All Business, Good & Bad

Sometimes, an awful consumer experience. Let's call them out. Okay, mostly. But sometimes awards. Yes? All the accounts are truthful. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike. Email me with your stories and I'll include them.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Banfield Pet Hospital Fear Campaign: Bad Business

My SO and I had the unique pleasure about a year ago to have a little kitty walk right out of the woods behind our house, crying and in need of a home.

After doing some research, we took her to Banfield (inside our PetSmart) and snagged the Optimum Wellness Plan. The OWP is basically a way to spread out your payments on things like a spaying and front declaw, any other necessities that might come from a new cat directly from the woods, with the bonus of discounted prescriptions and 100% free regular visits ("Our cat is doing this, can you have a look?")

 It's not a bad plan, and for the first year, it was exceptional. It still is, I guess. I just made the call to cancel after the first year because they will auto-renew and lock you into a new year if you even bump into that renewal date.

All good though: they did what they said they'd do, our cat is happy and healthy, and we now have more time to look at local options.

 And then this came:

(identifying items have been removed)

 Apparently, our super-healthy cat that has dental disease. Did I get even the slightest notification at my last visit? Nope. Is there any indication I can see? Nope. Is animal teeth-cleaning expensive? Yep. Is it recommended by Banfield every year? Yep. Could I possibly, somehow, I don't know ...UPDGRADE my OWP to take into consideration this very expensive and necessary procedure? You bet!

I understand this is marketing, but this is one of the most awful examples I have seen when it comes to pet marketing. I have time on my plan before a cancellation is necessary and was even considering running the numbers on continuing it. But this in my mailbox made me downright angry and prompted me to shut it down without question.

 So, Banfield Pet Hospital, you get a Bad Business award. You appeal to fear and emotion and use our pets to do so. That's incredibly low.

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