As a regular online shopper and an owner of an online retail store myself, I am a huge proponent of the convenience and power online shopping gives to the buyer. Over the years, I have bought a little of everything through various online vendors. As the happy owner of a horse, dog and cat, I regularly shop for pet supplies on the internet – the selection is lovely, you can compare prices and it saves me from traipsing to the pet food store and lugging 50 pound bags of dog food home with me.
So when I did a quick price comparison and placed my order for Frontline (a flea preventative treatment) for my dog and cat, I quickly placed the order, not feeling too wary about anything in regard to the site. I did notice that the company was based in Canada (I’m in the U.S.) but didn’t think too much of it.
Two weeks (eek) later, I finally received my order. The goods were tightly packed inside a brown envelope from Barbados. When I opened the package, I saw that the cat treatment was sent to me in 6 individual samples from Africa. The dog treatment was in a battered package from New South Wales. Eek. Like most discerning adults, I would never think of using these on my pets.
After some correspondence with the company, informing them I was turning them into the FDA, they pointed me to their disclaimer at the bottom of their website “FDA’s general position: The FDA, due to the current state of their regulations, has taken the position that virtually all shipments of prescription drugs imported from a Canadian pharmacy by a U.S. consumer will violate the law.” I instantly wished I were a little (or alot) more cautious about my online activities, particularly since it looks as though I personally violated the law. Hopefully the FDA is a little understanding.
I will be turning this information over to the authorities but I’m sharing this as a lesson learned. Even in this time of relative comfort with online shopping, do your due diligence and order only from trusted sources.
Wish me luck and happy online shopping!