The banter about VSP's opening of a vision center on the Cisco campus in San Jose has been significant. Announced on this blog on May 11th, the topic is hot enough for VSP to feel compelled to respond with various PR efforts, including releases to the press and a national "town hall" tour. These efforts are likely the work of an expensive PR firm retained by VSP for just such events.
In one recently released communication, VSP works hard to rationalize their action as a competitive response. "If not us, then it would have been someone else," they say. OK, I get that. Competitive actions require competitive response. I'm a firm believer in the law of the marketplace. But had VSP done just two things…only two…they could have turned this sow's ear into a silk purse. And the fact that VSP doesn't do these things generates other questions, for sure. So I have two questions for VSP:
a) If this is so good for your providers, why not announce the action back last fall when you took it instead of hiding it and then reacting once it was discovered? Why not transparency?
b) If this is so good for the providers, why not take the profits from the activity and return them to the VSP providers within a 20 mile radius of the Cisco Campus. After all, this can't be a highly profitable activity, with only 1000 on-site claims. Why not give the money back to your providers, VSP?
My own opinion of VSP's strategy is well documented in this blog. Let's see if VSP has the cojones to respond.