Banfield Pet Hospital - Wellness Plan is a ripoff, the Banfield corporate office doesn't care about customers concerns
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.