A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after claiming that BetterHelp took all of the money from her account before matching her with a therapist.
For context, BetterHelp is a service that connects customers with licensed therapists.
While the concept sounds nice in theory, in practice, users have reported a mixed bag of experiences using the service.
Therapists have complained about low pay for those working with the service and accused the company of bait-and-switching clients by using information about unaffiliated providers to get new clients (a practice the company has now stopped), while customers have derided allegedly substandard care from therapists on the platform.
Now, another user on TikTok has shared their experience using the service, drawing the attention of over 280,000 viewers and numerous commenters.
@chronichailey Thanks to @BetterHelp for ruining my day!!! Now I won't be able to afford my rent thanks to you guys. Fix it! If this is a universal experience you greedy shady people should be ashamed! #storytime #fyp #betterhelpreview #horrorstory #thanksfornothing #badbusiness #counseling #broke ♬ original sound – chronicallyme
According to TikTok user Hailey (@chronichailey), she signed up for the service after unsuccessfully searching for a therapist for several months.
“I thought it was a great idea to try BetterHelp,” she recalls. “It was not a good idea. It was the worst idea.”
Hailey goes on to say that she input her card information when she signed up, under the assumption that she would not be charged until she found a therapist. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.
“Tell me why they took all my money. All of it. It’s gone,” Hailey says. Hailey then states that the website claimed she would not be charged until she found a therapist. Instead, she was charged the full amount up-front, making it difficult for her to pay bills.
She concludes the video by advising that viewers do not support BetterHelp.
“Each person’s experience is different, but, don’t,” she states. “If they’re going to do that, just don’t.”
While Hailey claims that BetterHelp’s website states they will not charge until one finds a therapist, the language varies depending on where one looks on the site.
On the site’s FAQ, the company says, “Your subscription period starts when you are matched with a therapist.” As the company can charge on a weekly basis, it’s possible that this means one is initially charged for a subscription for a set period of time, but that subscription only starts once they’ve matched with a therapist.
However, in a blog post that they claim was updated in March of this year, the site reads, “The BetterHelp platform does not charge immediately. You will not be charged for services until you are matched with a licensed mental health professional with whom you can work throughout the talk therapy process.” As Hailey was not matched with a therapist, this post would suggest she was charged incorrectly.
Hailey later posted an update saying that BetterHelp ended up refunding her money.
@chronichailey #stitch with @chronicallyme I'm glad the issue is resolved but Better help still messed up lol. It states on their website and in the email that no charges will take place till you have been matched with a therapist but my statement says I was charged 5 minutes after signing up! I didn't even get recommended one till an hour after I found out about the charge and cancelled my membership. Lol I guess now I have quite the story but still no therapy 😬 #fyp #storytime ♬ original sound – chronicallyme
That said, Hailey still cautions against using the service.
“I’m glad the issue is resolved but Better help still messed up,” she writes in the caption. “It states on their website and in the email that no charges will take place till you have been matched with a therapist but my statement says I was charged 5 minutes after signing up! I didn’t even get recommended one till an hour after I found out about the charge and cancelled my membership.”
Commenters under both videos shared their skepticism about the service.
“I have not heard one good thing about that company,” shared a user. “I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
“Yeah Betterhelp is the worst,” added another. “I work for a call center and every time I get calls from Betterhelp it’s always people asking for refunds cause of how bad it is.”
“better help is the worst,” stated a third. “they said I could get a non-religious therapist since I have trauma related to it and they gave me a therapist whos a pastor.”
The Daily Dot reached out to BetterHelp via email and Hailey via TikTok comment.