Dentists and Drug Dealers

What is it with businesses that don’t want your business? This morning I lost a temporary crown. My dentist is out of town on vacation. His office referred me to a dentist who is closed on Fridays. So I search for “dentist in Woodbridge, VA” and find one that is less than ten minutes from my house. They have a decent web site, with detailed information about their practice. So I call to see if I can get an appointment. A friendly person answered the phone. They can fit me in, great! But it’ll cost around $100, since they don’t take my insurance, and they have to do a complete examination before they can re-affix the crown to my tooth.

I realize they are a business, and they have to make money to pay the bills. I really do understand. But somehow there has to be a middle ground of some sort where they can use a squirt of dental cement to help someone out. Call it a good-will investment. Write it off as Marketing. Had they seen me today, and not charged me anything (or even just a very nominal amount, like $5 or $10 at most), and had I liked how I was treated by the doctor and other staff, they would have had a potential convert from my dentist (who I love) in Fairfax (45+ minutes away). They go to all that trouble to build a web presence, fill it with info, get someone on the phone. And then chase them away. Sorry, I won’t be back, you had your chance.

Drug dealers know what they’re doing. The first hit is free. After that, you pay.