Have you contacted multiple agents to get quotes from the same surgeon?
It might seem harmless to contact multiple agencies to see who can offer you the best price from a particular surgeon, what you might not be aware is that quote you get from the surgeon is going to be exactly the same through every agent and if you request too many quotes, you are running the risk of that surgeon rejecting you for surgery.
While there are some reasons why you should shop around through different agencies…. Price is definitely not one of them.
So why you SHOULD shop around?
- Not happy with the Agent? – Researching agents is very important. Some ‘agents’ freelance and work for companies based overseas and earn their money on referrals so can they be very aggressive and pushy in their approach. They are the ones to avoid. Other agents charge booking fees which ultimately is ‘double dipping’, as all agents receive commission from work sent broad. Once you find the one you’re happy with ONLY then submit your images and forms for assessment… IF you submit your forms and images to a few agents then you will find that ultimately, they are going to end up in the same surgeon’s inbox and you can cause a bit of a headache for not only yourself but the surgeons … and this is when they can ‘reject’ cases. If you DO change agents make sure you let them know who you have already received recommendations from so you don’t ruin any chances with that particular surgeon. Do NOT change agents based on surgery price… this will not change no matter who you go through.
- The agent doesn’t offer the surgeon you want – some surgeons and hospitals are only contracted with particular agents. If the surgeon you are wanting is not available through your agent then you can switch to an agent who can offer them.
- Your agent is charging you additional fees – All agencies these days can get you a free surgical recommendation, they can put a date on hold for you without having to pay deposit and honour the surgeons quote for 6 months. If your agent is requesting you pay a fee to get a quote, a surgery date or even to lock in that price….. Don’t be fooled. Before paying any fees it does pay to shop around and check what fee, if any, other agents charge.
Why you should NOT shop around!
- For a cheaper surgery price – Agencies cannot offer discounts on surgeries. Whatever price the surgeon quotes is the price the agent has to give you. So, the quote from that surgeon will stay the same no matter which agent you use. It may be slightly different based on the conversion rate they use, but the amount in THB will stay the same. Make sure you check the rate they originally quote as some agencies will quote an incorrect rate and therefore when you do go to pay the price may go up!
- For a better travel package – Majority of agents will offer a package deal to include flights, accommodation and surgery. We believe that your main decision for surgery should be based on the surgeon and an agent you are happy with. While we understand you still want a good travel deal, it really won’t vary that much between agents…. Or like most people do these days, just book your own flights and accommodation online and find yourself a good bargain. Travel prices can always be matched if not beaten if your decision is based on this…
So just ask yourself …. Is it worth the risk of being rejected by your preferred surgeon over a travel costs?
- To book directly with the surgeon – A lot of people are misled in thinking they can book directly with the surgeon, when in fact they are still going through an agent EVEN when the website looks like it’s a direct link and can once again can lead to you being ‘rejected’ for surgery. Majority of surgeons don’t allow bookings directly through them, they are extremely busy and literally don’t have the time to answer all the enquiries and direct questions that would come through, hence why they have agencies assisting them.
Reputable agencies also won’t charge any agency fees, will give you additional support in Australia and abroad, all for no additional cost, so there is no benefit attempting to go directly to the surgeon, as your only talking to another agent anyway.
In closing, we understand it hard to know where to start and how to start. Agencies are not the enemy… they actually help pre/during and post-surgery and it is reassuring to know you have someone in your corner. In Australia, there are about 6 established reputable agencies that have been around for more than 8 years… longevity means they know their stuff.… and these are the ones we personally suggest you stick with.
Communicate … You MUST let them know if you have shopped somewhere else… have recommendations or have even booked a date for surgery. The more they know of your situation the better they can assist and ensure they do not jeopardise your upcoming procedure.
Lastly, Do NOT travel to a country without first getting the costs you need. An agent SHOULD advise you to always receive a written recommendation and cost before you leave… so there are NO surprises when you get there.