Sunday, March 27, 2011

Consumer rights websites in Singapore

Straits Times Mar 20, 2011
"Click and gripe" Hot 5

All Deals Leak, Redress.me and Boo-n-Bouquet (blog) champion Singapore's consumer rights. The Consumer Association of Singapore CASE is the main official channel for Singaporean complaints but it is quite a hassle to write to them. Now with these online service and product consumer rights websites that are not worried about being sued by the affected parties as they permit two sides of the story and also it is costly and impossible to get adverse posts removed, many service providers will receive bad publicity for services not up to expectations.

IMPLICATIONS FOR VETERINARIANS
I don't go around reading such websites and blogs although I have had seen one or two bad reviews of services of Toa Payoh Vets in a pet website called www.petschannel.com

This pet website just publishes all complaints and ratings. Competitors could just publish with impunity. The website just publish "Any opinions expressed are those of the individual reviewers. See disclaimer statement."

RIGHT OF REPLY
However one of the 3 above online posts say they e-mail the affected party and publish their replies.

PREVENTION
Prevention is best and as a licensee of Toa Payoh Vets, I have to ensure and check that my associate vets provide the standard of services expected from a "reasonable" man. It is just too much time consuming to surf the internet to read about complaints although they are excellent feedback to improve my veterinary services and care.

ANONYMOUS POSTINGS. There is much more power to the consumer since the one posting the complaints usually are anonymous.

One brand name vet practice had postings saying that their vets are bad and that their dogs die during treatment or anaesthesia there. Another reader would write to say he or she has better not go to this practice. "What is the name of the vet or the practice?" another writer would ask.

Sometimes I wonder whether it is the work of the competitors to run down the other party.

UPDATES AS AT MAR 28, 2011
I just log onto www.petschannel.com now at 3.46 am since I am writing this article on consumer rights online. I had not been to this website for several months. Some years ago, it publishes the good and bad comments of going to various vet clinics listed in this website. Now, it wants money from vet owners to write about the business and publish all members' reviews without limit.

I don't subscribe to this service and I note most of my competitors don't bother to do so.

As at Mar 28, 2011, Toa Payoh Vets has 15 reviews written.

I was surprised to read the latest two reviews (part published) by jologflg on Jan 10, 2011 and by samanthayap on Nov 10, 2010.

1. For jologflg, I can see his photo and he is a genuine client. He published in Jan 10, 2011 in Shoppe Place reviews as follows:

5 stars shown. Jan 10, 2011. Toa Payoh Vets>>Dr Sing-experienced, treats disease ot symptoms, good surgeon (2 ne...


If you click on the hyperlink above, you will get no more info as I don't pay to this website to get full reviews!

2. For samanthayap, there is a graphic photo of a young lady. In the Shoppe Place reviews, she wrote as follows:

4 stars shown. Nov 10, 2010. Toa Payoh Vets >>Dr Vanessa attended to me today and I would say, she's friendly and ca...

Well, since I didn't pay up, I can't read what the lady who has a picture of Hammie born Oct 2010 say about Dr Vanessa!

It is just like reading the opening paragraph of a page-turning novel. You got to buy it to know what is going to happen next! Well, I don't know as I don't subscribe to this website to get the good and the bad reviews!

The website used to give marks using a formula for reliability, frequency of postings etc. Since I don't pay, I don't get the grades. It is just too time-consuming to surf to consumer rights websites unless one has a lot of staff but they exist and so the vets must provide the best service and be street-wise as well. You don't want to end up with one comment about a competitor in this website. The comment is as follows:

2.5 stars. Mar 2, 2011>>XXX (name listed)>>I urge all of you not to go to thi...

CONCLUSION
The above can be a lesson in good writing. When you write a resume or look for a publisher, your cover letter should have a good "hook" to catch the reader's attention and consider reading your letter or buy your book.

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