LivingSocial is a daily deal site that has become popular with businesses looking for a quick cash grab, as well as customers in search of a bargain. However, there are certain dangers in signing up for a medical service like laser toenail fungus surgery just because it looks like a good deal. Here are some of the risks to consider.
Last month, 50 million LivingSocial passwords were obtained by hackers, exposing customers’ names, email addresses, dates of birth and computer security passwords. The more business you do online and the more accounts you have open, the more vulnerable you will be to identity thieves.
2. You might miss the expiration date.
This ad for a $230 laser toenail fungus treatment expires on December 4, 2013. While that may seem like a lot of time, it can still be a risk for some buyers. If you forget about your purchase or fail to go in for your appointment before then, you will be out of that money. LivingSocial lets you keep a credit to go toward another promotion if that does happen, but even this value will eventually expire on June 6, 2018. If you tend to be a forgetful person, a daily deal may not be for you. Also, there is a clause that says a cancellation with less than 24 hours notice may result in the forfeiture of your deal.
3. You’ll need to read the fine print.
It can be easy to get caught up by a perceived deal — but before you know it, you’ve paid $99 for a daily deal to have two toes treated, rather than the whole foot, as you may have imagined. The reason many businesses do specials on daily deal sites is to get warm bodies through their front doors. From there, you may subject to an onslaught of up-sells. Before you know it, you may walk out of the spa having paid the $500 to $1,500 it would have cost to see a professional anyway.
4. There is no guarantee you’ll see an expert.
While the risks for laser treatment for fungal nails are relatively low, you still want a medical professional to do the procedure. Side effects may include redness, swelling, hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation and blistering. “With any ‘new’ medical therapy… it’s best to go to an expert,” writes Dr. Jen Gunter. “That way you can get a correct diagnosis and hear about all your options before proceeding with the laser treatment.”
She goes on to explain that sometimes a spa misrepresents their facility as being overseen by a “board-certified” doctor, but the doctor could be certified as a gynecologist or dentist, technically! Furthermore, doctors could be “trained” by some overseas diploma factory for all you know. That’s not the sort of person you want performing a medical treatment on you! Legitimate doctors do advertise on LivingSocial, but it’s up to you, the consumer, to exercise due diligence and look into who is providing the service.
5. There is no guarantee the laser toenail fungus surgery will work.
Different facilities use different laser systems. Pretty much across the board, there are no guarantees the laser treatment will be 100% effective. In fact, many people find that they have a recurrence of toenail fungus almost immediately. The main reason that happens is that people put their fungus-free feet right back into a fungus-laden shoe, which causes contamination again. That’s why we recommend taking every step you can to limit the risk of a recurrence after your laser toenail fungus treatment. If you truly want to eradicate toenail fungus once and for all, invest in a SteriShoe sanitization device to clean the bacteria and fungus from your shoes daily.