Thursday, 27 February 2014

Why your health is never half price

This is going to be a rather more personal post than I'm used to writing. I decided if just one reader thinks twice having seen it, I can more than get over my issues with sharing...

Earlier this year, I alluded to the fact I've been undergoing cosmetic dentistry - and that it wasn't going smoothly (understatement of the year alert). My wonky teeth have always really bothered me, but having stupidly refused NHS orthodontics as a vain teen, my only option for fixing them in my 20s was to pay privately (usually in adulthood in the UK that's your only option for minor cosmetic changes). Anyway, it took me years and a cashed savings bond to be able to do it and in late 2012 I found what looked like a great offer through a London clinic who specialised in invisible braces. It was still a LOT of money, but approximately 2/3 of what other clinics had quoted me for.

My last pair of invisible braces from only halfway through the full treatment

And here's the lesson: if an offer is even verging on looking too good to be true and it involves your health in any way, shape or form, DON'T DO IT. And whatever you do don't pay up front for it. And if you do - do it on a credit card as they have more layers of protection for your money than you likely realise.

Unfortunately I did none of these things and 1.5 years later I've found myself in the unenviable position of having paid a lot of money only for the company to have gone bankrupt, stopping my treatment midway and making it incredibly difficult to get a refund. Once a company has gone into administration, they have no money left to give you back - your only option is to hope, if you paid by card, that the card issuer refunds you.

Now, you might think 'a "great offer"? Surely there were the alarm bells!' - but let me be clear on one thing. I'm not the kind of person who makes reckless or impulse decisions on things like this. I'm by no means wealthy and a spend of this size gives me a lot of anxiety (possibly an even bigger understatement than the above). I did my research, read countless reviews... But at the time I signed up, none of the problems that caused the bankruptcy of the company had occurred. I assumed the clinic was able to offer a lower price because they were taking a sausage factory approach, specialising in one form of treatment (a suspicion confirmed by some of the more disgruntled reviews). I could cope with that, I didn't need hand-holding through the process, I quite wanted to be in and out within ten minutes at each appointment. So in a nutshell: I'm not that easily duped. This in mind, it shows you why I think it's so important to share this all now. 

There is no cutting corners on costs that involve your health. If something seems too cheap, well...

And here comes a second warning about daily discount deal websites. You know the ones; they advertise daily deals on products, services, experiences etc and bombard you relentlessly with more emails than you could ever possibly read. I'm deliberately not naming names so I can't be hauled across the coals but lets just say the one I have in mind has probably emailed you a few times too! Well, this particular site advertised this offer too, although that wasn't how I came across it - but just remember: your treatment isn't with them. They aren't concerned with whether or not a service is reputable. A more recent case study is that of my sister who got a special deal on professional teeth whitening through one of these sites... Months later and her gums are STILL bleeding. Oh and her teeth are no more whiter than they were, it lasted a few days.

And like I say, if just one person reads this all the way through and thinks twice about one of those too-good-to-be-true deals - that's enough for me. Don't make my mistake...

Although my teeth are straighter than they were, there's still a lot to do...
this is probably as much as you'll ever see of them in a photo!

CiCi x


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