Hello Fresh is stupid
If you go to hellofresh.com, the first view you get sounds like it's a meal delivery service. It says "Take the stress out of mealtime" and "America's most popular meal kit" and that's pretty much all the text on the screen. But if you scroll down and read the smaller text, you find out they don't deliver meals, they deliver ingredients and you have to prepare them yourself. Wait, so what's the point of this service? What does it offer compared to grocery shopping? At best, it's like Instacart, but much less flexible because you have to choose from a fixed set of meal options, right? And how does this "take the stress out of mealtime"? (Spoiler: it doesn't)
On their FAQ, they claim their service is cheaper than grocery shopping. Now, that's a red flag because it's absurd. You're paying for the price of the ingredients plus the price of delivery, so obviously it's not going to be cheaper than grocery shopping. Not only that, but they claim it's cheaper by a whopping 75%! How do they expect anyone to believe that?
The FAQ where they claim this
Web search actually reveals several websites claiming to analyze this claim and find it true. I don't know if Hello Fresh paid for these articles or what, but there's no universe in which a meal made from grocery store ingredients costs $30 as these articles claim, lmao.
So, we received an offer in the mail of a 75% discount on our first Hello Fresh order. I didn't want to even bother, but my husband argued it would at least be worth getting the 75% discount and then canceling, and I agreed.
After he picked out meals I found out the price was actually *still* higher than grocery shopping, even *with* the 75% discount! We finished placing the order because it was only slightly more expensive and my husband wanted to.
I hate how companies are allowed to get away with this kind of blatantly false marketing. This should be illegal. False marketing should be illegal!
Once the meals arrived and we tried them out, it turned out even worse than I expected. The preparation was complex and arduous, far more so than when I cook meals under my own direction. The food didn't taste particularly good. Also, one of the big claims on their website is that they reduce food waste by selling you pre-portioned ingredients, but in practice what that means is they increase packaging waste by making you throw away a wrapper for each tablespoon of sauce. If you really want to reduce food waste, then just... use the stuff you buy, across multiple meals.
Also, there's a horrendous problem with their website which I suspect might be intentional: my husband tried to cancel the subscription and thought it worked but it didn't, and they billed us for more than $100 for our next week of food. He contacted customer support the same day and explained that he had already canceled it, but they claimed they didn't see it as canceled and refused to refund us.
Hello Fresh is a stupid concept with a stupid implementation covered in blatant false marketing and stealing from customers because their web developers don't know how to make a cancel button (or were ordered to implement it in a dishonest way).
Update: the same day I posted this, I found out a friend had a very similar experience, but even more explicit: they canceled, Hello Fresh called them to ask them to renew, they refused, and Hello Fresh renewed their subscription anyway and charged them.