7. Third party products.
Should not even be a consideration. If the organization you are working with requires you to purchase outside supplements, accessories, food or any other products in order for you to win the prize for your weight-loss, keep moving as there are likely ulterior motives and additional costs at hand.
8. Extra/hidden fees.
Like third party products, there should be no additional or hidden fees beyond what is paid up front (or via a clearly outlined installment payment plan). Fees to “unlock” features, to reveal standings or receive your winnings are an indicator that something may be fishy—or at the very least that facilitating your success is sadly cash-conditional.
9. Charitable relationships.
If a company indicates that they donate to a charity based on your loss or your success in their program, make sure you fully investigate those claims before signing on the proverbial dotted line. Is the charity itself legitimate? How much do the charities actually receive? Do the charities list the organization as an official donor? Is it a charity that aligns with your personal values? Does the charity itself make sure that the donations reach the intended recipients? Research everything to make sure everyone is on the up and up, not just playing on your heart strings.
10. Dedicated support.
If you’re endeavoring to start your weight-loss journey with cash prizes in mind to keep you motivated, inevitably you are going to have questions. Make sure the organization has Customer Support available and is responsive to your questions before getting started. Whether by email, by phone, or both—a live person should be prompt, courteous and knowledgeable about the product.
Further, if you’re a business owner, HR, benefits or other professional looking to partner with a dieting-for-dollars organization for a group initiative, there should be a step beyond Customer Support to make sure the endeavor is fruitful. Having an account manager dedicated to the success of your company and proactive in throughout process is essential. Your account manager should provide you with polished and professional marketing materials to promote the program among employees, as well as best practices for improving enrollment. They should remain involved from roll-out through wrap-up and reporting, and available to answer any and all questions you may have about the program before, during and after.
A lack of any one of these should send you seeking a more established purveyor.
Stats and standings are a necessity. If you are not able to track your progress toward your goal, or see how close you are to achieving your prize, something is amiss.
For business groups, the company-side administrator should have insight into their program whether through an employer dashboard or other reporting process. Key metrics may include how well the employees are performing and how much cost-savings or other benefits have accrued as a direct result of participation. From enrollment to overall weight-loss, analytics and performance should be transparent from the start.
Whether participating individually or on a company team, if such stats and standings are not available, move on to another organization where these metrics are a readily and eagerly provided.
Given the financial upside and the fact that they’re just plain fun, it’s no wonder that diet competitions and weight-loss betting programs are exploding in popularity in homes and companies across America and beyond. However, a touch of due diligence for the considerations above is critical before you pay to play, or you just might be left with a bad taste in your mouth.
***Some or all of the information detailed above was provided and/or arranged to accommodate this report, but all opinions expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any way.***