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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

FREE: Ask the Vet and Ask the Dog Trainer are Free Services Here

by Carrie Boyko

We've all heard the saying "you get what you pay for". Last night I found out that this is not always true. While puttering around the Internet from pet site to pet site, I noticed that a number of them have the same large ad for "Ask a Vet" services. In the interest of research, I had to try it. After all, we have an Ask the Vet column here at All Things Dog Blog. I was curious to see what they offer and how it compares to our service.

I filled in a box with a synopsis of one of our Ask the Vet column's dog health questions and clicked the "continue" button.  A picture of a veterinarian appeared in a new window, with a few more questions. Another box popped up asking for more details. I answered several questions and offered more info. Finally, after about 10 minutes of typing (I'm fast!) and a number of "continues", another window appeared telling me that if I accept or approve the vet's answer, I would be asked to pay a fee. I believe it was $38; I don't know if that included tax, tag and title.  If prescriptions were suggested, would they ask me to fill them with their service, as well? I didn't ask what happens if I question the vet's opinion. I fled.

Fuming, I pondered this experience. I looked at the webpage again, checking to see if I had missed a mention that there was a charge for this service. Nothing. No dollar signs, no "great value", no questions about insurance claims--nada. Is it me, or is this unethical when handled in this manner?

How would you feel if, after answering your Vet or Trainer question, I sent you a bill? Likely you would never return to All Things Dog Blog. Suddenly I had a lightbulb moment. Do my readers know this is a FREE service on my blog? Perhaps some do not. Thus this post to clarify and assure you that these are, and always will be, FREE services, offered by highly trained, experienced professionals who are here to assist with your dog health and training issues. 

Be careful out there on the Internet. Scams abound.

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