What's Wrong With The Weight Watchers Canada Online Program?
In recent years, Weight Watchers has risen to be recognized as one of the top weight loss programs in the world. With this level of success, why are there so many problems with the Canadian Weight Watchers online program that are not present in the American program?
Weight Watchers Canada, a subsidiary of Weight Watchers International Incorporated, was incorporated in 1965 within only a few years of the US parent corporation. They are currently located in Oshawa, Ontario. Although the two companies have grown together over the past 40 years, offering essentially the same weight loss program to members either side of the border, there are some large differences beginning to show especially in their online offerings.
The Weight Watchers Canadian web site is very similar in look and feel with the US counterpart. In fact, while on the WeightWatchers.ca website, you can change the ".ca" to ".com" and usually be taken directly to the same page but on the US site. Once you sign in and get inside the member areas, the differences between the US and Canadian sites become immediately apparent. On the plus side, the Canadian site does have a fully translated French version. This is great unless it is the reason why Weight Watchers Canada has forfeited the exclusive men's program available only on the .com site. Not having a plan specific to men is a big minus for Weight Watchers Canada. This is not the only difference between the WeightWatchers.ca and WeightWatchers.com sites.
On the American and UK versions of the site, active Weight Watchers members can purchase select Weight Watchers products directly through the web site. This is not the case on the Canadian web site. Instead, Canadians see a page that merely lists where they can purchase Weight Watchers brand products. In this day and age of online shopping, why would you not sell your products through your own website?
Forget about online shopping for a second and compare the differences in mobile applications that are offered by the US and Canadian programs. The Weight Watchers US program offers seven different mobile apps ranging from a Mobile Points tracker to a Kitchen Companion app to even a bar-code reader app to scan packaged foods! In Canada, members get only three mobile apps, two of which are the same app for different platforms. The Canadian app store and community boards provide proof of the inequity of the situation with many people complaining about the Weight Watchers Canada apps lacking in Canadian content and restaurants. Probably Weight Watchers gravest oversight in this area was releasing these apps in Canada without a French version available.
The most probable reason for these problems boil down to one thing; all of these elements of the Weight Watchers Canada online program were developed and are supported in the US by the parent company. There is plenty of evidence of this. There are pages on the Canadian site where American programmers have neglected to change ".com" to ".ca" and used US spellings for words such as "color" instead the Canadian "colour". The lack of Canadian content in the Canadian mobile apps is another indicator that Canadians had no part in their creation.
So, what is wrong with the weight watchers Canada online program? One answer is that the Weight Watchers Canada online program is built and supported in the USA by the parent company where the .com program is of more importance and therefore receives more resources and attention. Also, the American team may not fully appreciate the subtle cultural differences between Americans and Canadians.
To be clear, as it stands, the Canadian version of the Weight Watchers online program is an excellent program. It has helped many Canadians lose unwanted weight safely and teaches them healthy eating. It is just unfortunate that the online program is not as complete as its US counterpart.
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