Starter Pack?? Is there such a thing?

Discussion in 'Cambridge Weight Plan' started by Amber34, 12 October 2007 Social URL.

  1. Amber34

    Amber34 Full Member

    I'm asking on behalf of a friend who had her first consultation with a counsellor last night.

    Unfortunately she did not go to the one I recommended (mine!) and was sold a 'Cambridge starter pack'. This included 18 soups and shakes, 3 tetras and a shaker. For this she was charged £45 and is under the impression that part of that payment was for the consultation.

    Now, whilst I realise that CDC's can set their own prices, even with my extra tetras and bars, mine usually comes out at less than £38 a week.

    To add insult onto injury, she was not allowed to choose the flavours and has been given a number of banana and strawberry products (flavours she doesn't like) and was told that she couldn't have certain others as stocks were low. In future she is to order her flavours one week in advance.

    Maybe I'm just spoiled with my CDC, because she has whatever I want and plenty of it in stock, but does this sound right to everyone?

    She's worried that she will be left with flavours she can't stand toward the end of the week, which is not going to help her willpower.

    Your thoughts please
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  3. Hedgemag

    Hedgemag Cambridge Diet Counsellor

    I find this really unbelievable...her CDC should not do that...under our code of practice we should stock every flavour of soups and shakes. 1 week should cost no more than £35.(although some do charge more)
    To just hand over them like that should not be happening.
    If your friend is not happy then should tell her cdc and ask if she can change them for flavours she does like.
    If no joy then change to your CDC.
  4. Amber34

    Amber34 Full Member

    Thanks for that Hedgemag - it's just what I thought really. The only thing I can see that she has extra is the shaker, which wasn't something she asked for.

    I did tell her to book with my CDC, but a friend of hers booked it and they went together and were both given the same and charged the same.

    What a nightmare that her first CD experience is already a bit sour!
  5. ava

    ava Silver Member

    Sounds a bit wrong, your poor friend!!! Can't imagine not being able to choose what flavours you want, i wouldn't even be able to do it if that was the case as i only have the choc tetras and veg soup!!! If she is paying for it she should be able to have what she wants.

    Hope she manages to get something sorted out :)
  6. flirty40greeneyes

    flirty40greeneyes Busy busy busy!!

    Start Weight:
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    That's awful. She should be able to pick her own flavours ... and can return the ones she doesn't like and get a refund or exchange as long as they are unopened and within 14days of buying them.

    Then i think she ought to vote with her feet and move CDC's!
  7. htpink

    htpink CDC

    Did she actually say she had to take them or was she just giving her a selection of flavours to try for her first week? Has she actually asked if she can swap some? CDC's are usually approachable!
  8. majic1982

    majic1982 Full Member

    Cambridge Diet
    That sounds completely wrong to me!! My CDC charges £32.65 a week for shakes/bars and is more than happy to give me what I want or change any I didn't like.

    I would seriously consider reporting this CDC. That's not right at all :( Poor friend!
  9. jane

    jane Opinionated

    On the face of it i'm inclined to agree with Majic flirty, Ava et al, but please;
    1) consider Hels comment. The 'Starter pack' ,though pricey,may have been a genuine attempt to help a new client get to know the CD flavour range & get a reasonably well shaken-shake without the need to buy an electric whizzer.Also, we don't know that the usual 'open exchange' wasn't offered.

    2) although most CDC's charge the recommended prices, there is no actual bar on charging more, this in itslef would not be grounds for complaint.

    3) if you know of a cheaper/more flexible/more supportive CDC in the area & your friend is dissatisfied then the simplest thing would be to contact the other CDC for an appointment.

    4) Mims you are v lucky to have a CDC charging £32. most of us now charge £34.65 for the basic week in line with the price rises dated july 07. the cost of skimmed milk powder has risen & all costs have increased as a result.

    5) Whilst CDC's are urged to hold a comprehensive range of stock, even the most organised will occasionally run low on something at some point. Last week there was No choc tetra in the Camb warehouse for 5 days.during this time, like manyother CDC's I ran out. I apologised to clients, offered to contact them as soon as it was available & in the meantime we muddled through with choc shakes etc. Is it possible that this was the case with our friend & she just got slightly the wrong end of the stick?

    ps I'd be interested to learn more about your friends experience, if for no other reason than to clarify what actually happened.
  10. Amber34

    Amber34 Full Member

    Thanks for all your replies. She was told that it was a starter pack - the only reason she queried it with me was that she knew mine cost much less for that - even my first week, which was 8 days supply. I suppose if she hadn't known I was doing it she would still be none the wiser!

    When she asked for other flavours (particularly cappucino) she was told that stock was low and that she would have to order in advance in future.

    I'll let her know that she should call her and change the flavours she doesn't like (I've already encouraged her to do that) - although I don't know how she'll get on if there is no stock!
  11. Kate

    Kate CDC/PT/PITA

    Just a thought - how much in advance did she arrange the appointment? Before now I've had people phone me who want to start straight away, and I've not placed an order yet because I don't have anyone coming for a couple of days. This used to happen particularly a couple of years ago when I hadn't been doing it long and only had a small client base (the smaller your client base, the less you can afford to keep lots of every flavour in stock all the time, so you're more likely to go out of stock of certain flavours). At that time I also used to ask my clients to place orders in advance, because it was the best way to guarantee that I would have everything in stock. She might be a brand new counsellor. Just a thought!
  12. Diva

    Diva Cambridge Diet Counsellor

    I have been a CDC for several years now and 100% agree with Hels and Jane and also fully support the use of a "Starter Pack" by the CDC in question.

    First and foremost though, most Cambridge clients - especially those on Minimins - are very aware that all CDC's are self employed and are able to charge whatever price they deem suitable for their Cambridge Diet services with complete authorisation from Cambridge head office.

    It is very unfair to question the CDC in this case without having the proper context - as Hels so rightly said was the Starter Pack offered as a "fait a complis" or was there some flexibility? Did a discussion take place about how the sessions are structured, etc? The "starter pack" was £45 but how much is the CDC charging for a normal week. There are a number of unknowns here.

    All of my clients are given a Starter Pack which includes a number of items that are not standard on CD but makes their journey easier and more enjoyable. The Starter Pack is there, especially for totally new clients, to try all the different flavours and find out which ones they like best so that they can order their favourites the next time. Even more than that though, what they are given is access to my skills, experience and time in order to facilitate their success - something that not all CDC's have in the same way that I may not have their particular skill set. Maybe this particular CDC has a skill set that will come more into play as the client advances their journey...

    I know many CDC's who charge the basic price - supply their clients products and not much else! Just as many CDC's charge maybe a little bit more and offer more of a service. And there are, unfortunately, just as many that charge whatever they can get away with and still don't supply a proper service. Personally, I charge £36.75 per week - I don't charge any extra for bars and clients also have 3 tetras included in that price if they want it. That, in my opinion, is a fair price but because they have also paid a little extra in their first week, it means that I don't mind using my non-CDC skills and qualifications to help them along the way such as NLP, Coaching, Hypnotherapy, Integrative Counselling or any other techique or strategy that I know will help them. Plus, having been a Counsellor and Coach for many, many years this is knowledge that I share with all the CDC's that I have sponsored and their clients have access as well. It could be a similar case in this CDC's situation - we don't know who his/her sponsor is and therefore, don't know what skills they have access to that, again, would help the client in her journey.

    I just think that sometimes it is very quick to judge a CDC as being "awful" or not very good without knowing the full facts of where they are coming from. Thankfully, the majority of us go into this business to help people and not exploit them and sometimes that is too quickly forgotten when someone raises a question about CDC's, our service and our prices.

    The key to a good CDC and client relationship is rapport - ask questions and give the CDC a chance to explain at least then the client will be coming from a position of knowlege and understanding.
    Kate and jane like this.
  13. I have been a regular reader of this forum for quite some time and although have never posted, have recommended it to all my clients as a brilliant additional source of information and support.

    However on reading this thread I cannot express enough my disappointment with some responses. One of the things that comes to light in this forum and in other discussions is how quick people are to judge us based on our size without getting to know us as people – and how upsetting we find this. To a degree some of the responses on this post have followed the same line in condemning without knowing (or appearing willing to know) the full facts.

    I am the counsellor in question. The two people contacted me the day before their initial appointment, very keen to see me as soon as possible because they wanted to start the diet and, unfortunately, had had no joy in receiving a response from another counsellor.

    I fitted them in after my last appointment of the week because of their keenness to start the diet that week. That evening I sent them an email which outlines everything I charge and asking them to let me know if they didn’t want to keep the appointment. I am completely transparent in the way I conduct my business – there are no hidden extras.

    As is my general policy I offer a selection type pack the first week of Cambridge so that people can have a taster of all – it is amazing how many people like things they don’t expect to. However I have no problem with changing anything and make that clear – something that this client has done today.

    Nor do I make it a firm policy of asking people to order in advance. However I personally find it easier to counteract the unexpected (ie suddenly people are going away and want 40 of the same product) if I encourage people to let me know in advance what they want. People are completely free to order exactly what they want. Because of the days I have clients (and the fact they were after my last appointment of the week) regrettably I had run out of a couple of items.

    I felt that I had a long and extremely productive session with the two people in question and was so concerned that they may have felt this session 'sour' to quote.

    I have not had the pleasure of meeting you in one of my sessions (nor have your friends met with your counsellor) – so I think it is wrong of you to criticise the level of service I have given with no real knowledge of it.

    Inspite of my sadness in relation to this post, the important thing is that your two friends feel comfortable with their counsellor and that they will receive as much support as required from them. If they feel that I am not the person to do this I would encourage them to find someone else.

    However I have spoken at length to my client about this and she was extremely concerned when I told her of this thread. Following my meeting with her she indicated that she was more than happy to continue to come to me and found our initial session very positive. She has started the diet with tremendous enthusiasm and I hope that this matter is in no way going to dampen this. I am so looking forward to seeing them again next week and continue to help them on their journey.

    I must say I will carefully consider whether I wish to recommend this forum to my clients in future - I would hate them to be as quickly condemned as I appear to have been.
    Diva and jane like this.
  14. Chika

    Chika Silver Member

    Start Weight:
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    Cambridge Diet

    Well written - its good to get all sides of a story. You sound like a great CDC please come back and share some wisdom. Don't let this put you off minimins.
  15. majic1982

    majic1982 Full Member

    Cambridge Diet
    Typo on my part - £34.65 not £32.65, but a bargain for a great diet at any rate :D

    There are, as they say, two sides to every story, and I think it's quite lucky we've been able to see both here. I appreciate you taking the time to set us straight, but I would hate for you not to send clients to this website in the future - this site has been truly inspirational for me and I'd hate for anyone who is trying to lose weight to miss out on it. If only I'd found it before!!
    Mini likes this.
  16. jane

    jane Opinionated

    I second this whole heartedly.
    I thank cambridge counsellor for her response & hope that you can feel able to continue to use or recommend this forum.
    I hope that we've all learnt a lesson about the folly of judging by hearsay. Also that athough there may undoubtedly be CDC's out there running a pick-up & pay-up type business, there are far more who not only offer what Cambridge expect, but who go beyond this & provide an added-value service.
    Mini likes this.
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