It is with much sadness and regret that the Trusted Team has had to remove the Dentist Category on www.trustedsaskatoon.com and www.trustedregina.com local directories.
The analytic data from the 2 directories PROVES without a doubt that the public were looking for Trusted Dentists in Saskatchewan , and wanted an un-biased , consumer focused place to find them, that had more information about the dentists than the location and if they were expecting new patients, in fact some days in the last year DENTISTS was the MOST visited category on the directories!
So whats the problem you ask?
Bad Dentists? Scary Clinics? No Dentists in Saskatchewan that are up to date with the latest techniques?
NOPE, it's not because we can't find great dentists in the cities, thats not it at all ....
Trusted wanted to be an easy place for the public to find dentists in Saskatoon and Regina, that not only do a great job of the actual dentistry ( like most dentists in Saskatchewan we are sure!) but also to feature dentists that run a great businesses AND have amazing, friendly support staff.
We were looking for clinics that had at least one dentists who is awesome ( ie: LIKE dealing ) with kids, and we found those that invested in beautiful clinics to wait and be treated in, and lets not forget, Trusted only contacted NOMINATED Dentists, who's clients (that nominated them) said they went over and above to provide outstanding customer service.
Look, lets be honest, Joe ( or Jane ) Public don't have the time, money or inclination to go from clinic to clinic to find a dentist that meets their specific requirements...so we thought this is a good thing we are doing here for the public right?
Well apparantly not!
According to the Saskatchewan College of Dentistry, who, after discussing Trusted with it's board members deemed our directories to be NON Compliant with their code of advertising ethics!
We are the only directory that has every advertiser contracted to uphold Guarantees of customer service and ethical standards, why the heck would you disallow Trusted?
Trusted works FOR the publics best intrests, the College says they do, so whats the problem?
Lets back track a little ....
Knowing that the advertising compliance from the college was very strict with Dentists in Saskatchewan, the dental listings from the get go were unlike any other Trusted Listings, they were basically very short, fact based listing showing the services , location and hours , and, just like we always do, we shared the testimony of a few clients WORD for WORD that we had spoken to as part of the Trusted Verification process and we shared a brief personal take on the clinics staff, careful not to mention the words BEST, HIGHLY SKILLED and other such grandiose adjectives when it came to talking about the dentists.
Apparantly we caught someones attention, a competitor perhaps, as I can't imagine that a member of the public would complain about us providing Trusted Dentists at their fingertips?
Before I knew it we were on the phone justifying Trusted's dentists category to Dr Bernie White the current President of the College of Dentistry in Saskatchewan.
To Dr White's merit he did allow us an audience,and we held a meeting with him and 2 other staff members. The Trusted Data was shared and explained, as was our in depth verification and the Trusted Process. We wanted to appeal to the College on the behalf of the public, as when we asked our Facebook fans, all of them wanted to know more than the basics ( location, contact details and if they are accepting new patients ) that the college or other paid advertising provides, and most people looked at online reviews for direction, which we know can be sketchy at best!
We left the meeting feeling some what optimistic.
Dr Bernie initially wanted to know how we differed from other ' agencies ' like the BBB and 'awards' like the Consumer Choice Awards,which he said had 'heard of' . We do get asked this sometimes, but as we have such a strict and rigorous process of selection and verification compared to them ( compare if you will) we don't consider Trusted to be in the same boat, they sell memberships and awards, we take our time to find Partners that are right and we hold them to high standards consistently for ever!
We walked away thiniking all went well, there were many positives- they really like how we connected with the public and provided tips etc. We were told that one dentists could NOT be seen to be giving oral health advice to the public, thats BAD and against compliance, as it suggests that the Dentist giving the tips is an expert. Apparantly that is not allowed.
2 days later a Trusted Dentist Partner called me to say that Dentist category had been deemed ' non-compliant'
This is what was emailed to Dr Bernie White after hearing the decision.
" I have to admit I am confused. I left the meeting last week on the absolute understanding that removal of testimonials and revision of listings, made the listings absolutely compliant on the directories going forward.
This makes it no different to any other directory, online directory or other advertising. In fact as the Trusted directories do not have the facility nor do I allow the public to leave any reviews, testimonials or ratings- anonymous or not ( like practically every other online directory on the internet that lists dentists in Saskatchewan) that it offers the most compliant and controlled `advertising` directory option online.
You clearly stated that Dentists could not provide Tips to the public , nor could they be `experts`or BEST and unlike other industries listed on the directory they could not be guests on the Trusted Talk to the Expert shows on News Talk across the province. It was also pointed out that displaying the Symbol on 1 of the dentists listings ( Canadian Dental association) was non-compliant and would have to be removed.
At the conclusion of the meeting it was suggested that the college may ask for it to be made clear that this is a paid advertisement in the listing and may even request that a link to the college be on each listing. This was not stipulated though, and I was expecting a communication to direct me on this at a later date.
It was also discussed that perhaps having just one Dentist Group may be disagreeable to the College and the following options were discussed.
a. To restrict 1 dental Group to have just 1 or perhaps max 2 of the 3 available listing ( listing all 3 locations and listing all dentists working at those locations) thus allowing 2 other dentists an opportunity to be on the directory, It seemed to contiridict the morals and ethics of the college and personally seemed to bother Dr Bernie White, that just ONE dentist surgery in Saskatoon may be seen as Trusted ( or BETTER ..in his words )
b. For the college to take one of the listings for FREE and to use that listing to explain what the college does and to be the Trusted fans and followers and the public who used the directories ( 40,000 individuals across Saskatchewan thus far) dental resource – this would mean that the college would provide all the Dental `trusted expert tips` for the blogs we do and the college would provide an `expert `for the Trusted Talk to the Expert Shows.
I believe I made it clear that I was willing to compromise my requirements and my business to accommodate the college as I believe that the DENTIST category should be on the directory, if only to reach newcomers and immigrants coming to the province ( who we target directly with our radio ads voiced in 13 languages, Tourism SK ads, Facebook and community involvement initiatives)
I was waiting for the final decision on these details before making any more changes and before communication to the public.."
Here is the letter I got back : July 16 2012 CDSS~Sara letter.docx (57.70 kb)
Dr Whites comments were very clear " Thanks Sara. We have communicated with our members involved in the 'Trusted' websites and we wish to follow up further with you regarding our discussion last week. Following the discussion(July 12) we reviewed the matter and began drafting a letter for you and for the members involved. Enclosed is the letter for you dated July 16 that addresses this matter. We look forward to discussing further, with you, the concept of institutional advertising similar to the 'Ask the Expert' program. Regards, Bernie "
In fact he said " the 'Trusted' site is deemed non compliant because the word 'trusted' is misleading, confusing, and can't be objectively verified! "
Trusted certainly will not be entering into an advertising relationship with the College, as we fundamentally disagree with their reasoning and find the fact that they don't Trust their own members to advertise in a professional and ethical manner to be in the worst possible and protectionist taste!
Who are they trying to protect ?
INTERESTING as the following information explains.
Dr Bernie White - President of the College, partner of Mid Town Dental , the same Midtown dental that are owners of the ( just 1 per category per city) Consumer Choice award for Dentistry in Saskatoon for the last 3 years ( displayed on website here)
Apparantly they are the BEST in local Dentistry in Saskatoon!
Is that one rule for your Clinic in Saskatoon and one for all the other dentist in Saskatchewan Dr White?
Hey, at least we had 3 spots available and we checked them out, showed you the evidence...PROOF..TRANSPARANCY.
Trusted is an on the ground LOCAL business with owners and staff looking out for LOCAL people here in Saskatchewan, not an ad agency in Montreal!
We saw this picture in a Gallery recently and had to share...it sums it all up really!
STAY TRUSTED MY FRIENDS SAFE AND TRUSTED OF COURSE
FIND Saskatchewan Dentists we know to be Trusted, and not because they pay us.