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Banfield Animal Hospital / wellness plan scam!

1 United States Review updated:

In January of 2006 I took one of my dogs to Banfield to have a review of treatment to remove a growth over his eye. Before any conversation really took place I was being told about a wellness plan. After some quick review I agreed to sign up. To keep this brief, I had the work done on my dog and according to Banfield's arbitrary fee schedule I saved a bundle.

Sadly, the dog died about 2 months later. It took me a bit to get the ###s at Banfield to agree to cancel. Well, surprise they didn't really cancel the damn plan. After I caught them still charging me they apologized and assured me that all would be taken care of. Surprise it was not. I eventually had to change my account number to stop them from continuing to steal from me. Now these sons of ### are taking me to collections for not fulfilling my contract.

I'll be damned if I pay the ### another penny. I've filed a complaint with the BBB; I imagine that will go nowhere too. Next step is to send the local consumer reporter to see them.

Stay away from these thieves. They are not worth the effort.

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  • Na
      22nd of Aug, 2007

    The same happened to me. They now have me in collections also, because I think what happens is, if you do not complete the term; what they end up doing is all the savings that were given to you throughout the year is taken back and charged back to you.

    They always had incompetent employees working at the facility and at times tried to charge me twice for the prescriptions or at times had the wrong information for the different dogs; barely had the correct information. I truly think they lacked in communication. At one time I had one of the employees telling me about their personal problems while waiting for my dog. I would never go back to them and currently seeking a new place to bring my dogs to.

    0 Votes
  • Da
      17th of Jan, 2008

    Why the hell would you sign up for a PREVENTATIVE care plan if your dog was sick? Why are you signing up for a plan that covers vaccines and fecals if you are concerned about a growth on your dog's eye?

    +1 Votes
  • Ch
      26th of Jan, 2008

    I have had a similar problem. I have paid for the Wellness plan in the recent past. Although, I don't believe I got my monies worth I responded to a reminder postcard in the mail from them to do a comprehensive check-up on my dog. The post card stated this service was covered in my plan and made no mention of a renewal fee. I dropped my dog off and the representive insured me my dog was covered. I also, filled-out the form that asks what donmination they would need to call you before preceeding; I put $25.00.

    I go to pick-up my dog and they same representative tells me that I owe $360 somthing for the Wellness plan renewal. I was not ready for this type of transaction, nor was I called because thids transaction is much larger then $25.00.

    Recently, I cut-up all my credit cards and do not have this kind of funds available. I had to dig through old credit card statements to find the card number to pay for this waste of a service.

    I am really upset that I was flat-out lied to about no fees and that I was not called about this large of a transaction. What good does filling-out that form do if they don't give me a call? I do want good care for my dog, but I don't want to be scammed.

    0 Votes
  • A1
      29th of Mar, 2008

    After we told the vet that our 14 year old cat had arthritis, suffered pain and couldn't jump anymore, she (the stupid vet...not the cat) didn't bother to check medical records.
    Instead, she decided to charge us a whopping $283 fee just to tell us that our cat had ARTHRITIS!!!

    We were charged at Banfield Hospital at Arundel Mills Mall, MD fees for an x-ray (behind their doors) like:

    "Positioning/ Restraint FIRST Person" ...42.93
    How many persons were involved? That sounds like a Kama-Sutra thing...our cat is so mellow that you can put her in any corner and she'll stay there. The "restraint" charge is even more ridiculous in our case.

    "Radiology Setup/Handling"...48.84
    Setup and handling of equipment are the same thing to me...

    "Radiograph Interpretation"...91.58
    The vet "interpreted" the exact spot where I insisted our cat had a sharp pain. Maybe, I should have charged the vet for my interpretation...who knows the pet best?

    They don't listen when the owner tries to tell them important information, instead they just ramble endlessly to distract you with the intention to confuse you and lead you to payments that make no sense at all!

    The office visit of 44.95 deducted from the Wellness Plan was transfered to the RESTRAINT FIRST PERSON : 42.93 and the HANDLING: 48.84. Restraint and handling seem to sound to me like the same thing... and a 91.58 x-ray (Interpretation?)...

    So, we were charged $300 just to be told what we already knew for many years now! If that isn't stealing then what is?

    One last comment: We had to undergo a tortuous 3 hour brainwashing session from a "highly respected vet "...sounded more like a saleshomosapiens (who insistently trashed older veterinarians).

    The vet sold us the famous Wellness Plan...and almost killed our pet from starvation because "it seems" that she's allergic to commercial food, so the vet literally had a tantrum when we didn't want to buy the Hill's food! Our cat refused to eat it and we were stupid enough to try to push her to do so. She ended up looking VERY boney and depressed.

    When the cat was weighed we were told "It's a healthy weight". They are all trained to work in a franchise chain store to sell a product and not offer a sincere service.

    Today she's back to her regular food which she loves and we are still searching for a decent doctor.

    Be careful with your pets...don't let these money hungry" hissy-fit" vets brainwash you and then regret losing your PET AND YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!!!

    -1 Votes
  • Tb
      25th of Apr, 2008

    I have a wellness plan with Banfield. I had my 84 lb lab neutered. The bill was over $1300 dollars if i did not have their wellness plan. What a rip off. Who can afford that amount of money to have a dog neutered? I had to pay a fee because he was over 50 lbs. I called in February and they could not schedule me until 4/25/08 to do it.

    0 Votes
  • Bs
      28th of Oct, 2008

    Do any of you have any common sense? My cat would just lay there?...Have you ever taken a radiograph? Obviously not. Do a little more research as to what it takes to operate an animal hospital (i.e. costs of facility, employees and heck...a degree in veterinary medicine) and then complain. Nothing is free. Try to find somewhere that will do it for less and see if you don't get what you pay for. I love that people complain about having to pay to keep their pets healthy. Why would someone else want to pay to take care of your pets?

    +1 Votes
  • Sb
      9th of May, 2009
    Banfield Animal Hospital - Wellness Plan
    Banfield Animal Hospital
    United States

    Please understand that the Banfield Animal Hospital Pet Wellness plan is a very poor value. For what you spend in a year you can get better services from an independant Vet. Banfield uses the Wellness plan as a way to get you in for your limited free/included services and recommend many other procedures, some needed and others not, so that they can max the profit on your visit. It is purely about profit. I understand a need to be profitable but this is their primary focus. Additionally the 10% discount that is offered on the wellness plan is off of prices that I have found to be 40-70% higher than the independant vets. Do the research and save yourself alot of money. Banfield is not the best place to take your buisiness.

    0 Votes
  • It
      10th of Aug, 2009

    My Wellness Plan says I have 30 days to cancel with written notification ... beware!! I sent my written notification via CERTIFIED MAIL and contacted them by phone. Take no chances!

    They make up for any savings in the Wellness Plan by selling you everything and anything when you go in for checkups which are supposed to be covered by the plan.

    0 Votes
  • Fi
      12th of Oct, 2009

    I thought Banfield were in the business of pet care but after my last few visits it has occurred to me they are in the business of pet profit. I was sold drugs, some up to three times the amount I could have purchased online and that was with their 10% discount.

    Someone at Banfield is making a huge amount of profit from the sales of pet drugs they recommend. They are a big company so should be able to buy at wholesale and pass the savings along to their valued customers with a small mark up. It is appalling, we are in a recession and inflated prices just make it hard to bring your pet back.

    They also double book you so when you arrive at your scheduled time you just have to wait. That said, the service I finally received from the vet was exceptional.

    0 Votes
  • Mr
      20th of Jan, 2010

    Although I have not used the Wellness Plan yet Banfield has treated my 16 1/2 year old dog like royalty.
    While true they may suggest extra care, her vet(s) have been open and honest about what is needed
    versus extra care. Ginger had a malignant tumor removed about a year ago and has been cancer free ever since.

    I think treatment is likely to vary from one location to another.

    I just had a cat enter my life and will strongly consider putting her on the plan.
    The dog may well go on it as well, as elder care tends to be more expensive.

    This photo of Ginger is from about fifteen years ago.

    +1 Votes
  • Mr
      20th of Jan, 2010

    I have taken my dog in for emergency and/or walk-in visits and never waited more than a half hour. I am fortunate to have one of the better Banfield locations for her care. And there are two more stores within a twenty minute drive.

    +1 Votes
  • Cr
      10th of Feb, 2010

    I'm very glad of coming across this. I am currently considering enrolling my pet in the primary care Wellness Plan at Banfeild in my town. I have gone there a couple times over the last few years for rabies vaccinations. My dog is turning 8 next month and has always been a very healthy dog. She is way overdue for her yearly shots and has been for a while. Since i have gone there i have met a few of their different vets, all of them treated me and my dog with respect, none tried once to 'force' the plan on me, merely pointed out that they had it available. They always suggest I get other tests done but do not push me when I say No. It seems most of the complaints on here could have been avoided or dealt with if a person takes the time. Maybe the Banfeild near me is just better run then some others. Either way I think think this plan is worth it, even if just for the peace of mind of being able to walk in and have my dog looked at whenever I overreact. she is getting older.

    +1 Votes
  • Sy
      15th of Mar, 2010

    The location I take my pets to is one of the busier ones. There are times when the staff takes on alot of unforseen cases and there is a need to have exam rooms wait. Banfield does have a policy to try and not turn anyone away, which means that people that walk in without an appointment may be waiting several hours. Just like at an urgent care. Most banfields will not take emergency trauma patients, the one I go to does. But the cost being if a pet comes in with trauma that needs immediate care, there may be a wait for the rest of us. The dog that needs its toenails clipped and a rabies vaccine will be seen second when there is a dog that just got hit by a car in the parking lot lying bleeding on the table. I dare anyone to tell the owner of that puppy that they were there first and dont want to wait. Things happen, people get busy and just because everything in the front lobby is slow and quiet, it means nothing about what is going on behind the scenes. Please respect your veterinary staff the same as you would respect a doctor or nurse in a human facility. Have a little patience and understanding.

    +1 Votes
  • Le
      8th of Jul, 2010

    Wellness Plans are not the same value to everyone. If you only take your vet to the Doctor for a rabies so he can get groomed then no do not get a plan. If you tend to take your pet in a lot (i.e. a health issue, trouble puppy, nervous parent etc) then you save lots just by the office visit.

    FOR PUPPIES AND KITTENS- the wellness plan is SOOOOOO worth it. This is very true for chronic condition pets and elderly pets

    Regions vary as well. In the region I live now Banfield has the least expensive office visit and dental cleaning (by $100) . However in other regions I have seen those more expensive then average.

    Same care? A 50 dollar neuter and 200 neuter may not be the same thing... Ask details about procedures etc no matter where you call.

    Meds- yes way more expensive then pet meds (and the vets hate that it cost more) however Banfield is not a pharmacy, this being said they keep limited amounts of lots of meds at hand for when they are needed NOW .
    I always tell my clients if they are going to be on a med long term to explore the option that is best for them. Some clients would rather pay more to have it now and be done, others like to shop around or order in larger #.
    A generic human rx can range (quite a bit) in price from rite aid to walgreens.
    Meds have to be bought stored packaged (in some states you must have a lisc).

    0 Votes
  • Bj
      23rd of Mar, 2011

    We had a Wellness Plan for our Basset Hound, Harley, for at least 13 years! We took her in for her annual check-up in January and confirmed our suspicions that she needed to be put down. We had her put to sleep January 19th. Now, we are being told that because of her check-up (which is supposed to be included in her plan), we have to keep paying for her wellness plan until November? This is outrageous! We've had issues with her treatment in the past, but this tops the cake! This is the most cold-hearted customer-service I have EVER received and will be sure to post my opinion on EVERY review website I can possibly find! Not only will we NEVER take another pet to Banfield, we will NEVER shop at PetsMart either!

    +1 Votes
  • Re
      18th of May, 2011

    I have no problem with the Banfield service per se, however, their itemized billing practices, and claimed services rendered practices is a scam business model. The Wellness plan essentially covers your visit and shots. Each time I visit for shots I end up with a Bill that claims I saved hundreds of dollars. The plans DO NOT cover most other services. Additionally, each time I visit they want to excrete my Dogs Anal glands and clip his nails for an additional $50. As it happens I do both of these myself during bath time. The Anal excretion takes all of 5 seconds, and it is not what you may be thinking. I suppose the most worrisome issue you should be aware of with Banfield is their Wellness contracts. If they aren't illegal, then they are borderline. They typically sell them without consumers clearly understanding the "12 month" obligation. They also restrict payment to auto credit card or bank account charges. This is discriminatory, worse yet, it allows Banfield to seize your money, not to mention the security risks you take giving them your info. I would strongly recommend several options to you if you have been wrongly sold a Wellness Plan; Send a letter of complaint to your State and County District Attorneys office and BBB, and most importantly share valid complaints via online resources such as this post, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Cheers!

    0 Votes
  • Ba
      18th of May, 2011

    Please know that all Wellness Plan contracts explain the terms of the plan within the contract and, if a client would like to cancel, then he or she is only responsible to pay for services that have been provided. If you feel that you were misinformed about your Wellness Plan, or would like cancellation options, then please give us a call. You can reach our Wellness Plan Relations Team at 866-277-7387 or our Client Advocate Team at 877-500-2288.

    0 Votes
  • Re
      20th of May, 2011

    BANFIELD Pet Hospital, Please know that your response to my complaint is anecdotal to my complaint. It is mis-leading at best, and an out and out lie at worse. Too state as you have, "if a client would like to cancel, then he or she is only responsible to pay for services that have been provided." Is not true! If a client must cancel a Wellness Plan 2 months after obtaining it due to Hardship, as I had to, BANFIELD will demand payment for the additional 10 months of the 12 month plan. The only service the CLIENT will receive for those additional 10 months is harassment from BANFIELD Collections incorporated. My complaint is specifically related to being verbally sold one thing that ultimately became another in the infamous "SMALL PRINT". I fully understand contracts, however, when something is sold to you with trust and under good faith, you do not tend not to scrutinize the "small print" lest you care to go cross eyed. As a result, BANFIELD responds by hiding behind what my respondent neglects to mention, "the Wellness Plan is a 12 month contract". Which you will pay whether you get service or not! Additionally, BANFIELD discriminates with their payment structure by requiring a credit or bank account number so that they can access your money for auto payment. This is a sneaky means of seizing your accounts to ensure they obtain payments whether you agree with the payment/service or not. This clearly discriminates against those who don't possess credit accounts or who for privacy matters do not care to freely relinquish their personal finances to the trust of BANFIELD. "Buyer beware!"

    0 Votes
  • Ba
      26th of May, 2011

    We would like to discuss your situation with you to see how we can help. To discuss the terms of your plan, please call our Wellness Plan Relations Team at 866-277-7387. Or, to discuss your experience at your location, please call our Client Advocate Team at 877-500-2288. Thank you.

    0 Votes
  • Re
      27th of May, 2011

    BANFIELD Pet Hospital - Please know that I have previously exhausted BANFIELD'S Customer Relations offerings who incidentally explained to me that BANFIELD'S "Business model" does not have a waiver exception for someone who has lost their job. MORE IMPORTANTLY, despite the job loss, my "core" complaint, which was verbally being sold one thing that ended up being something entirely different was ignored. In fact, it was terribly insulting when the BANFIELD representative turned the situation around on me by inferring that I was lying, and that the Wellness Plan was ultimately my responsibility, gee thanks. It became abundantly clear to me that BANFIELD'S "Business model" is primarily concerned with is the almighty dollar. Somewhere along the line, BANFIELD subtracted the human factor from their "Business model". In any event, aside from my "core" complaint, I do appreciate your outreach, however generic it may be. However, if you were serious, it would be more appropriate to provide me with contact to someone who possesses executive decision making power. Your referral puts me back at square one, like a Dog chasing its tail. Best Regards!

    0 Votes

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