Washington, District Of Columbia
3.9K views
Not resolved
19 comments

The "Wellness Plan" at Banfield is nothing more than a scam, a way for them to make more money. I previously used a Banfield Pet Hospital for a cat I had years ago, so when we got our puppy "Sam" a few months ago I thought it would be a good place to take her. We were presented with the "Wellness Plan" brochure at Sam's initial visit on October 8th, 2011 and thought it was Banfield's way of making pet care more affordable so as to encourage people to take better care of their pets. We thought it was nice that the plan would include her spay when we were ready to do that. We were not told there would be a penalty if we cancelled the plan at a later date. We paid the initial $99 annual membership fee, the first monthly installment of $23.95, $8.96 for getting her wormed and set up her next appointment.

At her next appointment on October 29th, 2011 she was given her next set of shots and her first dose of Trifexis for heartworm and flea prevention for $18.85 and we were charged our next monthly installment a week later. We scheduled Sam's spay for December 6th at which time she would be 5 months old.

I dropped her off the morning of December 6th and was told the spay would cost me $39 which was for her E Collar and pain medicine (Carprofen.) They did not give me the option of getting my own E Collar which I could have bought at Petsmart for $5 less. I was called early that afternoon and told Sam would be ready for pickup at 4. Now, Sam showed no signs of being in heat prior to her spay. No bleeding, nothing swollen as are the tell tale signs. I was told that her spay would now be an additional $61 because she was in heat and they had to do an extra suture and it took more time than expected so they had to use more anesthesia. I had no choice but to pay it, as they would not bring Sam to me until everything was paid. Nothing was stated in the contract we signed about their being extra charges if your dog is in heat, and based on our last visit on December 16th, we don't even believe that she really was in heat. The manager is such a liar! They called me the next morning to ask how she was doing and I told them she would not drink. They suggested chicken broth, which I promptly bought and gave to her and she did start drinking a little better. They never called back to see if Sam was drinking any better.

They gave me the drug called Carprofen on December 6th after her spay for her pain and to help reduce inflammation. The paperwork about the drug said it could have side effects like diarrhea or loss of appetite. Two days after Sam's spay she started having diarrhea and that continued until her follow up appointment on December 16th. When I took her in, they asked if there were any problems and I mentioned the diarrhea. Instead of owning up to the fact that the medication they gave Sam could be causing the diarrhea, the vet suggested she could have Giardia and they could do another fecal exam( this one out of my own pocket since they had done all the ones covered under the "Wellness Plan.") Sam had just had a fecal done the day of her spay which was negative. The vet then suggested she could also give her an antibiotic even though she had no idea what was wrong with Sam, and a probiotic to help her stomach. If I would have done everything they were trying to get me to agree to, it would have been another $100+. I just wanted Sam to feel better so I gave in and accepted the probiotic for $39. I told my husband about everything later that morning and he talked to a friend who's dad is a veterinarian. The friend advised we could give Sam Kaopectate, which is safe for dogs and it would likely help. We had not opened the probiotic the veterinarian at Banfield had given us and my husband and I went back there a couple hours after the initial visit and requested our money back and tried to return the probiotic. We were told that because the probiotic was a prescription, we could not return it because that would be breaking the law. The probiotic was not a prescription, it could have been bought online for $19 and is a nutritional supplement. My husband requested to speak to the manager. She came out and proceeded to yell saying she would not break the law for him and that our dog needed it. She just kept repeating herself saying she would not break the law for him. My husband advised they would lose our business, tossed the probiotic on the counter and we left.

We bought a bottle of Kaopectate and after two doses, Sam was completely back to normal. My husband called Banfield's complaint line that same day December 16th and filed a complaint about our ordeal. He was told we would get a call back after they researched everything. I followed up today, December 20th with the complaint department. The representative put me on hold for 25 minutes. I hung up and called back. The representative then told me it was Banfield's policy not to take back products that have been sold. I told him we are very unhappy and want to cancel our "Wellness Plan" as it is not turning out to be what we were promised. He advises I have to talk to the cancellation department and transfers me over there. I speak with a representative and explain my story again, and he advises they won't cancel the plan until everything is rectified. He requests to put me on hold to check on things and I am again put on hold, this time for 10 minutes. He comes back on the line and advises me they will not cancel our plan because services have been provided and we would have to pay for them before they will cancel our plan. He tells me the manager we spoke to on December 16th at the hospital has tried to call me twice to rectify things and that my husband threw the probiotic at her. I tell him she is lying to him just like she lied to us and he tells me she would not lie to him. I tell him I have not received any calls from her and he asks me if I can substantiate that claim, I say yes I have no incoming calls recorded on my phone from the hospital. I tell him my husband didn't throw anything, that he tossed the probiotic on the counter. He argues with me and says that's not what the manager said. He says we will have to pay for the services rendered and they will not do anything for us. I advise him they won't get another dime from us because all the hospital has done is nickel and dimed us for stuff we didn't need and charged us for things that were supposed to be included in the "Wellness Plan." He tells me our account will go into default and affect our credit.

We were never told we would not be able to cancel the plan at a later date, and no one should have to continue paying for a service that is less than satisfactory. I am going to continue trying to fight for our money back and for anyone considering the so called "Wellness Plan, " DON'T. I wish now we would have done our research because there are so many bad reviews, complaints and horror stories about Banfield and their "Wellness Plans.

Do You Have Something To Say ?
Write a review

Comments

You will be automatically registered on our site. Username and password will be sent to you via email.
Post Comment
Anonymous
#1068697

I have the wellness plan and love it. I love my puppy's vet too!

And the nurses are wonderful! We r 4 months in to the plan and Im so glad we got it! My little Leia loves her doctors and nurses!

It's sad to see someone get the plan, get the spay and think they have the right to cancel the plan and not have to pay. The spay alone is so worth the plan!!

Anonymous
#1068695

Did you pay for the cost of the spay in full before canceling the plan? The spay alone is over $500.

Anonymous
#1044573

I'm right there with you. They are absolutely awful! I pay more now that I'm stuck with them than I do going to a regular clinic.

Anonymous
#822648

There are definitely a lot of horror stories about Banfield believe me I've heard most of them as i used to work in corporate. The OWP(Optimum Wellness Plan) is mainly just preventive care and meant for just 2 visits a year(depending on the type of plan) so by the time you go in and use the services on the first visit you've probably already used half of whatever is included in your plan which is why they can't simply have you quit.

I would get people call make 1 payment on the plan then wanting to quit after using about $150 worth of services. A big part of the misunderstanding with these OWP is no one explains it thoroughly enough when you actually get it. It is not insurance by any means but it doesn't help that they have a bunch of young ppl barely out of high school behind their reception desk trying to sell these plans. One thing i can tell you for sure is Banfield has NO customer service number.

Client Financial services department is not CS all they do is take payments. Believe me and their job is just doing as many calls as they can and taking as many payments as they can( they have a quota they need to meet). Might throw in a few apologies here and there but ultimately can do nothing besides take payments. Wellness Plan Relations is the cancellation department closest to CS mainly because they are trying to retain you and have you not cancel.

Even then however that is the department that has you the longest waiting on hold. Those are the only 2 real departments and of course the Client Advocate team which you can make a complaint through them regarding a Banfield location. I'm sharing this info with whomever finds it useful because it truly isn't right that people aren't aware of whats going on and the better people understand something the more they are willing to work with it.

That is the main reason i left Banfield they tell you it's about the pets, well hey it may have started off about the pets but it no longer is. It's like any other big company out there all they care about is money and making more of it.

Anonymous
#800196

You need to read the contract. We have 2 dogs on the Wellness plans and have saved quite a bit of money by using it.

All the things you say you weren't told are in the contract that you signed so you were told.... extra charge if dog is in heat.....paying for services provided if you cancel the plan. What a scam that would be to sign up for a wellness plan, pay a month or two of the installment and use the service for spaying and other vaccines and then cancel with a full refund?????

We need to be vigilant as pet owners, and ask questions the same way we would with our children at a doctors office. You could have denied the collar as we did and bought the one at Petsmart, you had choices and all the rules were laid out for you, you just have to put a bit of effort into things.

Anonymous
#801988
@Anonymous

Thank you!!!!! I can't believe so many people are so negative about their service.

We have had nothing but good experiences with our TN locations. These plans cover basic services and they were very, very clear with us that we would be responsible for any medications or services not listed (which is in bold on the brochure and in the contracts fine print).

They always call and check on her and our vet even gave us a number to call to reach her after hours after our baby girl was spayed. Every time we get out paper work it details how much we have saved with the plan, if you don't beleive it call around and check on the cost for what you will pay at a private Vet practice for these services.

Anonymous
#782002

Banfield is awful I agree they are for profit only and have no regard for your pet or you as a customer. I tried to used a free consultation offer which i confirmed over the phone when I got there they stated you came here once in 2009 and the certificate isfor new customers only.

After I drove 30 miles to the location. I ask that they speak with the doctor and instead of coming to me as the next patient they called the next customer which was the 5 pm appt and I was the 430 appointment. They did not even give me the opportunity to speak to me first and let me decide they just took the nect customer and then told me the same on how they were not going to honor the certificate. Horrible!

Thank god I never signed up for that wellness plan. They truly do not care about anything but making as much money as possible!

weloveparrots
#947521
@izyswife

VCA Hospitals have a coupon online for a free first visit and they have a much better reputation than Banfield!

Anonymous
#728033

I too have new Wellness Plans for two dogs, a two year old and 10 week old puppy. I had placed an order on line for two items, advantix and iverhart; the vet at the Port St Lucie location denied the order and when I called to speak to someone I got the rudest male tech on the phone.

He offered no alternatives, refused to let me speak to the vet, when I asked for the vets name he refused to give it to me and then refused to give me his name. When I asked his response was "I don't have to give you anything, especially my name and I'm not going to." The puppy was a gift and belongs to my son. My husband brought the puppy in for a check up 3 days prior to my son picking him up to bring him home to Jacksonville. The vet at the Port St Lucie location signed off saying the puppy was fine, healthy, no worms and that he should be brought back in a few weeks for his boosters.

When my son got home to Jacksonville, the puppy got into some snack type food my son left out. Consequently, the puppy overate and got diarrhea. The puppy was responding to pepto but I suggested that my son should take him over to the Banfield by his home, St. John Town Center, to be looked at - $100 and 3 days later he did get better BUT ONE OF THE SHOTS HE GOT WAS FOR HOOKWORM!

After my experience with the Port St Lucie location I'm tending to believe he did have worms and the staff in PSL was incompetent. Additionally, when I called the St Johns store and explained the on line med issue, the tech I spoke to could not have been more helpful. She made two alternate suggestions and went out of her way to provide quality customer service. I am seriously considering telling my bank to not authorize the Wellness Plan for our dog, find a more professional vet to treat him but keep the one for the puppy as he will be treated at the St.

John Banfield location where the staff seems to get it! I have attempted to speak to someone about this but of course can't get a response from Banfield corporate.

I went in there to begin with as I love Petsmart and their staff - I expected the same from their in-store vet provided and am disappointed with the experience in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

weloveparrots
#947519
@Disappointed

OMG, I would have HIT the roof! I hope you reported them to the BBB and every complaint website you could find!

You should report them to the state and post your experience on Craigslist to warn others. I would have canceled the payments right then and there!

The VCA hospitals have a coupon online for a free first visit. They have a much better reputation than Banfield!

Anonymous
#500542

I agree with Mimi. I've had a number of pets with wellness plans. The key thing is to read the fine print. When you sign the paperwork releasing your pet to them for treatment, you are stating that you understand. That is the best time to ask questions. Banfield, along with PetSmart, use the slogan "Where pets are family", would you subject your child to anesthetic surgery without question just because you thought you knew about the procedure. Same should be said about your pet. Ask questions.

The wellness plan is provided to make monthly payments on the health of your pet. You simply could have taken your pet to a different vet where you would have been required to pay up front for the entire procedure, you also could have been required to make monthly payments BEFORE you received their service (her spay); instead they provided you with the service, and an option to pay for it over the course of a year, along with some additional services. You should be entitled to pay for the services provided, at the least.

You state that your husband "tossed the medication over the counter", regardless of how you say it, that's a hostile act and why should anyone cut you slack if you are able to lose your temper enough to do such a thing (which probably could have been considered assault if it had hit someone).

All in all, they shouldn't have kept you on hold, but you're in the wrong for requesting service and not wanting to pay for it.

Anonymous
#409256

My suggestion for you all is to send your complaint to your State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. They handle billing dispute too or all things that have to do with Vet.

You can get the address by googling it. Then send your complaint to your State Attorney General and FTC.GOV.

Anonymous
#395958

Hi justsayno,

I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience as well. Luckily, I didn't think she had Giardia so I didn't let them talk me into that.

We knew it was from the Carprofen as after further research into the drug we found out it could cause side effects like diarrhea for several weeks after being given. Unfortunately, I fell for the probiotic which she didn't need at all. A couple doses of Kaopectate and she was completely fine. We only wanted our $39 back since we felt they took advantage of the situation and wouldn't own up to the fact it could have been the meds they gave her.

Instead, they used it as an excuse to get more money from us. What bad experience did you have?

weloveparrots
#947527
@Leannasmommy

Banfield killed one of my dogs. Read her story at banfieldkilledmissy.com

Anonymous
#395872

Leannasm... Thank you for providing this feedback.

We apologize that your visit to one of our hospitals did not meet your expectation. We strive to provide our clients and their pets with high quality medicine and exceptional client experiences on every visit. Do to limited information provided we ask that you call our Client Advocate Team so we can look into this for you. The number is 877-500-2288.

As for cancelling your Wellness Plan, please remember our plans are preventive services packaged together at a highly discounted price and with the convenience of a 12-month financing option. Wellness Plans can be cancelled at any time, we simply ask that the client pay for the services already used at full retail cost, or the remainder of the monthly payments, whichever is less. In other words, customers who do cancel are not asked to pay for services that they do not use.

Please call our Wellness Plan Team at 88-649-2716 if you have any questions about cancelling. Again thank you for your feedback.

Anonymous
#675735
@Banfield Pet Hospital

I had to wait 45 minutes on the phone an still no one answered. I was k with one year but they have it in there contract to automatic renew.

So they call me to reschuldule a physical gave him shots an they say this renew. They should of told me this on the the phone. My Yorkshire did not need all these shots an also I pulled my debit card so they could not recharge me again.

The lady I talk to was rude an tried taping me....I will not give them my business or praise. In fact just the opposite.

Violet

Anonymous
#857775
@Banfield Pet Hospital

7+ yr. Customer

I recently bought a new puppy and I have a Chihuahua that is 7 and a half.

As far as some locations and certain things like "annual shots" and the teeth cleaning "included" my current location is awful!!!! Every time i go in for any little thing they come up with more random fees. They decided to pull one of her teeth.. then charge me extra $100+ meds!

I've gone in a couple different occasions where my dog got sick and I use my office visit to just be on the safe side and something as simple that she just ate something wrong turned into a $1000+ bill if I actually LET them do x-rays and full exam -as if she was dying and would make u feel guilty.... Thank god it was nothing and I didn't fall for it *that time*.......

Today, I've finally had enough!!! My puppy I planned on putting on a plan being a loyal customer was "sick" and went in with the intentions of signing him up and just letting them just "check" him out being that he's 1 pound---Well, they charged and attempted every little thing under the sun. Office visit $40+, then took temperature which was fine...

And then they just continue on.... they insisted they check for Parvo!!! I heard of that but my puppy hasn't been anywhere! Another $43 to do a test I KNEW would be negative.

Once again they made me feel like he was so sick and dehydrated because I told them he threw up they insisted on fluid therapy $40+, and nutric-cal a $20+ corn freaking syrup, oh and then Clavamox drops $35 I believe is a antibiotic for pneumonia!? So, to make a long story short I spent $180 on my puppy throwing up and 2 hours later is perfectly fine and eating and drinking.... With over $50 in meds I won't use and can't return!!!! I should of just ran ....especially when they gave me a estimated bill of over $1000+ in hospital care!!!!

A grand - over my puppy throwing up... I'm livid I spent $180 on nothing- they are a joke just Google Parvo ...(my dog had no temp.), and I stated I didn't have money to spend on all this. UNREAL!!! ITS ALL ABOUT $$$ NOT ANIMALS.

Can't wait for my other dogs to end after years.

Maybe its the Ft. Lauderdale location :( so displeased.

Anonymous
#395766

Giardia is one of their biggest scams. If your pet has diahrea, automatic Giardia test, alwasy positive so they can push some overpriced medicie.

Of course it does not work when they DONT have Giardia. For us they did not even condisider any other cause.

Anonymous
#395476

Ok...so as an ex-employee of Banfield, there's a lot that I was unhappy about. But there are several just uneducated things you said in your post that need to be addressed.

1.) The Wellness plans bundle a lot of things your puppy needs, discounts the total price, then splits that over the course of 12 monthly payments. For you to say that you were being "penalized" for trying to cancel your plan is ridiculous. You can't pay for 2 monthly payments (for a total of $60-$80), then get your puppy spayed, then cancel the plan. The plan SPLIT the cost of the spay over 12 months. That would be like buying a car, paying only the first two payments, then expecting to own the car without ever having to pay off the remaining balance. A spay alone costs somewhere around $300 at Banfield since it includes preanesthetic bloodwork, iv/catheter and fluids, monitoring, etc etc. PLUS she got all her puppy shots (probably about $100 a visit, x3-4 visits). So to only pay $80 of that and expect to just be let off the hook is just plain D U M B.

2.) You said, "We were never told we would not be able to cancel the plan at a later date..." Um...actually yes you were. It says it plain and simple in the contract. If you decide to cancel the plan before the 12 months is up, you still have to pay for the services that you ended up using. Don't sign a contract if you aren't capable of reading and comprehending it.

3.) Your puppy was having diarrhea 10 days after the spay. The dose of Rimadyl they send you home with does not last 10 days. If the diarrhea was a result of the meds, it would have stopped upon discontinuing the Rimadyl. Therefore, it was unlikely to be a side effect of that medication. Sorry but diarrhea is a very nonspecific symptom. Their job is to recommend diagnostics to get to the bottom of the problem. Sorry, that costs money. They can't just look into a crystal ball and know what's wrong.

4.) You can't return products! They do this for safety reasons. Even if it appears unopened, they simply cannot return it and resell it.

5.) It does say in the contract that there is an extra charge if the puppy is in heat.

6.) You can decline the e-collar. All you had to do was say, "No, I'll get one from Petsmart." Did you even try to tell them this?

Ok people. There's a lot wrong with Banfield, but you need to be intelligent about your complaints and make sure they are legitimate before you go and bash them.