Noom, a popular weight-loss program, highlights several deceptive business practices that have been used to lure customers and keep them locked in costly auto-recurring plans. Noom relied on the forced continuity model which involves offering customers a low-cost or zero-cost trial period that is difficult to cancel and ultimately leads to customers being trapped in expensive, long-term contracts. In addition, Noom uses the hard to cancel pattern, which makes it easy for customers to sign up for the program but extremely difficult to cancel.
Noom's business model is built around the use of renewal schemes that offer customers enticing promises of low-cost or zero-cost trial periods. However, these trial periods are designed to be difficult to cancel, and customers often find themselves trapped in costly, long-term contracts that they never intended to enroll in. This is achieved through a combination of misleading advertising and ambiguous terms and conditions that make it difficult for customers to understand the true cost and duration of the program.
Noom lures customers into its program is by offering a purportedly "risk-free" two-week trial period that is either free or offered at a low cost ranging from $1.00 to $18.37. However, after capturing customers' payment information, Noom immediately activates its auto-renewal program and begins assessing non-refundable membership fees. These fees often start with a lump-sum non-refundable advance payment for as many as six months at a time, costing as much as $199.00. Noom's business practices particularly deceptive as the company fails to obtain explicit consent from customers before enrolling them in the automatic renewal program.