Samantha from Zocdoc left a message for me yesterday. Zocdoc is a patient referral service. Their agents can set appointments over the phone or patients can set an appointment using an online scheduler. I have no relationship with Zocdoc, so they pulled my name from phone listings or from the state licensing site.
My understanding is that they will list a practice for about $300 a month, so I assume that Samantha from Zocdoc is a sales agent hoping to sign me up.
I downloaded the phone message and bleeped out my name and the name of a psychiatrist who practices a few blocks from my office. I don't actually know the psychiatrist who is named in the phone message, and I doubt that the psychiatrist has any idea that a Zocdoc agent is using her name to solicit new business.
Samantha says that she "works with" the psychiatrist, and she has a few questions before "sending over some patients." I imagine that the most important question is: "will you pay us $300 dollars a month to be listed on Zocdoc?" There is no reason to use the psychiatrist's name in this call other than to falsely suggest that the psychiatrist is involved in the solicitation or that the psychiatrist wishes to refer patients to me.
I don't oppose listing services, but I'd never do business with a company that is sleazy or deceitful right from the get-go.
Here are some patient reviews of Zocdoc. One-star reviews outnumber five-star reviews by more than 2 to 1, with few reviews occupying the middleground. Of course reviewers are self-selected, so the reviews may not be representative of patient experience, but when I see a lopsided review ratio like that, I stay away from a business.
Here's a physician review of Zocdoc:
"Ridiculously pushy, unrelenting sales force that uses every ruse to obtain doctors private phone lines and emails, then falsely claims they were referred by another doctor, etc. I am a physician, I would not recommend this service to anyone. This is a bad business."
Here's another review, chosen partly because the reviewer mentions Dr X 😄
WHY THEY ARE LAIRS TO DOCTORS: If you are a doctor, they will call incessantly, promise you great results (show you how they send lots of patients to Dr X) and then send a contract that says "no promises" just give us $3,000.00 cash. Then the truth comes out! Unless you are taking the worst Medical Or Vision plans on the market (real crap like medicaid, Fidelis or Davis (vision), you get no results! The only patients who use zoc doc are those on Terrible Plans like: Medicaid, Fidelis or Davis because they cannot find a doc with a decent review to see them (how can you do good work for less / hour than a clerk in a department store? They LIE is that they TELL YOU IN WORDS ON THE PHONE THAT can send you lots of good referrals, the truth is that they send you the bottom of the bottom (if you are stupid enough to try to make that work). Once they have your money you are screwed.