We recently took ownership of a pet from a family member. The dog has been a patient of Banfield for over four years and has a current wellness program with them.
We wanted to be sure that Lucy was a good fit so we waited a month before attempting to transfer her into our name and assume the policy. When we went to the Moorestown, NJ location to have her transferred we were shocked when we were told that we would have to sign her up as a new patient and pay a new patient membership fee of $69.95 while she was currently covered in an account in good standing. They went on to explain that was the only way they could update the information, take the previous owner off the account and name us Lucy's owner. What they failed to explain is the crime of a predatory nature.
We paid a total of $166.21 on 06/26/2110 to affect this change and purchased heartworm and tick prevention medication. I received a call last night from the same family member that we adopted the dog from and was informed that Banfield debited her account for $23.95, the same amount we are paying. Thinking this was a clerical error; I called the local Banfield clinic and was told that the previous owner was responsible for cancelling the old premium which they failed to disclose to us when we opened our account. When she called Banfield corporate today she was informed that her agreement was binding and she was responsible to pay the monthly fee until the contract expires in November.
I called corporate to explain that we were now paying the premium for the SAME patient and I was told that their policy is to collect for the full contract amount regardless of duplicate premiums. Now, I have to refund my relative the same amount I'm paying for the dog's coverage. When I asked if my dog was receiving twice the coverage they said no. When I asked if the transfer which I was charged $69.00 for had increased Banfield's operating expense they said no.
Finally, when I asked the corporate representative if they were in my shoes how would they feel; The reply was, a cold, I can't answer that question because it's not my pet. This is an absolute crime. They did not lose a client but now they are trying to collect twice for the same coverage on a single animal. I'm out of room or I'd explain my sales issue.
Bottom line is that this company has either lost focus on customer service and doing the sensible right thing but more likely is a sales organization that is driven by greed and revenue with a corporate policy that screws their clients with no regard to ethics, moral or decorum. Their tactics of disclosure are at best invisible as they defer to small print in their terms and conditions and even twist those words to a point of distortion that is unrecognizable to the consumer eye. This organization is dirty, underhanded and feeds off fear and love of pets to upsell unsuspecting customers who assume that they are legitimate because they are partnered with a large national chain like Pet Smart. The aforementioned company should change its name to Pet DUMB because there is no long term strategy of survival when you sleep with a predator like Banfield.
If you are smarter than me and performing your due diligence, do yourself a favor and check their rating history with the Better Business Bureau @ http://www.bbb.org/oregon/business-reviews/animal-hospitals/banfield-the-pet-hospital-in-portland-or-78000503 . They are not an accredited member and can't be because they fall well below the BBB's minimal standard requirements because of their history and practice.
I'm not an attorney but if I were, I would rally to create a class action complaint against this entity that, in my opinion, is at par with Michael Vick.
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Wellness Plan.