Banfield Pet Hospital fails to provide true Wellness & tries desperately to upsell and add unnecessary services/medications
Banfield Pet Hospital is a shady practice all throughout. Granted there are some locations and maybe doctors that can be okay but overall the company as a whole does what it can to rip more out off the customer than is necessary. The wellness plan in my opinion is just a placebo effect, it makes you feel like you are getting discounted services but really where's the discount if I'm having procedures and medications added to my pets bill that aren't truly necessary. I have visited numerous locations in my area and have had the same experience. I once had to go to another location, because my main location is closed on Weds and Sun, for an eye issue. The Banfield location decided to give him a large drink of water to which my dog gulped it all up, they took him outside to urinate and just so happened to do a urine catch...why?! My dog was there for an eye issue not a urine test or comprehensive. Sure enough I get a call that my dog's urine seemed really diluted and they wanted to run a urinanalyis. She began to tell me of all the scary things this could mean and of course getting that information and knowing he's an older dog I did let them perform the test but guess what it came back relatively normal. To be honest I should have declined the servers but honestly it should have not really been suggested, nor a urine catch done in the first place, because if you give my dog a large amount of water to drink and then watch him go of course it's going to be diluted. It was all a ploy to get money. I am sure I am not the only one they play that game on. I had a dog that had dry skin and I knew this he was a Senior dog and it never seemed to bother him, the only reason they saw dry skin flakes that day is because he'd recently had a bath after a boarding stay at a local kennel. Instead of the Dr. recommending some treatments both those they could prescribe or 'home' remedies and letting me truly decide the vet at this practice decided I was a good enough pet parent that she could tack on a special shampoo and some pills which basically were the equivalent of Fish Oil caps to my bill because I'm a good owner and would purchase. I really think once they find a pet parent that tries to do everything possible to ensure their pet is healthy it triggers them to try and up-sell and find any small thing wrong with your pet.
I've often gone into the location for a routine wellness exam or a simple recheck and have the front desk receptionists ask me what I am there for because they see all sorts of other treatment options on my plan. After letting them know I'm only there for a comprehensive or a recheck after an ear infection for one of my pups, she removes the extras and only puts on what I need because none of the stuff that she mentioned that was on my treatment plan for the day was stuff that was necessary for a wellness exam for my dog or for follow-up check on my dog. Something tells me that the vets in Massaponax location try and tally up what they can hit you with that day prior to your visit.
Apart from that, I recently had to put down, one of my dogs that was a Banfield regular. The last visit to Banfield was a drop off appointment at their insisting, because the location is so understaffed with Dr's and overbooked, to which the Dr. stated my dog "looked good," (this is after him losing weight from 11 lbs to 9lbs within the span of two visits and still experiencing diarrhea and had a diarrhea movement in the office that day which the doctor told me about!) he was sent home with more antibiotic and Forti-Flora and a another follow up drop off scheduled which I intentionally missed because I had already rushed my dog into a REAL vet clinic for a second opinion because I couldn't stand Banfield's relative inaction any longer and my dog was getting worse! To this day they haven't even called to check up on him or tried to schedule another appointment after I missed the follow-up appointment! For all the vet knows that dog is still alive! I haven't called yet to inform them any different but I would think if my pet is sick and was still sick and had diarrhea in the office during the recheck exam you would be wanting to know what was going on if I missed a follow up appointment, especially if you prescribed medication! Of course I canceled his plan because he is deceased now, fortunately his plan is up in Sept so I only have 1 more payment before things should be canceled instead of having the trauma of having to continue to pay for services for a dog is no longer living.
Yesterday while cancelling my deceased dog's plan I debated canceling my other dogs plans there as well. Well... now I know it is time to cancel my remaining plans for my dogs and move them to a real animal clinic. The Banfield Pet Hospital Massaponax location in Fredericksburg, VA has had an extremely high turn over rate in vets, for a while they only had one vet on staff. It's very rare for you to ever see the same vet when you go in so they never really get to know your dogs or their history. For any appointments now you are urged to drop your pet off, even if they were seen before because they are sick, I believe their system recommends this when they are so overbooked or low on staff, so you rarely get any in office time with a Dr. and if you do you are waiting upwards of an hour to see them and you only get about a 10 minute visit. The Massaponax location is now closed on Sun and Weds because they are always understaffed. In my opinion, there is no reason that sick pets should even been suggested to have a drop off appointment. Those should be among the clients and pet parents that are assured to get 1:1 time with the vet!
To top that off, I to date have gotten NO PHONE CALL nor test results information from the Dr's on a Bile Acid Test conducted 7/11/13 that one of my dogs was given after she presented with SLIGHTLY abnormal Liver ALT levels (112 where 100 is considered normal) during her yearly blood test! Turns out she was above normal Bile Acid levels after eating and I only found this out because I checked the pet portal website! So no call about the results but they surely did find a way to contact me and be sure to schedule me to take my money to run the test in the first place! I have NO idea what abnormal Bile Acid levels post-meal means to her and if there's anything I need to do to get her to "normal," but isn't that what my Banfield vet is supposed to call and tell me or am I supposed to Google that to find out??!?
Additionally, I just found out that one of my other dogs (senior dog) apparently needs a Bordatella vaccine because it was given 1/30/13 and expired on 7/29/13(that or the vet failed to update their records properly because other vaccinations that were given on that same date aren't being called for to be booster until next year!) only because I need to board him soon and ended up checking their website to find out if both my dogs were up to date. The vet's office hasn't called me in anyway to at least alert me to the fact my dog's Bordatella is expired, no contact mail/email, nor automatically set up any kind of appointment for him, not even a drop off, to come in for his vaccine. Now I have to try and to squeeze him in there to which they will probably try to find a reason that he needs more than just the vaccine or find somewhere else that I can get in and get him vaccinated for that ASAP.
Despite all of the above what gets me the angriest is that I am paying over 140 bucks a month for "Wellness" Plans and I'm not even getting the peace of mind that both my dogs will always be up to date on their shots or that I'll be called about testing results for something that was apparently concerning enough for them to want to test it in the first place!?!? So much for WELLNESS.
So Yeah...um no thank you... I'm lucky that my renewal for both my remaining dogs is up in September as well so I don't have to spend another year paying for Wellness Care that I can't rely on! The Wellness Plans department will definitely will be getting a call from me again to cancel my remaining pets plans. I'm highly pissed!
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Vaccination.
Monetary Loss: $300.