Pet parents have been complaining about the dangers of Hartz’s UltraGuard flea and tick prevention since 2002.
After the article I posted in May sharing people’s experiences with UltraGuard, Hartz immediately messaged me saying they wanted to explain their side of the story:
It is always concerning to see a response from a pet owner who has had a negative experience or has read about negative experiences with Hartz products. Flea and Tick products are highly regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency and must adhere to strict safety and efficacy guidelines. Hartz has been providing high quality and affordable flea and tick protection for over 50 years. The brand works diligently to protect millions of pets each year from the dangers of fleas, ticks and mosquitoes and provide a positive pet and pet parent experience.
As with any parasite protection product, some pets may experience a sensitivity to these products. Hartz consistently monitors its products for safety and efficacy and offers pet owners assistance, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from Veterinarians and Vet Technicians.
We recommend following the directions on each product package before using any product on pets. Hartz continues to be dedicated to pet owners and their pets.
The Hartz Mountain Corporation
This response was appreciated, but my readers deserve more than a generic email that has punctuation and capitalization errors.
I replied with a few questions and informed Hartz that the more information I was given, the better I could educate my readers.
Hartz’s responses were underwhelming to say the least, but I’ll share what they told me.
Question 1: Do you properly report each and every consumer complaint you receive regarding your products?
Answer 1: All Hartz complaints/adverse events are documented and reported in accordance with EPA and FDA regulations.
Question 2: What actions do you take to satisfy a disgruntled customer?
Answer 2: Hartz takes all consumer contacts seriously, and each case is handled on an individual basis in an effort to achieve customer satisfaction.
Question 3: Are you working on a new formula to replace the current flea/tick product considering the amount of negative experiences reported? (e.g. hair loss, vomiting, loss of appetite, death of pet instead of fleas)
Answer 3: All Hartz flea and tick products are formulated to meet EPA safety and efficacy guidelines. Pet sensitivities can occur with any flea and tick product.
Question 4: How long have you been aware of the complaints towards this product? Were you aware so many pet parents were upset before reading the Consumer Press article?
Answer 4: As mentioned, Hartz takes every consumer comment seriously and replies to each/all we have received.
The answer that bothers me the most is Answer 4. The company side-stepped the original question.
I asked how long Hartz had been aware of consumer complaints and if the company knew how many consumers were unhappy with the product.
The company said it takes every consumer comment seriously.
That doesn’t answer any aspect of the original question.
Hartz just took Answer 2, rearranged a few words, and pasted it into Answer 4.
Hartz may be giving vague answers to avoid saying something that may come back and hurt the company later, but the vagueness could harm the already-shaky customer-company relationship.
What are your thoughts on Hartz’s responses? Let me know in the comments, and then share this story with your family and friends!