Houston, Texas
1.1K views 10 comments
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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!

Review about: Emergency Treatment.

Review #323893 is a subjective opinion of a user.

Reason of Review / Monetary Loss Not specified / $169
Preferred solution Not specified

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Anonymous
#1052730

They ripped me off telling me I was buying pet insurance for my dogs for $56 a month.I never needed it until 2 weeks ago ..

My dog needed surgery on his leg And stitches in 3 places. Suddenly the insurance I've been paying for 8 months covered nothing but shots!!! Really I just paid over $400 for shots for 2 dogs.

It's ridiculous!!

St Louis Banfield is all about the money too!!Beyond irritated.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1149196

The WELLNESS plan is NOT insurance.

It specifically states in the WELLNESS plan booklet, everything that is covered and then a discount on whatever isn't included.

Anonymous
#1007256

They killed my Charlie during a neuter surgery

Earl Altshuler
#520907

Dr Serdy and Padilla along with the whole staff have been wonderful to my dog Snowy.I've been on their monthy maintance program and it's worked out beautifully.

Snowy passed on July 27th.

During the last year of her life, Dr. Serdy and Padilla helped keep Snowy comfortable and pain free as much as possible. They spent whatever amount of time I needed to understand the best time to put her down and to care for her.

I recommend this clinic to everyone who cares about their animal.Because the staff at Banfield truly cares.

weloveparrots
to Earl Altshuler Pennsauken Township, New Jersey, United States #958930

Banfield doesnt care about *** but money!

sad
#495135

"And that donation box is to help people who can't pay" If that was true, then the lady who came in with the chihuahua needing emergency care for the dog's eye (wonder how much pain the dog was in) would have been treated quite a bit differently.Perhaps the dog would have gotten immediate treatment and pain relief for the injury and a payment planned worked out for the owner.

These people are plain cold. That so-called myth of the greedy, heartless veterinarian is perpetuated by the fact there are BMW's sitting in the parking lot, there is a donation box and chi's are being turned away from treatment.

We do agree on the range of quality in vets, and that's the reason people need to shop around.Especially true if you're a Banfield client.

Anonymous
to sad Ottawa, Ontario, Canada #1286495

The donation box goes to a fund that helps pets with LIFE THREATENING conditions. The charity also looks at finances before giving money, so it goes to people that legit can't pay the bill, not just wont.

Banfield Pet Hospital
#495057

Hi, EMarshall29 -

We appreciate you letting us know that you were not satisfied with your experience at our local clinic. I am so glad to hear your English Bulldog is doing better, but I hear your frustration, particularly for having been charged fees for both an office visit and an emergency visit.

At your convenience, would you please consider calling our Customer Advocate Team at their toll-free number: 877-500-2288? We'd like to work with you to make this right. I will also pass along information about your experience to our team.

Sincerely,

Lisa R

Banfield Online Community Manager

weloveparrots
to Banfield Pet Hospital Pennsauken Township, New Jersey, United States #958931

They act like they care, but all they are doing is trying to protect their reputation online and make it LOOK like they care! Banfield Sucks!

boo
#494011

A couple of issues here:

First - I'm not even a doctor, but I would have suggested that perhaps the sudden onset of severe and repeated sneezing coupled with a bloody nose could be indicative of a foxtail. This really isn't that uncommon. It's often difficult to look up a dogs nasal cavity when they are awake and stubborn, so sedation is often needed to probe the nose. Foxtails can travel upwards, and can cause serious complications as they travel up the nose. Waiting 24 hours could make the situation severely worse! Given your dogs symptoms, I would have suggested a possible foxtail as the problem immediately.

And just a couple things: most regular vets will charge extra for an emergency exam because everyone else has to wait while they take care of the emergency, which sometimes loses the hospital money. This is sort of how they make up for it. Not saying it's ideal, but it's pretty widespread.

Also, diphenhydramine is benadryl, dexamethasone is a steroid. Not that you should need to know this, just saying. :)

And that donation box is to help people who can't pay, it in no way goes to the Drs at ALL! The inability to accept financial responsibility for pets is a huge problem in veterinary medicine. As for the lady who couldn't pay $150, I sympathize, I really do, but EVERYONE should have an emergency fund for their pets. If they don't, they shouldn't blame the vets for...

I find the need to address the myth of the "greedy vet" (note: the greedy corporation is a real thing, but the greedy vet is VERY uncommon). The doctors that I worked for drove cars that were 10 years old - obviously they don't make a lot of money. The average debt for a Californian veterinarian after they finish vet school is $180,000 with a 6.8% interest rate. It takes most people at least 20 years to pay this off. The average 1st year associate veterinarian makes a little less than $70,000 (in CA). Vets have to pay AT LEAST $1000/mo for the majority of their careers in order to pay back their loans. Therefore, the average vet only takes home $58,000/year after loan payments (but before taxes). This really isn't a lot of money considering they went to MEDICAL school for 4 years after college. Vet school is just as hard to get into as med school. Most vets had the grades to get into medical school, yet they chose vet school. Why? Because it's their passion. They could have gone to med school and made a lot more money, but they didn't! It's the single WORST profession for debt to income ratio. Unfortunately, the myth of the greedy heartless veterinarian is perpetuated by the fact that service is most often refused when a client can't pay. It's not because they don't care, it's because there is a HUGE overhead in running a vet clinic and if services were frequently given away, vets would go out of business. I think that veterinarians deserve to be paid for their services, be able to pay back tuition, put food on their tables, and provide for their families. It's not their fault that people often assume responsibility for an animal when they do not have the financial means to prepare for unforseen expenses. A lot of vet clinics will have things like donation funds or accept care credit - which is a credit card which offers no interest payments for up to 18 months.

Veterinarians range in quality. They ABSOLUTELY do. In skill, knowledge, and bedside manner. I've worked in several clinics, both privately run and corporate run, and I have NEVER met a "greedy" vet. Most vets are willing to work with the owners to adjust treatment plans (within reason) to meet the financial limitations of the owners. Sometimes, they unfortunately just can't afford what their pet needs! Most of the vets out there drive worse cars than you, have tens of thousands of dollars in loans to repay, and don't make that much money. They could have had more lucrative careers as doctors, but chose a less profitable career because they LOVE animals. So please people, really think before you call your veterinarian greedy!

Banfield as a corporation, however...yeah they might be greedy :)

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