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Is the Rover Protection Worth the cost?

asked 2014-12-09 11:37:35 -0500

I just signed up for the Rover 'Ask A vet service" but am realizing that really it only serves to answer up to 5 questions. Has this service really helped someone while dog sitting? Has it given you specialized information that Google couldn't provide? I am wondering if the $49 price tag is worth it.

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10 Answers

12
answered 2014-12-09 16:50:08 -0500

Hi Liz,

I signed up for it first thing when I started sitting through Rover. Even if you never have to use it, it helps in your search ranking, and at $50/year it's less expensive than even one potentially preventable emergency vet visit. I'm big on doing my homework on health issues with my own dogs, but when dealing with someone else's pet I'd want a professional opinion for a variety of reasons. First, it covers you as a business owner. Second, I know the baseline behavior for my own dogs, and I know how they act when they are hurt or ill; I don't have that kind of history with the dogs I watch, and they may act differently with me than they do with their owners. Third, in the event of an illness or injury, you can reassure the owners when you contact them because you've already spoken with a vet and you can relay what a professional has said to help them make an informed decision regarding whether or not they want their pet seen immediately, in the morning, or even if they need to cut their vacation short.

Beyond the vet access, you also get a year subscription to 1-800-HELP-4-PETS. They send you tags that you attach to your guest's collar when they begin their stay. Each tag has an ID number that is associated with your account. If they get free during their visit, anyone calling the number on the tag will allow 1-800-HELP-4-PETS to contact Rover and you, and reunite lost pets with their sitters faster. This way you don't have to worry about whether dogs you watch are microchipped or have current tags, and they can contact you directly rather than going through the out of town owners.

Thankfully I haven't had to use any of the features yet, but I'm sure it has helped me in the search rankings, improving my business prospects, so if you get just a couple extra nights booked because of the perks, it pays for itself.

http://www.rover.com/protection-package/

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7
answered 2014-12-14 12:23:50 -0500

Like you, I signed up for the service not sure it was worth the price tag or not. I simply wanted the "badge" to show on my profile, since when you're new, you don't have much to make you stand out. I sincerely doubt that I will renew in July. The above commenter seems to talk more about Rover's insurance policy, which IS important, and also free! I really can't see much value in the " Ask a Vet" feature. During business hours, I can ask my or owner's vet a question, and after hours, I've called our local specialty/emergency facility (for my own dogs, not guests yet, thankfully) for advice on what actually constitutes an emergency ... They're there 24/7 and always very helpful. I'm just not sure what kind of question I would need them for, that couldn't be answered another way. Also, I had already purchased tags from the Pet supplies Plus "machine" saying "Visiting" My Name and Phone Number, which I put on guests when they walk in the door. Bottom line ... is it worth it? I don't think so.

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5
answered 2014-12-30 20:07:51 -0500

I figure if I book two or three extra nights because I was listed higher in the search ranking per year, it's paid for itself, and you still get the perks associated with it, should you ever need them.

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4
answered 2014-12-11 23:48:43 -0500

I definitely think the protection plan is worth it. When I'm caring for someone else's dogs I like having the peace of mind that if something happens I have support that I can utilize. And I have had to use it before - brother dogs were playing a little rough and one got a small wound on the muzzle. My client was new in town and didn't have a vet yet so after talking to her we went to who ever could squeeze us in. I called Rover before going to determine what the policy is and what I need to do and such. If I recall correctly, $250 is paid out of pocket (either by you or the owner. Fortunately, the vet we went to was completely understanding and willing to keep things on file and when the owner came back in town stopped by and paid the bill since the total with less than $150). After the initial $250, Rover covers other vet costs up to, I believe, $2,000. You have to file a claim and such and thankfully I have not had to do that. That's the only time I've used the service but it was great to fall back on. They're willing to answer any questions as well. I really feel better about caring for other people's animals knowing that I have access to a support network like that.

I also did appreciate that when you sign up for it Rover doesn't make you pay upfront for it. You say you want it and then you just have a negative balance on your dashboard. Once you book a client, they just deduct it out of that. Which when I was just starting I didn't have a whole lot of expendable cash so I was able to have this coverage for my first clients without to dig myself into a hole.

Bottom line - I really do think it's worth it.

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2
answered 2015-08-01 20:25:57 -0500

Nope. Had to use it with a client that dropped off a ill dog that turned for the worse. In the time I figured out format, asked, and Waited...and waited...and waited? I called their vet and got better advice from a person who knew the pup's history. Not worth$50 so I cancelled it. If you guys really want a badge, do the sitter's handbook tests and donate to charity.

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2
answered 2014-12-22 12:39:32 -0500

The only reason I subscribed to the service was solely for the badge. I definitely do not think it's worth the $50. Who would seriously choose to use that service over contacting the the pets actual veterinarian or local after hours emergency clinic? I sure know I wouldn't. It's a just a marketing tactic the site uses towards us as sitterts to increase their revenue.

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Comments

1

I agree. I tried to get a refund before the negative balance was paid and I hadn't been sent the Rover tag, but it was too late. So I'll keep it for a year and cancel. Odd that they only send you one tag, I often sit more than one dog at a time. They make you buy additional tags. I won't be doing that either.

Elizabeth K.'s profile imageElizabeth K. ( 2014-12-31 12:02:28 -0500 )edit
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answered 2014-12-30 20:29:06 -0500

Thank you. Very true, even if I get one or two more requests from the extra badge it's worth it. I appreciate the input

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1
answered 2015-08-10 17:15:51 -0500

I have been using Rover for a while now and have never subscribed for the protection. After reading through what it provides for the $50.00 I felt, that for me, it wasn't worth the investment. There are a lot of things you can do to increase your search ranking without paying solely for the badge, especially when you have to renew it each year.

With the AMAZING insurance that Rover already provides for free and the availability of your own, the client's or another local vet to answer emergency questions - plus the 24/7 support already provided by Rover - there's no reason, I see, that it is necessary or worth it to invest in this protection.

*If you aren't doing this as your sole means of income, or have the disposable cash at hand, there's also no reason not to go ahead and purchase this additional layer of protection. It completes your profile by adding a badge and can help make owners feel more secure with entrusting their pets to you.

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0
answered 2015-08-25 21:05:02 -0500

I go the extra mile for the peace of mind. And I think having this protection with the special dog tag brings my clients peace of mind also. Just paying the 50 bucks stands out in our profile saying yes we will pay it cause we are dedicated to go the extra mile.

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0
answered 2015-08-27 19:18:15 -0500

Good Question, especially since their seems to be some debate.
I purchased the Premium Pet Insurance to get started with the badge and since I will have dogs spending overnights in my home. If I was just walking dogs at their home & staying overnight at their home I may not have purchased it. There is something about having dogs in an unfamiliar environment that makes me want to go the extra mile for protection. Since I was laid off twice within a year, proving to me that there is no job security, I decided I would try to start up my own business. Thankfully, my husband does taxes and can figure that stuff out for us. My Business Law classes in college made me leery of the risks of a sole proprietorship, so this insurance eases my anxiety. Will I renew after a year? If I am working back in an office, not walking dogs anymore, then no. If I am successful at this business venture after a year, then I probably will.

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