Banfield Animal Hospital / $250 minimum visit charge if you use care credit financing
As a new pet owner I took my dog to local Banfield in June for rabies shot. Since I already owned a Care Credit card (healthcare financing card) I decided to use that for my $92 cost instead of enrolling into their wellness plan. No problem.
Three weeks later I return to same clinic for booster shot and learned my pet had double ear infections. By the time the vet and nurse had given me my instructions and medications and cleaned out the ears, I had been there over close to 3 hrs. I am handed a bill for $192. I give my Care Credit card again and was told I could not use it since the day's charges were under $250. I said Care Credit does not have this policy; nurse told me it was a Banfield corporate decision. I told staff member I used it 3 weeks prior for $92 and they took it. She said it was an error on the office staff's part. I asked to speak to office mgr and while waiting I called Care Credit. Customer Service person said they should be taking it and was confused why they would not. I requested banfield mgr to talk to customer service at CareCredit, and she did explaining how it was a Banfield corporate policy that they had in place with previous card carrier, pet credit. It was clear the Care Credit did not agree with this policy.
After their phone conversation, I strongly stated that I would not pay $250 out of pocket when they do not have this "corporate" policy stated anywhere in the facility -- no sign no rider on care credit application forms, no previous clarification during first visit. I told mgr that I have been unemployed since Oct. 2009 and it amount would be 1/2 of my check. I offered to make payments to them. They do not have payment plan policy. She suggested if I purchased frontline special for $50 it would be enough to put me over the $250. I already had a 6 month supply. Then she suggested that I purchase the Basic Plus wellness plan for one year upfront since my dog would need a dental cleaning and it would cover all services - and put the yearly fee on the Care Credit card. I felt I was coerced into this option because of Banfield's hidden policy. I spent 3 1/2 hrs in a clinic that should have been a 1/2 visit. Waste of my time and $$$$. Both organizations will be getting a complaint letter from me. Care Credit needs to know how one of their providers is operating, as well as the Better Business Bureau. BE ADVISED AND WARNED ABOUT BANFIELD'S $250 MINIMUM CHARGE POLICY
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