We recently shared here some egregious examples of misleading ads for services and products for pets, urging caution because the claims in those ads should not be believed without question.
It’s not always easy to confirm that such claims are bogus, but it can be fairly simple when the sellers are sloppy and you can immediately see in an online ad that it’s unnecessary to investigate further. Instead you know, so easily, that you do not want to do business with this entity. You won’t be the sucker born this minute!
It’s possible to see humor in the horrible ad copy for a product or a protocol when you’re not the one who will be scammed. Your pet will not be the one harmed. I can laugh at the headline, “Make Your Dog Obedient in 2023!” because it’s so flagrantly offensive. “Make” your dog? How does that work?
Sounds to me like it involves punishment. Was the choice of words an accident, possibly by someone for whom English is a second language? Or was this choice of words exactly what the business entity wanted to convey—coercion? How ugly.
So … is the entity paying for the ad pandering to potential clients who see “making” a dog do something as appropriate—with force always the first choice?
Or, if it was not the entity’s wish to allude to compulsion as being appropriate, why are those words in the headline? They didn’t know any better?
Nope, these are not folks you want to do business with. (They lost me at “make your dog.”)
I am particularly concerned about ads that imply the seller stands behind the product with strong customer support from a highly trained, knowledgeable staff, always available to help.
Here’s the description of a product sold by the XXX Company:
Dog Training Device with Remote:The shock collar with remote control can be remotely controlled up to 1600 feet, Two channels, Up to 2 dogs can be controlled at the same time, With instructions, button design, suitable for beginners to train naughty dogs.
3 Training Modes:The dog training device is designed with three training modes: beep, vibration (level 1-8), and electric shock (level 1-8).Easily train disobedient dogs to obey instructions and solve their hateful behavior problems.
One Key Lock,Refuse Accidentally Triggered:The safety switch can prevent misoperation of the remote control,Don’t worry about accidental vibrations or electric shocks frightening your dog.Silicone protective sleeve can provide double protection for your dog.
Adjustable Size & IPX7 Waterproof:Adjustable nylon collar is suitable for 15-120 pounds of dogs,It is very suitable for training small, medium and large dogs.The collar receiver adopts IPX7 waterproof level,Outdoor activities can also be carried out on rainy days, very flexible.
Then here’s what the XXX Company tells us about their business:
XXX Company is an international B2C fast fashion e-commerce company for moms to find great deals for themselves and their families. The mixture of trendy, sophisticated and contemporary clothes, and accessories has made XXX an inviting and stunning online shop.The brand was founded in October 2019, and since then it has upheld the philosophy that “every families can enjoy the cute, quality clothes at great prices.” Its business covers more than 220 countries and regions around the world.
Our store offers unique apparel and accessories to moms to find great deals for themselves and their families, without spending a lot of time and money. who value versatility, style, and comfort. XXX prides itself on providing excellent customer service. There is always somebody to answer you and help you find whatever you need. That’s not even mentioning our great selection of fun and beautiful Bikini, Clothing, Accessories and much more! Order today and let us help you redesign or add to your existing wardrobe.
You are always wholeheartedly welcome at our site, while we try and answer each and every request in emails by our own personal agents. Whether you need assistance in finding a special look or you just want to browse on your own, we aim to make you look and feel good.
Yes, that’s correct—XXX Company specializes in bikinis, clothing, and accessories.
Imagine the customer-support assistance they offer when you purchase a shock collar!
Photo by Erin Saywell
Here is an About Us from the website of a dog supply company with a Facebook ad:
Welcome to YYY online. Find the most fashionable, cutest and suitable products for our pets in the world YYY to provide our pets with a variety of products belonging to them, which will bring comfort and convenience to our pets. YYY has a large number of satisfied customers, and they are growing every day. The company was established in 2019 in its hometown of Toronto, Canada, and is headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA. We are expanding our team to meet customer needs
YYY’s goal is to provide you with pet-related products at reasonable prices, so that you can select satisfactory products for your pets, and add more fun and laughter to your life. We carefully test each product for durability and health, so that our customers can be confident in the quality of our products. Our staff is on hand 24/7 to meet the questions and needs of our customers. We believe that serving our customers upholds a responsibility to ensure that they are satisfied with their purchases. We will do our best to make sure that our customers are happy. We believe we can create a good impact in the industry by focusing on our customers’ needs.
I don’t believe a word of it. Their “team” should include, at least, a proofreader, don’t you think?
But those folks are at genius level in comparison with entities that give us garbled verbiage like this introduction and product description, from a sponsored ad on Facebook for a pet supply company:
1, welcome to our shop, the store newly opened, integrity management,thank you.
2, our goods are genuine, fake a penalty ten credibility guarantee. Welcome customers to come to rest assured that shopping.
Portable Pet Hair Brush,Our carpet rake are made of High-quality Stainless steel and pure copper head, they are durable and not rusty, let the be used for a long time.Our shaver let the fabric look new, when use it first time, brush should be used to scratch less than 10° to test whether the material can be applied.
Fewer problems with English in the claims below, but also no sign of scientific proof!
Maximize your pets energy with a toy they will love!
Dog Puzzle Toy
For both Cats & Dogs
Best Gift For Your Pet
Anti Gulping Food Dispenser
Specially designed to improve the IQ of pets
Allows dogs to become smarter by actively obtaining food rewards
No way to know how familiar with English the original author of this ad copy must be:
Jumping Activation Ball For Dogs
Keep Your Dog Active and Healthy
They Can Entertain Themselves
Muscle Training, Keep fur pet Healthy
Prevents dog depression
The ad above is currently running on Facebook for at least six different companies. Every one of the six ads reads exactly the same, including “Keep fur pet Healthy …”
Again, this ad copy makes some claims I highly doubt, but … who named this toy?
From a sponsored ad on Facebook:
Wisdom Dog Toys Slow Leakage Feeding Training
This is an educational dog toy , relieve the anxiety of dogs during daily boredom, and effectively improve the intelligence of dogs
The ad below is my favorite because it made me laugh hardest. I’ve got theater experience, I just couldn’t help myself. Place an ad meant for English-speaking people and miss this mistake?!?
Nope, again, you’ve gotta walk away—unless you’re staging “Annie,” right?
From the website of a dog supply company:
Costumer service is our number one priority. We will strive to give you the best products at the best price, with an 24/7 support service. Over +20,000 satisfied costumers have trusted us.
I am not gonna trust them; I am not a costumer.
How to protect yourself and your pet from the products and protocols of possible scammers who advertise online? You probably already avoid reading “stock” reviews on the entity’s website—they could be fake.
Read instead the informative comments on the Facebook ads: paid for it, never got it; the product arrived broken; I was promised a refund, I didn’t get one; my emails were not ever answered; it doesn’t work on my pet but every other pet in the neighborhood is very bothered by it.
On Facebook, it should also be easy to check the entity’s location, if it’s answered honestly the questions the system asks. Look on the Facebook page’s About and read the page’s Transparency answers. Sketchy information predicts possible problems for you, the potential customer.
Remember, too, that if the entity is not in the same country you are, your chance of recourse if you have complaints is almost nonexistent, with no oversight to protect you. Don’t put yourself in that position!
When you’re suspicious of an ad’s claims, make the smart move—walk away.