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Thread: Upselling at the vet's office

  1. #1
    Member tke0398's Avatar
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    Default Upselling at the vet's office

    I took my lab to my vet Friday afternoon to have one of his stitches looked at that had pulled open to see if it needed to be re-stitched. While the vet was looking him over, which took about 10 minutes she tried to sale me 4 other things. Below lays out what happened….

    1. She looked in both his ears and said that one of his ears was a little dirty, but wasn’t bad. She suggested that I have a culture done on them. I told her “No” and that I would give them a good cleaning.

    2. When I told her I would clean them myself, she tried to sell me some ear cleaner. I told her I already had some at home.

    3. She looked at his teeth and suggested that in 6 months that I have his teeth cleaned because there was a little buildup of plaque.

    4. She looked at the stitch that had pulled open and said it didn’t need to be re-stitched because the opening was so small. The opening was about ½ the size of a kernel of corn. She said she would write me a prescription for oral antibiotics, which I told her “No” and that I would use some Neosporin on the wound to help it heal. She said that would be fine, but just to apply it 3 times a day.

    My question is how common it is for vets to try to “upsale” services and products? For example, it seems to me that she wouldn’t try to sale me probably a $100 worth of antibiotics if a $5 tube of Neosporin would do the job.

    I understand it is a business, but there is a fine line between trying to make money and an outright attempt to gouge a customer. If I had done everything she had suggested I would have come out of there with a $500+ worth of services as opposed to a $40 office visit.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member achiro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Upselling at the vet's office

    Quote Originally Posted by tke0398

    Thoughts?
    You must not love your dog.
    "The thing I admire about the rat tail is that it takes commitment. It's not like one day you just decide you want one, you have to grow out that bad boy and you have to repeatedly convince the hairdresser to trust you because it's a great idea."

  3. #3
    Senior Member jeff t.'s Avatar
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    Sounds to me that the vet was doing due diligence.

    If you had a child with the same issues, and the pediatrician had made the same suggestions regarding treatment would you feel the same way?

    Not saying you should or shouldn't, just curious.


    Jeff
    Jeff Telander
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  4. #4
    Senior Member brian breuer's Avatar
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    Upselling: I thought chiropractors and used car salesmen had that market covered until I got my first dog.

    I would find a different vet. I've lived in three states since I've gotten into dogs so I've had some experiences with different vets. None have been the salesman that first vet was. Be educated about your dog's health and find a vet that is on your same page.

    Brian

  5. #5
    Senior Member Gun_Dog2002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tke0398
    I took my lab to my vet Friday afternoon to have one of his stitches looked at that had pulled open to see if it needed to be re-stitched. While the vet was looking him over, which took about 10 minutes she tried to sale me 4 other things. Below lays out what happened….

    1. She looked in both his ears and said that one of his ears was a little dirty, but wasn’t bad. She suggested that I have a culture done on them. I told her “No” and that I would give them a good cleaning.

    2. When I told her I would clean them myself, she tried to sell me some ear cleaner. I told her I already had some at home.

    3. She looked at his teeth and suggested that in 6 months that I have his teeth cleaned because there was a little buildup of plaque.

    4. She looked at the stitch that had pulled open and said it didn’t need to be re-stitched because the opening was so small. The opening was about ½ the size of a kernel of corn. She said she would write me a prescription for oral antibiotics, which I told her “No” and that I would use some Neosporin on the wound to help it heal. She said that would be fine, but just to apply it 3 times a day.

    My question is how common it is for vets to try to “upsale” services and products? For example, it seems to me that she wouldn’t try to sale me probably a $100 worth of antibiotics if a $5 tube of Neosporin would do the job.

    I understand it is a business, but there is a fine line between trying to make money and an outright attempt to gouge a customer. If I had done everything she had suggested I would have come out of there with a $500+ worth of services as opposed to a $40 office visit.

    Thoughts?
    And if you left there and the dogs ears fell off, teeth fell out, stitches got infected and the body part needed amputated you be on here wanting to know a good lawyer so you could sue him for the costs involved and “mental anguish” associated with your dog falling apart in front of you.

    /Paul
    Paul Cantrell
    Black Ice Retrievers
    Marcola OR

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    "Helping Hunters Train Their Dogs"

  6. #6
    Senior Member K G's Avatar
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    What Jeff and Paul said....!

    kg
    I keep my PM box full. Use email to contact me: rockytopkg@aol.com.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Margo Ellis's Avatar
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    You need to know what you are comfortable with YOUR dog and their health. Some people feel they can take care of their own dogs for minor issues. Ear cleaning and such are minor.

    But I did have a vet try to sell me flea / tick products that I didn't feel did a good enough job for the areas we go in. He couldn't tell me enough about the product which told me he was just looking for a quick buck.

    Now if my NEW vet wants to run some blood work on my dog that is sick, I am in her trust to do the right thing for my dog. I dabble in the areas I am comfortable with and leave the rest to my vet that I TRUST.
    Margo Ellis

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  8. #8
    Member tke0398's Avatar
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    I guess my concern is that specifically with the Neosporin situation. If a $5 tube works just as well and there is no issue with that, why wouldn’t you offer that as an alternative? The vet could simply say…

    “You have two choices. 1. I can prescribe an oral antibiotic, which will cost $X or 2. You can use some Neosporin, which costs $X. With the Neosporin, it will just take a little while longer to heal.”

    Why wouldn’t you give the customer the information needed to make an educated decision? That’s what got me thinking. The other products/services offered may be legitimate, but if they’re trying to borderline mislead me on one service, what’s to say they aren’t doing it on the others? I’m just giving you my thought process.

  9. #9

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    If you don't like it go to another vet. Vets are buisness people as well as doctors and many practice both differently. Some vets push tests and procedures for monetary gain, some practice sound sensible medicine, and some are in between. I am sure you have a choice where ever you live. (Just for the record neosporin is not as effective as oral antibiotics)

  10. #10
    Senior Member ErinsEdge's Avatar
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    I like conservative vets that don't dole out the antibiotics for every little reason so they will work when really needed, and I feel the same way with MD's for my family; however, most vets will give you alternatives, like if cleaning the ears doesn't work you might want to think about having a culture performed.
    Nancy P



    "We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made." M.Facklam

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