Recently, I’ve been stuck between a rock and a hard place. I need to move onto another veterinarian, family doctor and possibly a specialist that I’ve been seeing for myself. Sadly, though I have loved them up until more recently and have tried to talk things out with them, I am not getting answers that make me feel secure. As a matter of fact, I’ve been getting more uncertainty and perhaps, falsehoods in response from them. It’s made me wonder whether they actually wanted me to leave or whether they, themselves have changed that much. Either way that I look at it, my trust has been shaken and, once that happens, I have a hard time in regaining it. I usually don’t get it back. That’s a problem for me. I need to trust my service provider and, this time, my trust has been shaken to the point where I’m questioning a lot of things that I simply need answers to but, am not getting them. That leaves me feeling insecure in a lot of ways. I go to a service provider with trust in order to feel secure. I’m not feeling it and, it’s left me thinking that it’s time to move on. Easier said than done though once faith and trust have been broken in a few of them.
So, how does one know when it’s time to move on from a once trusted service provider?
Here are some guidelines that I’ve come to recognize and go by.
- No one is perfect and mistakes will be made however, if they’re unwilling to admit to a mistake in spite of you having tried to give them the chance to rectify it or give you answers that are honest versus excuses, it’s time to move on.
- When you’re not receiving answers at all…move on.
- You go to them because you trust them but because of the above, your trust has been broken. Once your trust has been broken, it’s time to move on because you likely won’t regain it fully or even partially.
- If you have to do your own research and ask a lot of questions, feeling as though you need a course in their profession…time to move on.
- They consistently charge you for things that you know you don’t need or you feel pushed upon you and make you feel guilty if you don’t go for it, all done with what feels like a sales pitch more than a good reason…time to move on. Their wallets are raping yours. You may only see this in hindsight though. Look back and you may find it’s been happening all along but, you trusted them so bought it all.
- If they’re a healthcare provider, they test more than they do anything for you. Worse, they pull out a prescription pad and write out a script because they are hurried and over booked. Question that option before accepting that script or get a second opinion.
- They hesitate to answer questions or tell you to “trust them” and won’t give you at least an explanation for their thinking.
- If you’ve done research and ask them questions that you feel are intelligent questions and, a) they dismiss your questions, making you feel foolish, b) don’t really address your question and skirt it c) they give you the impression that they don’t like answering your questions…move on.
- It’s their way or the highway. That’s a classic warning sign for most people that there’s no room for working WITH that provider. They feel more like dictators than anything else to you. You need to be able to work WITH your service provider, not constantly be afraid of asking questions and getting the cold shoulder because you have asked to understand. Move on.
- Your service provider gets paid for what they do. They are not doing your any real favours. If they have given you breaks on some things, more often than not, they will catch you on others. That’s not to say everyone works that way but, it’s to say that they are doing their jobs and will come out ok. Don’t feel that because they have given you a rate/fee break, they’ve done you a favour that should keep you indebted to them forever. What they’ve let go with you this time, they will make it up on you or the next person they deal with. All services are businesses so, it’s not a reason to stay when any of the above are included.
- Service providers are usually busy people and you’re not their only client/patient however, when they promise to get back to you and don’t or, you have to keep calling or even going in to find out why they aren’t getting back to you, they’re busy enough and don’t really need you or your business. Move on.
- If you’ve left several messages and can only get voicemail (i.e.: no human answers the phone usually or rarely) and you’re not getting a return call or have to wait by the phone for days, time to move on.
- Most of all, if you have a knot in the pit of your stomach that is nagging at you “something isn’t right about this provider” even if you can’t put a finger on what that is, move on. Your gut feeling is telling you something on a subconscious level.
That’s a partial list of reasons to move on but, likely the most important.
How do you find another provider?
- Ask friends, family members, co-workers/collegues who they go to. Ask them if they are pleased with the service and costs. Find out if you can ask questions and how they get responded to. If you have others who never ask questions of their service provider but, you like to ask questions, that recommendation may or may not be the one for you but, if they won’t answer questions at all and you like to understand what’s happening to some degree, their recommendation may not be for you. Keep asking others and see if one fits.
- Make a visit to the facilities that the service provider works from. Does it match your expectations? Is it frilly and posh or just right? Remember: you pay for the frills and posh.
- Do you have to wait to get an appointment beyond what is acceptable to you and industry standards with this provider? If so, it may be that either they are extremely popular because they do great work or, they’ve over booked themselves. Remember that if you have trouble getting in now, when you run into problems, you’re going to have the same issue time wise. Is that acceptable to you?
- If you have made several attempts at calling their offices or facilities and aren’t getting a human voice but rather an answering machine, it may be a sign that it’s the way that service is run. You won’t be able to get through when you truly need to and they likely don’t return calls quickly or easily. Test them out first and see if it meets your needs.
- Make an appointment with them for something minor or routine first. (i.e.: sore thumb, hair bangs need trimming, car needs brakes checked when you’ve just had them done and know they are ok, you need a dental cleaning and exam, your pet just needs nails trimmed etc.) Don’t wait until you’re in crisis mode to try…though sometimes, that is the only way it will happen. Try talking to them and getting a feel for them and their ethics, personality as well as their skills. If you’re left with a knot in your stomach…not the right one for you. Try another.
- If you’re the type to ask questions, ask some and see if you get a response the way that you expect and feel comfortable with asking them.
- Check out their waiting areas. Are they comfortable, clean and reasonably filled or, do they look like they haven’t had a coat of paint in 30 years? If they’re posh looking, ask about their pricing for routine things. You may be paying for the stellar surroundings. If the waiting area is packed, people are pacing, sighing or looking fed up, that’s a sign that your time means nothing to them or they’ve overbooked themselves. Walk out especially, if you have to wait for what feels like forever. (The one exception to this rule is an infrequently visited specialist. They generally have longer waits than others with less skill/knowledge as long as they take time with you when it’s your turn. This may be the only exception though to wait times.)
- Unless you could care less and simply want something done, without questions and simply hand over your credit card or cash or whatever payment method they accept, if the service provider has a “My Way Or The Highway” type of attitude, you may want to visit someone else.
- Do you feel comfortable with them? If your gut is telling you that there’s something wrong, trust it and keep on asking others who they go to.
Whatever you do, don’t necessarily trust online reviews for a few reasons.
- Most of those reviews are written by people who are either extremely happy with the service provider or they’re completely perturbed. You don’t get the in-betweens often.
- Some of them are written by staff employees or their friends.
- No two review sites are going to be the same ratings on the same service. Yelp, Google, Yellow Pages, Rate Whatever and especially, website testimonials/reviews will all differ from one another’s reviews. Go by people you know and trust and their reviews more than an online review service.
Most of all, remember that your hair grows and colours can be fixed so, a bad haircut will grow out in time or your colour can be corrected by another stylist. It’s not life or death. Your health, your pet’s health, your car braking system may be critical with severe consequences if not looked at properly. If you’re not the type to question anything someone does perhaps, it’s time to start questioning a bit more? Do some research with reputable sites if you’re online or, ask key questions of your friends, family, co-workers, neighbours etc. first when it comes to important matters. Don’t simply walk into the first tattoo parlour you see because you’ve decided to get a tattoo impulsively. Wait and check out their credentials, ask them questions, gauge by their surroundings and completed tattoos that they’ve done, not just posters or torn out magazine pages, taped to their walls. Do your homework first. If you still want a tattoo for instance, you can always go back but, you can’t undo something done by someone who is incompetent. That’s especially true of surgeons, dentists, veterinarians and other healthcare providers. A botched job (while it can happen to the best of the pack but, should be extremely rare for them) often can’t be fixed in these circumstances.
Remember your gut. If it’s telling you to walk away or find someone else or, worse…your trust has been broken, walk away and find someone else. In this world, there are thousands of service providers even if it means a bit of a drive for you to get there. There’s no need for you to “settle” on any service provider for the most part.
Hope this helps because it’s the way that I’m now seeing things from my little corner of life.
Be well, Blessings, Love and Light.
Have a great day or evening.