New price comparison service for UK vet practices

New price comparison service for UK vet practices

A price comparison facility has been launched by a service that helps people decide which veterinary practice to choose., the directory of veterinary practices in the UK founded in 2006 by Susie Samuel MRCVS, has added a new price comparison service with prices from 1,600 practices now on its site.

Since launch, VetHelpDirect has offered owners information to help them pick a veterinary practice, including reviews, ratings (including a value for money score), RCVS accreditation, cat/ rabbit friendly status, health plan details and how out of hours cover is provided.

It has now added some basic information about each practices’ charges, specifically the first consultation fee, a dog castrate and health plans, and then categorised them according with £££££ signs to indicate how far above or below the average they sit.

Susie Samuel said:  “Most practices will give out these prices over the telephone, but there’s no way for the client to find them without directly getting in touch, something people are less and less likely to want to do nowadays.

“Our research data suggests that people want to find this information online, just as they would in any other service industry.

“When they can’t find any information at all on pricing, there can be a perception of secrecy that can do damage to the vet-owner relationship.

“True comparison for vet practices is of course very complex and no basket of services is ever going to capture the whole complexity.

“The aim is to provide commonly requested prices for owners to easily access and to add more and more detail on the vet practices over time so that owners can make the most informed choice on the vet that’s most appropriate for them and their pet”.

VetHelpDirect says it will soon be adding prescription fees and out of hours consultation, and a much wider range of species-specific fees in the near future.

The company also points to the Competition and Markets Authority investigation into pricing in the UK, highlighting that in its 2019 Report into Funerals in the UK, the CMA noted that weaknesses in the sector included the fact that less than 40% of funeral directors posted any form of pricing online, and those that did were frequently not in a form that made for easy comparison.

Susie says the veterinary sector has an even lower rate of online pricing transparency.