Pros: Good idea for aging pets (however, read caveats above)
Cons: Customer Service is horrible, cannot get orders correctly placed, will not back mistakes.
Disclaimer: This review's content is based more on the ordering experience and customer service than the product itself, however, I will describe the product's overall quality when I received it.
First of all, I have two Field Spaniels who are 10 and 12 years old and both have arthritis. When I saw the commercial for the Petzzzpad, my immediate response was, "what an amazing idea... a heating pad/bed that automaticalliy turns itself on and off and gently warms up to 102 degrees (which is normal body temp for dogs)!"
I went online and ordered the Petzzzpad according to my dogs' size. According to the measurements provided, I ordered the jumbo size (there is nothing larger, and after seeing the jumbo pad, I can't truthfullly see a Golden Retriever or Mastiff being able to fit in the bed). I placed the order in February of 2010. So I waited, and waited, and waited, and waited for its arrival. I finally received a tiny box from the company which contained wee-wee pad replacements. Hello? Did I not receive a confirmation that I was getting a bed and heating pad?
So, I called customer service and told them what I received. They couldn't understand in the first place that I did NOT order the Doggy Patch (another product advertised on TV for dogs to defecate and urinate indoors on astroturf). After explaining to the representative 3 times what I ordered, she finally understood that I ordered the Petzzzpad and received the wee-wee pad inserts for the Doggy Patch in the mail. I asked if they wanted me to return them to the company and they said that they didn't need them back and I could keep them. Hmmmmm, my dogs aren't incontinent, so they were tossed in the trash.
When I asked why, two months later I still hadn't received the Petzzzpad especially after my credit card was already charged and now they had my money to play with. She apologized and told me that the product was on backorder. She also offered to cancel the order and give me a refund. I said that I would be patient because I felt that my pets could truly benefit from their product.
A month later (we're now into May) I received a card in the mail stating that they were still on backorder and I had the option to cancel the order. If I didn't call the company, the order was considered still in effect. Therefore, I tossed the card and waited, and waited and waited.
Finally, in June I called and asked customer service what was happening with my order. When I originally placed the order, I used a virtual account number from Citibank on my Mastercard. VANS are alternative genuine credit card numbers, BUT they are only good for one purchase, expire after a month, and give the vendor NO clue to the actual account number so that it can be stolen and used for illegal purposes. Since the VAN obviously expired after February, my card was rejected. Do you think that anyone bothered to contact me (they had my email address, home address, and telephone number) to say that there was a problem with the order?
I provided them with another card number and they assured me that the item would be shipped out immediately. Three weeks later, I was so excited when the post office carrier delivered a box to my front door. My excitement quickly deflated to irritation when I unfolded the bed and heating pad to see that nothing more than a miniature schnauser would fit into it.
I called customer service and complained that the bed was too small and the invoice included with it actually DID have "JUMBO" written on it. The reprepsentative asked me to measure the diameter of the bed. It measured 16". I was informed that this was the "large" size and they would immediately ship out a jumbo to me. When I asked if they would be sending a return shipping label since it was not my fault and I shouldn't be charged for the return of the product, they offered me a $5.00 credit on my card for the postage. As I saw they had shipped it USPS parcel post rate (the actual postage price was not appearing on the label), I accepted the $5.00 charge.
I held onto the wrong item vowing not to return it until I received the correct size since, by this time, I had performed a Google search on the Internet and found dozens of web pages of customers who had either the same experience, or completely ripped off with no product, a charge on their card, and no offer for refund.
Approximately, two weeks later a gigantic box arrived. Excited again, I opened the box to find the SAME size bed with the Jumbo heating pad. By this time I was completely furious. I called customer service and said that I had finally had my fill of their incompetence and wanted a full refund which included the fact that I was double-billed on my credit card. I was also mortified to find that when I used my Pitney-Bowes software and scale to measure and weigh the boxes the return shipping rate for parcel post came to over $25.00. I was rudely told that, since I accepted the $5.00 refund for postage, they would not pay for any more postage (even though this complete fiasco was THEIR fault).
I sent the boxes back and faxed a letter to the company stating that I was going to report them to the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau of Wallingford Connecticut, Epinions review, and Planet Feedback.com.
Obviously, they were unfazed by the threats because I only received a refund for the double-billing of the product. Therefore, I felt compelled to write this review so that readers of Epinions.com would not be duped into purchasing any product from this company. Searchess for "potty patch" (same company) and "fraud" include sites that question the security of information, including credit card information with this company.
ACTUAL REVIEW OF PRODUCT:
When I received the first product, even though it was the wrong size, I WAS impressed by the fact that the cable exiting the warming pad was well protected from chewing through - this is especially important if you are going to use it for puppies or dogs that have anxiety and tend to chew items. The pad actually works on 12VDC with a transformer that plugs into 110VAC outlet. So, even if the dog were to chew through the cable, it is only receiving a 12VDC jolt which I seriously doubt would do any more damage than a mild shock.
The bed has a plush fabric covering which can be machine washed if soiled or begins to smell. It is designed to hold the heating pad at the bottom. Pressing on the floor of the bed, I started to feel it gently begin to warm. After releasing, the pad slowly cooled down.
Possible problems: this product is made in China. With much bad press of Chinese manufactured products, I would still recommend unplugging the unit when leaving home in case of malfunction. I just would not trust the power switch and temperature shut-off switch unattended becuase failure of either could result in overheating and/or fire.
There is no mention of whether or not the fabric itself is fire-retardent or not which concerns me. Also, since the fabric is synthetic, I do not know if dogs sensitive to non-natural products would have adverse respiratory or skin reactions.
HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE:
Because of the numerous problems with the ordering and fulfillment process (including many other customers), I would be reluctant to order this product online. If you want to take a chance and order online, I would strongly recommend that you use virtual account numbers since there were a couple of websites that mentioned concerns over security of the data.
In searching the Internet, I found that Petco carries other brands of the same type of product. I would tend to trust a brick and mortar store because they will back anything that's defective and exchange with receipts.
In conclusion, I would NEVER recommend this company to anyone. They are painfully slow in delivery of the product but quick to take your money. In addition, I question the fact that I was double-billed when I ordered only one bed. Finally, they would not refund my actual return shipping costs (by using the same method as they did - USPS parcel post) because it was their fault - it was not returned by me on a whim.