Friday, December 2, 2011

Ticked about my microchip

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about microchips lately.  And my thinking recently led me to conduct a non-scientific research project that I’m sure 4 out of 5 actors who portray dentists on television would approve of.  Rather, I’m pretty sure they would.
In Wisconsin, the microchip market is basically divided between two microchip companies, Home Again and 24-Hour Pet Watch.  Being familiar with some of the differences between the two companies’ business practices, I decided to have my newest addition, my dog Pixie, implanted with a Home Again microchip to further my understanding of the differences between Home Again and 24-Hour Pet Watch.
I could have gone to the local Humane Society to have a Home Again chip implanted for $30, but decided to have my vet perform the simple task for $54 instead.  I was impressed, but not positively, by the 540 percent markup given that a Home Again microchip only costs $10,( or possibly $0) but know my trusted vet has bills to pay just like the rest of us.  Anyway, with Pixie comfortable on the couch next to me after we returned home, I proceeded to try to register Pixie’s chip in the Home Again system.  Yes, I tried…
I tried until I was informed that I could not use my debit card to pay the $16.99 required to register Pixie’s microchip.  Fortunately for me, Home Again was more than willing to accept a credit card as payment…and, according to the company’s fine print, Home Again was also more than willing to automatically charge my credit card annually to keep Pixie in its system…all for my convenience.
When I called Home Again to ask if only credit card holders could successfully register their microchipped pets, a customer service agent told me I could use my debit card to pay the registration fee, after all…as long as my debit card had a big name.  I stopped listening to the person clearly reciting a scripted response to my inquiry and just thought, “WHAT A STUPID, DISCRIMINATORY SYSTEM.”  Yes, I was really thinking that loudly.
My research experiment has led me to wonder why Home Again is in business.  Why do people pay to register their pets with this company when 24-Hour Pet Watch charges nothing to register a pet microchipped with its product.  Oh, and by the way, 24-Hour Pet Watch only charges $6 per chip, almost half of what Home Again does.  Can anyone tell me why Home Again remains in business?  My research indicates that it shouldn’t be…at least not in the microchip business.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this information! I have only been familiar with HomeAgain as I believe it is advertised more frequently in my area. I was wondering more about the different fees between the two companies. Sounds like HA has cost of the chip plus an annual fee, and 24 hr petwatch has the cost of the chip... what is their annual fee? Thanks again! *Ashley

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  2. Ashley, to register your chip it is always free at 24 Hour Pet Watch. That is what I was pointing out. You would have to go to their website to see what their fees are for additional services. There are links to both microchip companies in the post. Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. I have dogs registered with both companies. My first exposure was to Home Again and my 2 dogs were chipped by my vet for $35 (16 yrs ago). Since then I have adopted my dogs from the local shelter and the microchipping is $25 including registration. (The shelter registers the animal for you) The difference that I have found between the two is that Home Again offers more services with the registration. Now you do not have to continue to pay a yearly registration for Home Again to keep all of the information on your pet, that is forever, but it does give you additional services like pet insurance if your pet gets injured or sick when it is lost. They also offer to help pay for transportation for the return of an animal if they are found far away. They also extensively network with people when a pet is lost. If you sign up for notifications you will be part of email notices when a pet in your area is lost. I have also registered my 24 Hour Microchip with Home Again as well. When I adopted a dog with 24 Hour Pet Watch, she came with no tag, only paperwork with the information. She was registered for free but I never received any further notice from them.

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