Top 10 ways to bite back at bad press
1. Pay for subscriptions by credit card. That gives you federal Fair Credit Billing Act rights to dispute a bill for unsatisfactory advice in dealing with professional services, which you don't otherwise have. If you buy a turkey baster based on the magazine's recommendations and it turns out to be unsatisfactory, I would immediately ask for a refund of my subscription charges.
- 1. Pay for subscriptions by credit card. That gives you federal Fair Credit Billing Act rights to dispute a bill for unsatisfactory advice in dealing with professional services, which you don't otherwise have. If you buy a turkey baster based on the magazine's recommendations and it turns out to be unsatisfactory, I would immediately ask for a refund of my subscription charges.
- 2. Write to any magazine, one example might be Consumer Reports, and ask them for a preview of the next two year's articles and products to be reviewed so that you may intelligently decide whether the subscription fee is worth it to you. After all, you may have no intention of purchasing a cement mixing truck, a concert piano or a cordless hair dryer in the near future and want to ensure that you will not be wasting the money earned while trying to serve the needs of the pets belonging to their other subscribers.
- 3. Ask for discounts. More than 60 percent of magazines may cut the cost of annual subscriptions if you get three or more family members to read their stuff. After all, they are only selling paper and ink and that costs them next to nothing. Then when they have offered you the lowest rate consistent with avoiding bankruptcy, ask for a 10 percent discount for senior citizens.
- 4. Talk to them about sending only the issues that have material you are interested in, which is about every third issue.
- 5. Ask for links to sites on the Internet where you can get the same information for free without subscribing to their publication.
- 6. Keep copies of all issues that have no advice you can use so you can return them for a refund.
- 7. Also keep copies of all issues that contain reports on appliances or other consumer items reviewed that are no longer on the market and have been replaced with newer models not reviewed. Ask for a refund on this useless late advice.
- 8. Ask for a personal contact at the magazine that you can call to discuss the pros and cons of items not yet reviewed so you can shop for the best price.
- 9. Ask for an immediate article on bicycles. They have fewer serious mechanical problems than cars.
- 10. Use your magazine for more than one purpose to amortize the costs over a greater area of utility. I personally use the pages in my parrot's cage and keep a copy handy next to the commode for emergency use.
Discussing the article recently published in Consumer Reports reminds me of the to-do many years ago over the movie "Beethoven." It was about an evil veterinarian stealing dogs to estimate for a foreign government how well their high-tech weapons would kill them.
That's akin to getting upset at a movie where somebody robs a bank dressed as Santa Claus. Of course, there is no American Association of Imposters Playing Santa Claus to write letters to so that's a dead end.
Be assured that the AVMA has properly addressed this issue in their response. It should, and hopefully will, die there.
Good veterinary medicine isn't expensive. It's dirt cheap, paid for by under-compensated professionals subsidizing too many (45 percent of your database) clients who can, but won't, pay for their pet's needs and depend on the kind and overly generous nature of veterinarians to make up the difference.
I defy anyone, excepting those clergy who have taken a vow of abstinence from profit to name one other profession that buries itself in ever-mounting educational debt, borrows a huge burden of private debt to provide a near state of the art treatment facility for a clientele who, in the main, do not even know of your private debt, and will pay only begrudgingly, only enough to allow subsistence compensation for all who work on the behalf of their pets.
The average physical therapist, has, for decades, earned more per hour than the average veterinarian and the average customer care representative in a bank has earned 30 percent more per hour with ever more benefits, than the average animal health technician. In both cases, the very life of the patient hangs in the amount of caring attention of these underpaid professionals. Life is seldom fair or equitable.
Veterinary hospitals offer preventive and relatively inexpensive annual exams. These "wellness checks" are the client's opportunity to have a skilled professional spot any problems that need to be addressed before they become expensive. Yet only a national average of 38 percent respond to these timely reminders. Those "clients" who ignore these annual exam reminders are the most likely to bring in a sick pet, five minutes before closing on Saturday, who, in fact, became ill on Tuesday.
I never heard of any veterinarian who failed to offer all possible treatment choices to pet-lovers, so they can make an informed decision that's right for them.
Consumer Reports might take that in mind when they review Rolls Royce/Datsun dealers. Perhaps they will say that all cars are expensive based on the very few who choose the Rolls. Because of the status of pets and cars in our lives, many people choose "the best" for their needs or wants no matter the cost. This is their decision, and Consumer Reports must respect it.
Because most people view their pets as valued companions or even family members, they do not make decisions based solely on the bottom line - nor should they.
The most truthful part of the Consumer Reports article is where they note that the most economical care choice of all is euthanasia. They should do this article in Japan where the average practice euthanizes one pet every several years.
Here is a poster that, if Consumer Reports had its way, would be required to be displayed in every reception area.
NOTICE TO CLIENTS:
Consumer Reports magazine recommends that to save money, you should put your pet to sleep (permanently) in the event of illness.
This will take the economic bite out of veterinary medicine. (Please renew early.)