TouchESA.com touts itself as a leading all-in-one solution for the approval of emotional support animals (ESA). The website explains how their work has been featured in Modern Dog and Modern Cat Magazine and has already assisted more than 50,000 people with affiliated services.
According to TouchESA.com, an on-staff full-time clinical psychologist reviews all questionnaire forms for an ESA letter. Approved customers in the United States will receive their letter and other documentation via email. The website explains how an ESA letter will help customers travel with their support animals without having to pay extra fees, and secure approval to rent properties without having to pay a pet deposit.
TouchESA.com describes a three-step qualification process for an ESA letter. First, customers have the option to choose from three different payment plans, and a number of same-day delivery options, based on an individual’s budget and need. Housing and airline ESA letters cost $49 each, while both air travel and housing ESA letters can be purchased together for $30 each.
The website also offers a payment plan where customers can pay $9.99 a month for three months (a significant upcharge from the standard letter plan prices). According to TouchESA.com, the letters are written by an in-state licensed therapist and are able to be used to keep pets in ‘no pet policy’ apartments, along with waiving any per security deposits. Letters come in either a hardcopy or emailed PDF option, according to TouchESA.com. The website says the letters are compliant with the Air Carrier Access Act and the HUD Fair Housing Act as legitimate documentation for emotional support animals.
After payment is made, customers will take a free qualification test in order to see if they are eligible for an ESA letter. TouchESA.com says the exam is quick and easy to complete. Next, customers are purportedly matched with an in-state therapist who reaches out to the customer. TouchESA.com says the matches are made based on the answers given in the evaluation test. Finally, TouchESA.com asserts all information is protected by law and promises that the letters protect the recipients.
TouchESA.com is clear to note that the website does not offer any sort of medical advice, and lists a number, email address for contact, and an address in Elm Grove, WI. The website also links to several social media profiles, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Blog posts about the effectiveness of dogs and cats as emotional support animals and stress relievers are listed, but posts appear to stop after late October 2018.
Despite the robust offerings on the website and a variety of ESA animal information, TouchESA.com has been the recipient of several negative reviews that casts the entire operation in a negative light. Reviewers have claimed they took customer money without actually sending over any letters or documentation in return,
Additionally, others have claimed the phone number and other contact avenues listed TouchESA.com are not active, leading to trouble with trying to get information about orders that have not actually arrived. According to other Yelp reviews, TouchESA.com has not been responsive to requests for refunds.
There are a couple of other issues with TouchESA.com that cast the business in doubt. The website claims to offer both air and apartment ESA letters, when a true ESA letter is able to be used for both situations. The low cost of the letter seems enticing, but most likely indicates the operation does not actually have a licensed medical professional who actually takes time to interview and speak with each prospective patient for qualification purposes. A legitimate operation charges enough money to ensure a high-quality medical professional can be retained.
Information about the physical address is not able to be verified, according to some reviews. There’s also questions about the actual process of working with a medical professional. A legitimate ESA letter operation will have patients speaking to a licensed healthcare professional. At TouchESA.com, one part of the website notes that a full-time licensed psychologist reviews all of the submitted questionnaires.
Elsewhere, it asserts applications are matched with a therapist based on the answers. The inconsistences in these answers seemingly raises red flags about the legitimacy of the operation. A true ESA letter service will have customers speaking with a licensed doctor and then receiving a prescription, not buying a letter.
The name of the healthcare professional should be able to be researched through the state’s Medical Board website. A search of TouchESA.com on the appropriate Medical Board website does not turn up much information, which means there is seemingly not any medical professionals associated with the website that are properly verified.
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