Please, Don’t believe everything you read when it comes to online
reviews and internet forums since anyone can post anything about
anyone anywhere on the Web.
Since the first day, at MakeoverTravel we have made it our goal to
provide the best care for every patient every day and our philosophy
has always been “Our patients always come first”.
We have been recognized nationally and internationally for providing
higher quality, patient-centred care leading to optimal outcomes and
patient satisfaction since opening in 2001.
Our patients come from all over the world; and since 2001 more than
3000 patients have enjoyed the dedicated care they receive at
MakeoverTravel from their care coordinators as well as the highest
quality of plastic surgery care at an affordable price.
...Obviously 'word of mouth' is the best recommendation anyone can
Our medical group has grown an excellent reputation with our
patients who refer their families, friends and colleagues to us,
which has also given our organization a good relationship with
international insurance companies that also refer their patients to
us for treatments (such as reconstructive plastic surgery after
accidents or special reconstructive face and body treatments for
burned patients etc.) in an attempt to rein in exploding medical
costs in their country.
Despite our best efforts and our professionalism, we are today faced
with a serious problem. Internet!
One of the highest profile professions in the world is that of a
doctor. Working directly with the public with the most precious
possession people have, their health, makes what doctors do very
special. It also makes our liability higher than any other
Let’s face it, working with people is a tough job. Many of you do it,
but you certainly don’t work with people in the way that doctors do.
Plastic surgeons work directly with people in regard to their health and
beauty, which are often the most important things to our patients,
and if it’s not done exactly as the patient wants, even if it’s done
correctly, they will often lash out.
So where do they lash out? Online of course!
Why? If a disgruntled patient is looking for an outlet, she/he doesn’t
need to look very far. Doctor review websites are everywhere, and
it’s very easy for a patient to ruin a doctor reputation online with
a few well placed reviews of the service the patient was provided.
The problem is that reviews can be posted by anyone: Competitors,
disgruntled ex-employees, or an ex-patient who just decide to
ruin doctor' reputation online because he refuses to do or redo an
intervention for free.
In some case, that reviews are posted by people trying to extort money from
Yes it sounds crazy!
but it is
unfortunately real, and these practices have become more and more
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons over 60% of
plastic surgeons have been victim of extortion by patients who
threaten them to ruin their reputation online if they do not accept
to do what the patient wants.
Victim of an extortion…
On January 2010 we have been victim of an extortion scam in which an
ex patient threatened to post negative comments and ratings about
our doctors and their practices on social websites to ruin our
reputation if we did not refund her money (once her procedure was
Although the surgery was perfectly done, this patient said she was unsatisfied
with her outcomes. We still don’t know if the patient had
unrealistic expectations or if it was just a pretext to justify a
We refused to refund her money because her surgery was perfect, but as a consequence of
our reaction in no time dozens of negative posts against MakeoverTravel were scattered throughout the Internet in different
social websites (such as: messageboards.makemeheal.com).
She was using many different user names and portraying herself as
different people (sometimes to respond to her own posts, and in
other cases to create new threads as if she were another unsatisfied
From January 2010, she continues to post the same type of
messages which reveal she is in fact just one person. Her messages
are easy to recognize since they all start by expressions such as
“Please don’t go there”, “Run!” or “be aware with MakeoverTravel”.
Thus resulting in potential patients -who were not aware of this
type of deception- seeing and believing the postings and then
canceling their procedures.
These scam artists know these facts and use it to their advantage.
For all readers out there, it is important to understand that as
wonderful as the internet can be, it can also be dangerous. Anyone
can make a claim without the need to validate their claim. The best
way to evaluate a physician is through state licensing sites that
control, and authenticate their contents.
Thank God, our first extortion case happened almost 10 years after our company
was established and after more than 3000 satisfied patients have had
their surgery done with MakeoverTravel in Brazil, Bolivia, Israel or
But unfortunately online extortion has become an important expenditure
for many plastic surgeons all over the world.
These con persons target top plastic surgeons or important medical
group to better ensure their paybacks. Many assume that plastic
surgeons and organizations like our make enough money
–“so who cares”.
But in reality, once these unnecessary expenses occur, plastic
surgeons have more difficulty easening up on their fees to try to
help their patients in this tough economy. So once again, ultimately,
the honest people are the one who get hurt, patient and their doctor
Many say that a tough economy brings out the worst in people, but in
terms of plastic surgery offices it’s bringing the worst people IN.
To make matters worse,
some websites are taking part in this online
fraud themselves and requesting exuberant amounts of money from
plastic surgeons or medical organization to remove these fake posts.
Many websites invite negative comments and block positive ones to
force plastic surgeons in to paying them kickbacks.
As we all know the Internet is not always the most trustworthy place
to gain information. Doctors constantly express how they don’t
advise people to get medical advice from the web, and now even more
so with this epidemic of online swindling.
please! next time you head to review sites to read what “patients” have
to say about a doctor, a clinic, or a medical organization; take
into consideration the fact that not all these reviews may be in
good faith. We all know choosing a doctor is an important decision
and being cautious is wise, just be wise enough to know not to
believe everything you hear or read.