I took my 4 year old English Bulldog to Banfield yesterday (6/9/12) for emergency treatment. My dog was walking around in my backyard as she always does when she started to sneeze uncontrollably. When I was trying to comfort her to find out what happen I noticed her nose bleeding so I rushed her into my car and raced to Banfield Pet Hospital. Upon arrival I'm in a panic and it's clearly obvious my dog is having an urgent matter I had to wait about 5-10 minutes for someone to finally take her back to be seen.
When the Dr/Nurse (whatever she calls herself) came out to update me on her condition, I noticed she had a Q-Tip with her and she says "I noticed your dogs ear is dirty and may be infected, I'd like to look at it under a microscope to see if it is at a cost of $40". I said "this is what's causing her sneezing", she says "No", so I got a little upset and told her the first thing out of her mouth should be updating me to the condition of my dog and letting me know if she's going to be Okay or not, not trying to up sell me on additional costs that have nothing to do with the emergency at hand. She continued to try and sell me ointments, creams, and ear cleaners. Finally I raised my voice a bit and said "can we just worry about her uncontrollable sneezing", she said "Okay" and left the room and went into the back.
About 15 minutes later I was presented with a authorization to treat her with an itemized costs of different procedures they would like to do. They billed me an office visit fee of $48.95 which is understandable, but in addition to the office visit, they billed me an Emergency Care fee of $65.00. I argued I should only be billed one or the other, and they argued, it's not us, it's cooperate who sets the prices. I didn't want to deal with them any longer so I ended up paying my total bill of $169.25, which also included 1 injection each of Dexamethasone (Benadryl) and Diphenhydramine.
When they brought my dog out to me she was still having the same issue, uncontrollable sneezing, seemed like she was miserable. The Dr/Nurse told me to watch her for 24 hours and see if it improves. I said the point of bringing her in was to find the underline issue of what's causing this problem. She said to me, "I've been doing this for 12 years, I know how to do my job". I then argued a little bit more, "what did the $169 cover, just a couple of injections, what about the $48 office visit, and $69 emergency visit, one of those fees should have covered you to find the underline issue". Never-the-less, I left without knowing what's causing her sneezing, nose bleed and ended up taking her to a different Vet the next morning whom looked up her nose and found a Fox Tail stem that she must have sniffed up her nose. This Vet only charged me an office visit fee of $42 and the problem was solved.
The moral of this story is, stay away from Banfield Pet Hospital, especially the one in Point Loma (San Diego, CA) located at 3610 Rosecrans St. San Diego, CA 92110. They only care about making profits and don't care about saving the life of pets. When I was sitting there waiting a lady brought her small Chihuahua in who got scratched on the eye by a cat. They gave her a quote of $150 and she said she couldn't afford that, and asked if they would reduce the price some. They refused and said sorry, we can't help if you can't pay. Then when you go to pay your bill, they have the nerve to ask you to make a Donation to their hospital......Ha, A Donation, for what, where does it go, the pockets of the Dr's whom drive their Escalades and BMW's parked in their parking lot. This place is a joke, stay away from them PLEASE!
Product or Service Mentioned: Banfield Pet Hospital Pet Medical Service.
Monetary Loss: $169.