She charges that much, because she can.
I’ve moaned before about our very pricey veterinarian. We love her because she is excellent with the dogs and she’s the only vet we’ve had who will look at a dachshund and not diagnose “back problems” as the cause of whatever ails them. This is huge: she’s saved the life of our pack members because of her understanding that bad backs are NOT the cause of ALL dachshund ills.
However, she is high maintenance.
One of the things we have to do to keep our relationship with her positive is to give her competitive pricing for drugs and services.
Vector [see LJ icon]’s last prescription from the vet was $201. I was surprised, but with a sick dog, you don’t ask questions.
The refill — to make sure the infection is really gone — would also have been $201. So, I priced the exact same medications at PetCareRX.com. There the cost, including shipping, was $73.96.
Our vet has to okay the prescription — it’s prescription medicine, after all. When she’s contacted to sign off, she lowers her price to match the online price. She makes us FAX her a copy of the online price, so she can verify that we’re giving her the true price.
I do the pricing and FAXing. After all, $127.04 isn’t a bad rate of return for 30 minutes of work. But, ArrGH !!
She makes you fax a copy of the online price rather than send her a URL? She clearly knows absolutely nothing about network security! Next time, edit the html and lower the price by $10 before printing it and faxing it to her. Just kidding, mostly. . . .
I am a bit surprised that you’re surprised by your vet’s pricing model. It’s the same pricing model used by optometrists, airport restaurants, etc.
Re: Vet bits
I’m surprised at the situation because we have to FAX each new medicine pricing to her. It would be better customer service to charge us something less rapacious routinely, and she might make more money overall. If the price were only 150% of the online amount, I would accept it for the convenience.
I understand airport restaurants because you cannot go to a competitor. But, I don’t buy glasses from my optometrist after the one pair the insurance pays for. I get the prescription which I can take to a lower-cost provider.
I think the Internet makes it a good idea for professional service folks to rejigger their pricing model. They need to make their money on the professional fees and not expect to add on highly marked-up commodity items. It will increasingly be unsuccessful and cost them good will. And, for the record, our vet has very high service fees already.
Re: Vet bits
Perhaps when she offers to match the online price, you just just say, “No thanks, we’ll use the online pharmacy.” Or ask her for a written prescription, and then never show her the online price.
I disagree with your calling her rapacious. She is a willing seller and you are a willing buyer. She should be able to charge whatever she feels her services and prescriptons are worth, and you are free to see her or go elsewhere. She’s got a business model that won’t hold up in the long term? That’s her problem.