Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Why I Will Never Sign Up With London Weight Management


This post is a personal review of my recent experience with London Weight Management, and how they tried to sell me a $4000+ slimming package.

Close friends would know I've become more conscious of my weight a few weeks ago, after seeing how dancing doesn't seem to help me burn off excess calories anymore. Partly out of personal motivation to lose weight and curiosity, I visited London Weight Management recently to see if they could help.

What resulted was a treatment that barely reduced my weight, which I felt was totally not worth the $4,000+ package they tried to hard-sell me into buying.

A few weeks ago, I was offered 5 free treatments at London Weight Management via my ez-link rewards app Perx, where I was redirected to key in my personal details to make an appointment via an online link. The folks at London Weight Management were really efficient - the very next afternoon, I received a call from them to fix my appointment date and time. I requested for a slot 2 weekends after, and they tried to push me to come sooner, claiming that there was a "limited time offer" to claim my free treatments.

Of course, that line fell flat when I told them curtly that I would be overseas for an entire week.

Suddenly, the "limited time offer" didn't seem to apply anymore. That was the first red flag for me in my experience with London Weight Management.

Two days before my appointment date, they called me to confirm that I would still be turning up for my appointment. When the day came, they also called me 30 minutes before my appointment time to make sure that I was on the way.

Wait a minute, what's with the anxiety? *rolls eyes* That was my second red flag.

When I arrived, I was first directed to a weighing machine where my height and weight was recorded (54.7kg). I was then whisked into a brightly-lit consultation room, where a therapist spent some time asking about my lifestyle habits, my problem areas that I was dissatisfied with, before asking me to strip so that she could take some photos and measurements.

Here were more red flags:
- She told me I was overweight. (My BMI is 21. Overweight is when you're above 23.)
- She told me I needed to lose 7kg. (Which would bring me to the borderline of underweight and normal weight.)
- She deliberately bent down to take photos of my tummy, thighs and arms at a very unflattering angle. (Even a fool knows that when you take photos from bottom up, you're going to look fat!)

Here's a recent photo of me. I'll let you be the judge - do you think I honestly need to lose 7kg?


She then "customized" the following treatment plan for me:
Part 1:
1. Aroma herbal steam bath ($80)
2. Lavender sea salt therapy ($300)
3. Thermo hot blanket treatment ($60)
Part 2:
4. Ampoule
5. Fat reduction machine ($300+?)

But guess what I found? After reading other reviews online, it turns out that the "customized" treatments seem to be the same for everyone!

Hmm. Suddenly I didn't feel that special anymore, in contrast to how the consultant tried to make me feel while in that room.

The fourth red flag came when she tried to get me to sign a package for 10 treatments for over $4,000, claiming that it would help me in my weight loss and that their results are so good that they even guarantee a 8 - 22cm reduction within every session! When I baulked at the price, she then said they had a "special promotion" and reduced it to $3,000. After I commented it was still too expensive, she said she could give me a "special rate" and the price went down to $2,170.

Do you think all those price reductions made them seem credible? I certainly didn't.

I told the consultant I'm not the sort to buy anything unless I'm convinced it works for me, and that I wanted to claim my free treatments first before judging for myself whether it was worth signing a package with them. She then reluctantly brought me to the weighing machine again to take my measurement before proceeding to start the treatment.

Weight: 54.5kg

Aroma Herbal Steam Bath



I couldn't smell any difference in the air vs. that of a normal sauna room in condos or gyms, so I wasn't exactly convinced that there was indeed "a mix of botanical herbs targeted for weight loss" as claimed by my consultant.


Lavender Sea Salt Therapy + Thermo Hot Blanket Treatment


My treatment ended here. After showering and blowing my hair dry, she guided me to a room to take my measurements.

Weight: 54.4kg

She also measured my arms, tummy and thighs like before, but didn't show me the chart detailing the before and after measurements. My guess is that there probably was not much difference, or perhaps even no change at all.

Instead, she focused on exclaiming that I had lost 100g of water retention, and that it was a "really good result". She then tried to get me to sign up again for the package, saying that my weight loss would be even better with continued treatments.



Nice try. Did you realize what had happened?

Weight before consultation: 54.7kg
Weight before treatment: 54.5kg (wow! I had lost 200g without even doing anything!)
Weight after treatment: 54.4kg

Suffice to say, I wasn't convinced that the treatment even worked for me. 

She then gave me a kit consisting of 4 x 15ml "body perfect" cream. I'm now on my second tube, and have yet to see any results.

The staff wanted me to set my next appointment date there and then, but I shrugged them off by saying my week ahead was completely packed and that I would call them the day after to confirm. Before I left, they emphasized that I needed to come back within 3 days for the next treatment.

Remember how persistent they were in calling BEFORE my appointment previously?

Well, they've not called me ever since to fix my second appointment.

When I reached home, I went to sign up for another "free" treatment online at a different outlet, to see if they would call me again. Like I expected, no one called me this time.

What a drastic change from the first time I booked my appointment!

Anyway, here's more of what I found.

The fifth red flag came up during my lavender sea salt treatment, when I commented that the lavender sea salt had just a faint lavender smell and asked if the product was organic. The consultant said it wasn't, but it was made from botanical ingredients. When I asked where they got the product from, she proudly claimed that they get all their products (sea salt included) from London, as that's where they are from.

Anyway, that sounded promising, right?

I went back to check, only to discover that London Weight Management doesn't seem to be from London at all! It is owned by a Singaporean company, AMES United. I could not find any evidence that they originated from London or even anything that suggested they had links with London.




Interestingly, the owner, Mr. Andy Chua, recently paid over $2 million for a meal with Warren Buffett and even bought a St. Regis penthouse for $12.2 million in cash.



Wow.

However, when I searched online for reviews on London Weight Management, there were more positive reviews than negative ones which accurately reflected my own experience with them.

Here are the links, if you're interested.

Positive reviews:
KelynnStory: London Weight Management Review
Michelle Hon: My Trip To London Weight Management
Nadnut: Sponsored Review: My London Weight Management experience!
Samantha Joy: Advertorial: Getting In Shape at London Weight Management
Esther Xie: London Weight Management Review (ad)
Clara aka Dblchin: [Review] My experience with London Weight Management (sponsored post)

Negative reviews:
Chiharu aka Domokie: A Day At London Weight Management
Lydia Chai: London Weight Management
Chency CCY: A Day With London Weight Management





You also start to see similarities between the positive blog reviews, namely:
1. Talks about their awards and credentials (KelynnStory, Nadnut, Samantha Joy, Dblchin, Esther Xie)
2. The line "exclusively for first-time female customers who are troubled by..." or the common weight problems (KelynnStory, TheChillMom, Samantha Joy, Esther Xie)
3. Their 10 outlets (KelynnStory, TheChillMom, Dblchin, Samantha Joy)
4. Promotion or a freebie (All the bloggers)

Not all the positive reviews were declared as sponsored posts, but I'm skeptical now after looking at all those similarities.

Conclusion (TLDR summary):

  • Budget Babe wishes to lose a little weight and tried out London Weight Management. I felt it was a really bad experience with lots of hard-selling by the consultants.
  • My therapist told me I am overweight, which is NOT true, according to BMI levels by HPB.
  • They told me I needed to lose 7kg, which I found incredulous.
  • They emphasized on how effective their treatment was for me with a 100g weight loss, when I had lost 200g while in the consultation room itself without any treatment.
  • The sales consultant claimed that London Weight Management is from London, but I found out their parent company is from Singapore.
  • The chairman of their parent company recently paid over $2 million just for a dinner with Warren Buffett and $12 million in cash for a St. Regis penthouse.
  • Budget Babe thinks London Weight Management packages aren't worth her money.
  • I reckon it'll be cheaper to go to a sauna in a gym than fork out $80 for their Aroma Steam Bath each time.
  • I would rather substitute their Lavender Sea Salt Therapy with the organic sea salt scrubs from Blended instead.
Until then, I advise everyone to be discerning before you commit to any slimming packages, especially if they are going to cost you thousands of dollars.

With love,
Budget Babe

Disclaimer: All of my words above are based on my own personal experience at London Weight Management. Do note that individual results differ for everyone. I do not represent London Weight Management in any way. All views expressed are of my own, and shout not be taken as fact in any way. You may choose to agree or disagree with my review.

35 comments:

  1. Nice refreshing post :-)... Like it

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  2. Good warning to us gullible consumers to stay alert and always take look behind those "marketing-fog-curtains".

    And BB, looking at that recent photo of yours I have to admit that your earlobes appear to be a bit on the heavier side. You might want to focus your weight-loss activities exclusively on those problem areas. LOL

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HAHA maybe I should start searching on earlobe exercises then :P

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  3. I receive an email offering a one time trial free for my birthday, the person calling then was rude! I was going to come its just because its free anything free is good you know.. but just because i hate her way and rude way of talking NO THANKS, really not worth it.. thank GOD i never went there, im not a person who will give my time to a sales person because i do sales to previously at a gym.. we dont lie but i know where the goal of their sweet talk goes.. they just want SALES COMMISSION thats it. Girls just be beautiful for what you are. Confident is sexy. Trust me on this.

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    1. Yes, they were pushy to me when trying to secure my first appointment too. After that? Didn't hear from them ever since. Very evident where their priorities are in..

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  4. Hi, may i know which outlet did your patronize?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Yvonne,

      It doesn't matter which outlet I went to, and I rather not disclose it here as someone else can use it to track me down. But I won't be surprised if you're treated the same way at other outlets. Just do a quick Google search to read other people's reviews.

      Delete
  5. OMG! I had the same experience as you. The therapist was so nice to me throughout the free treatment trial I won but once it ended, she started being very pushy asking me to sign up as a member (which I rejected over & over again). Her attitude then changed completely & she gave me a dissatisfied look. Didn't even bother to send me out politely & just walked out of the room. Never again would I visit this place!

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    Replies
    1. Went to London Weight Management today. I am supposed to get the $18 treatment but end up being persuade to buy a package which is $300. However I did not fall into their trap. Upon coming to my senses, I got back my atm card and left the outlet immediately. Wow that was a close call!

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  6. Everyone wants to lose weight and weight loss companies keep popping up. It's hard to know what ones can legitimately help and which ones are just trying to sell you things. It's good that there are people like this testing things out and warning the rest of the world. There needs to be more companies that are genuine and want to help.

    Ronni Casillas @ JNH Life Styles

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  7. I smell something fishy to when first come to London weight management. I got a free treatment there and after all the treatment they forced me to apply a member with them and offering me a package around 15000. I told them that it Will be a problem for to pay that huge amount just for losing a weight. And I told I don't wanna apply for member they seems not letting me out from their place and after that they offering me a student package that cost me 800++ I also told them I don't want and they still forced me to pay only 600 for signup as member and because I have something important to attend I pay the 600.. until now I regret it.

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    1. $15000!!!!!! *jaw drop* and why did you pay the $600! they seriously hard sold you eh? $600 to sign up as a member is the most ridiculous thing I've heard of. I don't suppose you ever went back? You should at least get some treatments for the $600!

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    2. OMG.. i heard this 15000 today too.. but it was from a angry dad at the counter when i was in the room waiting for my transcation to be voided. As after given some thoughts i decided not to buy any package. I went f9r the free treatment from LINE. The sales was not that hard, as i just keep rubbish with them. �� and the angrycdad was literllay shouting at the counter and asking for his wife and daughter. And that to ask for the transcation to be voided. I m not sure what happens, but 15k for a weight lose program is a little way too much.

      Delete
  8. I have an appoiment with them tomorrow morning. free treatment for birthday. Lol. After reading your blog, now i dont know that i should go or not.

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  9. I have an appoiment with them tomorrow morning. free treatment for birthday. Lol. After reading your blog, now i dont know that i should go or not.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I received a free trial yesterday, I was so reluctant to go but I already promised my mom that we would go as she already postponed all of her meetings that day. So I went with my mom, the moment I entered the staffs already gave me and my mom the weird look it's like they're looking down on us as my mom was wearing a 'hijab' she's a muslim and I am not. After all the weighing my mom and I had different consultant, mine was rude asf. At 1st she was nice until she offered me to sign up for a 50-100 times treatment which going to cost me about RM66K :O what in the world, I said that's expensive asf and she then said they have promotion bla bla bla and reduced it to RM21K (huge difference) I smell something fishy already, I said No, I just want to claim my free trial. She then continue treating me like I'm a piece of shit but my mom was enjoying hers, as she got a nice consultant. At the end of it all, I told my mom no, I don't want to further any treatment here, I'd rather run 10 miles everyday than experiencing that kind of waste of money service. And that perfect body cream makes my skin feel like it was on fire, damn. What an experience.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I bought the promotional treatment recently for the amount of 25MYR for 2 visits. Im currently a little over 56kg. I am frustrated to get rid of my belly fat thats why i decided to try it. Same scenario. they were so eager to call and remind me of my appointment. I went to their clinic and they took me for measurement after the registration. Afterwards, they asked me to wait for the consultant in a small room. So the “consultant” came and asked me about my eating habits. I told her that I don’t really have time for breakfast so I normally just drink coffee or tea. For lunch I eat quinoa because i avoid rice as much as possible. She then asked me what is “quinoa” which I pronounced correctly as “keen-wa” I even had to show her a picture of it. I told her that its less carbs and more protein. She even insisted that its just carbs. She isn’t even a dietician and doesn’t even know what quinoa is. We continued talking and then she asked me to strip to take pictures. “No worries, i won’t take picture of your face.” I was like “I have a tattoo, someone can still recognize that” I thought that was silly but I just let her do her thing. The sauna she mentioned above was exactly how I want to describe it. Afterwards, she took me to another room for the scrub and warm blanket. She just applied the scrub on the front part of my body and she didn’t even “scrub” it properly. I asked what scrub its it and she answered “normal scrub” (what the...) After like 10-15 minutes she came back to the room to remove the blanket and she commented that I lost so much water. She asked me to take a shower and took me to another room after. It was a detox machine. She left me but I had to press the bell for her to go to my room because it seems that the thing she put on my left thigh wasn’t working. No one came until after 20 minutes. Another woman came to take my measurements and asked me to put on my clothes. Like Budget Babe experienced, they didn’t show me my measurements. They asked me to wait in the room again. The “consultant” explained to me the packages and that she will give me 50% discount but if i don’t take it and come back later I will only get 20% discount. She knew that I won’t take her offer anyway. So she explained to me that I lost 700grams. And that she customized my treatment...yada..yada..yada... I was waiting for her to give me the meal plan she told me in our first talk but she didn’t mention anything about it. She said I already eat healthy and all I need is 10 sessions then ill reach my target which is 53kgs. I only want to lose 3.5kgs. 10 sessions? seriously??? lol She gave me a crystal pen and a pouch with 4 tubes. I asked what are those and she (expectedly) just said “apply the creams morning and night time” We ended our conversation and while walking to the lobby I asked when will be my next appointment and she didn’t answer me. I’m supposed to get 2 visits,isn’t it? I think they suddenly forget manners and hospitality after rejection. And yes! that perfect body cream is really burning. I don’t even know if its going to work at all.

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    Replies
    1. I finished the cream and it did absolutely nothing for me. Maybe some customers might have better luck with it? How did you find yours?

      Delete
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  13. Just now I went to LWM cz I got free trial and my appointment will be tomorrow..fisrst i just asking about the package there and want to consider about the price bt then the staff call the consultant and tell me about the price and i should pay 636 for membership n after tht all treatment will be gven 60% off.All 10 treatment cost 4550 and she said no need to pay 636 bcoz free membership..then i told them i will come again tomorrow for trial treatment and if okay i proceed..start from tht time she pushed us and do the hard selling where she said if u come tomorrow tht mean u need to pay 4550 + 636..i ask y then she answered bcoz she already give me consultation,what a freak!!!! I just ask about price only and ofcourse we as client need to know the price we r going to pay..we not stupid right..huhu..then we came back home and my husband say ok if i want..so he need to pay about 5k something loh..bt now im thinking 5k doesnt worth it..betrer i follow husb to gym and keep tht 5k for something really worth it..hurmmm

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    Replies
    1. That's rubbish...they have no right to charge you for consultation if they did not inform you beforehand about the price and gave you an option to reject. You're not obligated to pay for the consultation. I wouldn't spend 5k on their treatments but that's just from my personal experience - I would spend the money on healthier food and group exercise classes instead to get connected with like-minded folks and motivate myself to lose weight!

      Delete
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  15. thanks BudgetBabe for this good warning. Just came out in newspaper, an old retired woman aged 85 being con into signing up of 400++ K worth of package for 6 years. Can you imagine what an old woman at that age require a 6++ years package??? Once you kana hook-up, your blood will be sucked up dry to feed the vampire to posh dinner and homes.
    Just be careful out there. Hopefully more people read this before they're stung by the vampire.

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