I had adopted a healthy kitten more than a year ago. He quickly became sick and died suddenly without warning, a day before he was scheduled to go to the Vet. Several months later I adopt a lethargic, stray kitten and immediately took him to a Banfield, terrified history might repeat itself. Once there, I was told that this kitten was very ill and that it would be more affordable and beneficial for me to purchase the Banfield Wellness Plan. I purchased this plan out of sheer desperation after they showed me my options. I had a choice to potentially not be able to afford to save this kitten or to get the wellness plan. The extremely unfriendly clerk handed me contracts, while she frankly stated that they were to consent for treatment. Is this where the fine print for the Wellness Plan was strategically hidden? When the clerk asked for my card, she gave me the impression I was paying for treatment and plan initiation. I thought it was extremely deceptive that she never gave me verbal disclosure that she was recording my card number for future automatic withdrawals from my account. (STRIKE ONE!!!).
(Oh well... I'm a patient person. I overlooked the fact that they took advantage of my flustered state.)
So I let them give this kitten the tests they thought he needed, without dispute. On top of deworming and normal vaccinations, the kitten had a little abscess that I was worried about. So the vet shaved him, claimed she would "flush out the abscess", and advised I purchase the more expensive, more effective injection antibiotic for him. All this time I'm being told I can't stay with the kitten (or see if what I was paying for was even being done). I don't know what flushing out an abscess does, but the bump looked exactly the same- except with the scab picked off. A couple days passed, and the abscess grew ENORMOUS with multiple sores erupting. I dabbed it with a wet tissue and it exploded yellow foam and puss. I'm ashamed to say I exhausted my biweekly funds and don't have any money until the next pay day to take him back to the vet. My only consolation for him was to keep changing the bandages to hold him over until payday. He heals and gets better, no thanks to Banfield's "flushing method" and ineffective, expensive antibiotics. (STRIKE TWO!!!)
(Might as well take him fon his boosters and another check up since I have the plan, right?)
I call Banfield on my cell phone while driving my kitten to his second check up. I ask them over the phone to see what procedure would be to get him neutered. They explain they only do that on the weekends, so I schedule an appointment on that Saturday. 30 minutes later, I arrive at the Banfield and explain to the clerk that I just realized that this was my weekend to work (and also that I wanted to wait until a payday). I ask her to cancel the appointment, and she confirms that she has done so.
I'm at work that Saturday and receive a voicemail from Banfield stating that since I never showed up or cancelled my appointment, they will make an (unauthorized) charge to my checking account for that appointment. As a recent college grad paying student loans, living paycheck to paycheck and in the middle of switching banks, in this current economy, this withdrawal would have over-drafted my account, bounced my checks and made me delinquent on several accounts. I waste my lunch break and am on the *** of getting in trouble being on my phone while working because I was being transferred, being placed on hold, playing phone tag, being told to call someone else because no one could or wanted to help me cancel this unauthorized pending charge. I'm DONE!!! (STRIKE THREE!!! YOU'RE OUTTA HERE!!!... or are you?)
I'm not utilizing any of the benefits for this wellness plan, thinking it's cancelled. It's a couple months later... And my kitten has worms. (STRIKE... four?)
Banfield would not stop withdrawing money out of my account. So I had to physically close the bank account I only opened several months before. I then get phone calls saying I'm delinquent on this account by ~$90.
FINE! I wrote to them to express my dissatisfaction and gave them two choices. I ask them to please salvage what trust I might have left by canceling the account without fees. Second, I ask them to send me whatever the final bill may be to finalize the requirements for cancellation for this plan- this choice resulting in me never setting foot in a PetSmart/Banfield again.
This was a while ago, and today I get a phone call that not only am I delinquent on the account, but it more than doubled because they renewed it for this year. (STRIKE FIVE... I guess we're bowling?)
After speaking with the guy at the the collection agency, I tried to explain how this is unethical and bad business practice. He suffered from foot-in-the-mouth disease while trying to defend Banfield and it's actions, stating that "Banfield is one of OUR best companies to work with"... What does that tell you? I guess collection agencies would go out of business without companies like Banfield... By the way, my cat is alive and well, thanks for not asking...
If you HATE your animals and LOVE throwing away your money... BANfield is the right place for you. Wish me luck on continuing my never-ending quest to cancel my Wellness Plan...
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Wellness Plan.
Monetary Loss: $100.