner of an E-Diet account.

In defense of E-Diets, I have spent plenty of time perusing their site since, and they do have plenty of support and information online. If you are a dieter, and need help, I think it is an excellent way to go. You can get a customized meal plan, and they offer you goals, weekly weigh-ins, and you can change your options at any time. And I will also say that I would jump on the Mediterranean Diet bandwagon for at least a trial run if Andy was working. But since he still isn't (and it's been about a month now) I need to be frugal, and following a diet plan with specific needs is not budget friendly to my family. But I have the account for three months, so before that time is up, I have every intention of giving the Mediterranean Diet a fair shake. In the meantime though, I'm simply using it as a place to input my daily calorie intake- which anyone can do for free at the site Fitday. Which I highly recommend for anyone who wants to keep track of what they eat.


Claire said...

I honestly think that you need to contact E-diet and complain about their advertising and tell them what happened. Tell them that you would like them to removed the charge to your credit card (maybe leave 4.99 since you've used it for a few days). SERIOUSLY.

elmin said...

We wish you a happy day with your blog :)

Erika said...

I did think about it Claire, but I am at fault for checking that silly little box. At the very least I have learned a lesson about blindly accepting terms on contracts.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Claire, email or call them and explain -- especially since you are trying to watch your money.

My local library has many diet books so I can check them out.

I think it is worth a try with Ediets abt getting all or part of your $ back.

Anonymous said...

I've had my problems with e-diet. The site and meal options are great. Unfortunately, like you, I found myself with a credit card charge significantly higher than anticipated. Unfortunately, discontinuing the service isn't so easy, either. They don't make the contact info easy to find, and when I did find it, I had to go through several reps before I got to the one who was authorized to end my subscription.

It's odd, because it really is a worthwhile service. I don't understand why they feel the need to be underhanded in their subscription and payment policies.