Was it a Science Diet Mistake or Pet Food Selling Scam?
VIN News has published a very interesting story regarding the new Hill’s Science Diet y/d cat food. This article has nothing to do with how effective the diet is in treating thyroid conditions, instead, the article shares an interesting story of free samples of the y/d Diet, offered to veterinary clinics, that were “not exactly free”.
VIN News states “Veterinary clinics across the country that accepted offers of free “starter kits” of Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s new y/d diet for cats with thyroid conditions discovered afterward with dismay that accepting the samples meant they would receive shipments and bills for more food.”
VIN shares that veterinarians from “Florida to Washington” have posted in VIN veterinary forums that “taking the samples apparently automatically signed them up for paid orders”.
When VIN questioned Hill’s Pet Nutrition about the veterinary complaints, they issued the following statement: “Hills does not participate in, nor does it condone, unauthorized automatic shipment programs. We strive to be clear with all our customers about our ordering and delivery process. We regret any confusion and as always, are prepared to honor our generous return policy for veterinary customers. Dan Smith, Hill’s Pet Nutrition communications manager, said he was unable to elaborate on how the promotion was supposed to be handled and or how the confusion arose. “We can only share what’s in that statement,” Smith said.”
Further from VIN News “At Blue Mountain Animal Clinic in Port Angeles, Wash., office manager Molly Dickson said that a Hill’s sales representative visited the clinic to introduce the y/d diet. “He brought sales paraphernalia and case studies,” Dickson recounted by email.
“The rep asked if we would be interested in receiving some free y/d starter kits; I agreed, indicating that we would give them a try after receiving approval from the clinic owner,” she recalled. “It sounded pretty good to me, but I am not a doctor.
“…He then asked about pre-purchasing the diet (did not specify that it was required to receive the kits). He indicated that there would be a ‘limited’ supply when it was released. At that point, I indicated that we would have to see if it a) met with owner approval and b) worked.”
Later, the clinic received a fax from Hill’s stating that the company would be sending the food.
“The gal that places the orders came to me and said, ‘What is this? I didn’t order this,’ ” Dickson related in a telephone interview. “I asked her to call Hill’s and cancel the order. She came back and said she was told we couldn’t cancel, that we were expected to accept and pay for the order. I immediately called them back to indicate no, we didn’t order it, we didn’t want it, don’t bill us, don’t send it to us.”
Hill’s protested, Dickson said, insisting that the clinic had placed the order. Dickson was equally insistent that the order be canceled. “I said, ‘If you mail it to us, you might as well throw it in the garbage can; that is what is going to happen.’ ”
Owing to the clinic’s remote location on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, more than 80 miles and a ferry ride from Seattle, Dickson said that Hill’s does not physically retrieve unwanted product. “If a bag is slightly ripped or something, they don’t come back and pick this food up. They just have us throw it away,” she explained.
Although Hill’s did not agree to cancel the order, as of this morning — more than two weeks since the contentious telephone conversation — the shipment had not arrived, Dickson reported. The box of starter kits had been delivered, however.
“Believe me, had we known it was going to be this sticky wicket, we never would have agreed (to trying the samples),” she said.”
And the VIN News story shares more words from unhappy veterinarians. Click Here to read.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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