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Banfield Pet Hospital / angry and feeling ripped off!

1 United States Review updated:

I need to give you a little history first if you don't mind and I'm sorry, but it's a tad long. My 6 year old cat Dusty was losing hair, not eating or interacting with me and just seemed lethargic. I noticed that she had sores on her stomach mostly, but all throughout her body. I saw fleas and attributed it to the fleas. I bought an over the counter medicine (Seargents) and put it on her as well as my other 2 cats and 3 dogs. After 2 weeks, her sores were getting worse, and she just slept all the time. I took her into the PetSmart Banfield clinic on 10/20/07. This was the one in Glen Burnie, MD. After waiting more than an hour to be seen, they weighed Dusty (still in her cage) and the tech took us to a room. After taking the temp (normal) and asking why I was there, the tech started playing some video thing on their computer about allergic reactions.... I thought to myself, strange, they haven't even seen her, and already they diagnose allergic reaction. At any rate, the doctor came in and started typing on the computer, hadn't even looked at Dusty at all. Then he proceeds to look at her rash glances quickly at her mouth and says he must do 4 tests. I asked why, he said he wanted to find out what it was by doing scrapings of the scabs on her skin. I told him that I thought it was fleas and told him of the history with the flea medication. He seemed to change his mind all of a sudden and said he was going to do only 2 tests. He said he was doing a scraping for fungal infection and bloodwork. He said to wait in the waiting room while they drew up an estimate. The estimate they gave me was $190.00. That was a little rough and figured, ok, so we eat a little leaner this week. So I signed the paper. They took Dusty in the back. I heard terrible cries from Dusty coming from the back. I asked what was going on. They said they were just doing the scrapings and that they had given her a shot of an anti-inflammatory. When they brought Dusty back out, she was terrified. They then hand me a bill for $296.00!! I nearly had a heart attack! I asked them why it was so much when they said it was only going to be $190.00. The tech proceeded to tell me that they don't add the medications or any extra tests they have to do on there till after they do the initial tests. I argued with them saying I can't afford this. Had I known it was going to be this much, I would never had signed anything. At any rate, they proceeded to give me 2 bottles of anti-biotics and some kind of shampoo after telling me she had a fungal infection. Ok, red flags going up everywhere, I asked them why Dusty needed the anti-biotic when they had just told me she had a fungal infection. At first they tried to tell me it was for the fungal infection, then when they realized I knew a little more than what they were telling me, they switched to "she has a secondary bacterial infection." So they tell me I have to bring her back in 2 weeks. Within a day Dusty is doing better (even before I give her the anti-biotics). So I'm wondering if she really needed the anti-biotics, but give it to her anyway, just to be sure. So I bring her in today, 11/3/07. After being put in a room, they take Dusty's temp, 104.5 (high), which seemed strange since she just got off anti-biotics, but they start the video again, this time it was about fleas. Hmmm... so they think it's fleas now? After the video goes off, I see in the list of things for her, the vet had put that he did a dental exam. I couldn't believe it, he barely glanced in her mouth. Beside the dental exam, it had that she had tartar build-up and that I refused treatment! What??!! Now I'm really starting to get ticked. The Vet comes in carrying a small petri dish with what looks like black mold everywhere (hard to tell, he flashed it before me before tossing it in the trash). He tells me she has a fungal infection and that she needs more medicine. So I'm wondering, why they played the flea videa instead of something about fungal infections. He says that with the high temp, he has to give her more anti-biotics, so he proceeds to give her a shot. Then says I have to put her on flea prevention from their office, because the over the counter stuff doesn't work... huh? He also tells me he's putting her on a fungal medication. A lotion that I need to apply to her stomach twice a day. With all this that is going on, I never got an estimate, they just assumed I was going to pay for it all. So after all is said and done, I end up with flea medication, (that frankly looks just like the over the counter stuff, just costs more), a bottle of what looks like eye drops saying "apply a drop twice daily" (huh?? 1 drop does not equal a lotion I'm supposed to apply all over her stomach) and smells like rubbing alcohol and a still very sick cat. Oh, let's not forget the $194.00 bill and NO receipt of what I was paying for because their printer was broken!! And another appointment in a week??!! I don't think so. I feel like I've been ripped off. I will be going for a second opinion, because I don't believe it. I think she had an allergic reaction to the fleas, and that the steroid was all she needed. The temp being high could have also been caused by the inflammation from the fleas. Plus, I want to know why after all the anti-biotics and shampoo I so desperately had to buy to "cure" her, she is still sick. I also was approached about the "wonderful health care plan." But decided to wait on it, and I'm glad I did. I will never go back here again. I can't wait to see what the other vet says, because if I am right and I was scammed, I will be filing suit.

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Comments

Ms
  11th of Dec, 2007
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Banfield, The Pet Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI is a scam as well. The Vet that was there covering for the normal vet was a complete scam artist. My dog had a pulled muscle in her leg and we walked away with a $220 bill!!! $140 for the medication!!! And we already have her on pain medicine which costs $120 a Month!! They try and sell you as much as possible and play on your vulnerability when you are worried about your pet! DO NOT TAKE YOUR PET THERE!!! SCAM SCAM SCAM!! I'd like to know if any one has taken them to court? I am thinking about it too!

Do
  16th of Dec, 2007
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I also was scammed by Banfield, plus treated very poorly.

Ke
  4th of Jan, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

All I can say is my beloved cat Vicki & I were treated terribly @ banfield in
Waterbury, Conn and I like you will never go back there ever again. . .



So Sorry for you and your pet.

Ge
  17th of Apr, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Okay people... first of all if you dont konw what the vet is perscribing and you think its just "alchohol" do some freekin lotion... for your information its conofite lotion-used to treat ringworm... the vet doesnt have hours on end to be looking at your pet and only your pet... they have other patients to tend to. The "petry dish" is a fungal culture to find out if its ring worm or not. The skin scraping is to see if the fungal culture grows mold in about 10 days and if it does your pet has ring worm. OMG everyone is calling this place a scam-this is rediculus. Just because you dont like your estimate and you dont believe in rechecks doesnt mean the hospital is crap. Go to a differnt one if you cant afford it. Geez people... why dont you ask questions and understand whats for what instead of assuming...three words GET IT RIGHT before you start talking crap.

At
  21st of Jul, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

As a consumer dispute resolution counselor, here’s what I advise with regard to Banfield if you want to get resolution and possibly compensation for your Banfield billing and animal care experiences:

1. Join in on one of the THREE class action lawsuits that are being considered or in preparation against Banfield Pet Hospitals by going to the law firms’ websites and listing your complaints. Definition of a class action can be found at: http://www.claiminformation.com/classactions.htm The more people that sign-up, the greater the resolution and possibility that you’ll be compensated for your emotional distress down the road. The law firms are as follows:

http://www.schneiderwallace.com/PracticeAreas/ClassActions.htm
Once there clink on "Inquire About Your Potential Case" and fill out the online form giving specific details of your problems regarding Banfield. Please, make sure that you include either your phone number or send them an email on the link within the "Inquire" link.

http://www.price-law.com/CM/FSDP/PracticeCenter/Personal-Injury/Class-Actions.asp
Complete the online form outlining your experiences.

http://www.barronberry.com/CM/Custom/Contact.asp
Complete the online form outlining your experiences.

Please, make sure that you share your experiences regarding billing issues, pet care (or lack therefore of), names of staff, location of hospitals and if you've ever written to the corporate offices and if so, what was the response if any.

Remember, the more people that join the class action lawsuits, the greater the chances of resolution and restitution (financial compensation for your losses and emotional distress).

2. Go to www.ftc.gov (Federal Trade Commission) and file a very quick online complaint. Make sure that you give any contract numbers, names of staff, address of the hospital that you used, leave out unnecessary details and get to the point (short and sweet) and name the CEO as the contact person: Dr. Scott Campbell, CEO, Banfield, The Pet Hospital, 8000 NE Tillamook
Portland, OR 97213. The FTC will issue fines if they receive enough complaints.

3. Google your state’s Governor’s Office or Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Affairs and file a complaint. Most will allow you to do this online. It’s quick and easy just include specific names, addresses, dates, details of problems (short and to the point) contract numbers, if any, and your contact information. Consumer Affairs will

4. Contact the American Association of Veterinary State Boards by calling 1-877-698-8482 or http://www.aavsb.org/ContactUs/ContactUs.aspx and ask them for the website, phone number and/or address for the regulatory board for your state, then file a complaint against Banfield’s license in that state.

5. Write directly to the CEO of Banfield (or at least print and copy all of your complaints to all of the agencies above and mail a copy to: Dr. Scott Campbell, CEO, Banfield, The Pet Hospital, 8000 NE Tillamook Portland, OR 97213 Phone 800-838-6738 Fax 866-477-5120 email: scott.campbell@banfield.net

6. Post these instructions on as every complaint forum and website mentioning Banfield that you can find on Google.

7. Remember there’s strength in numbers. If you’re not going to take the time to file a complaint then don’t take the time to post a complaint. Change only comes through efforts to make change.

Ha
  10th of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

i think all u dumb people who think banfield is a scam.maybe YOUR the scam cus your cheap and dont want to take care of your pet the correct way.thats degrading to the doctors who spend years of learning this stuff.how would u feel if i sat in your office telling u u were wrong about what ur telling me and you dont know how to do your job when u spent years learning how to do it.GET A LIFE PEOPLE!!!if u cant afford to have a pet, then dont get one.

Ge
  25th of May, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

In response to hahaha!!!,
As far as being dumb, the only dumb thing I did was joining the optimum wellness plan and listening to crack pot Dr's,
I pay over 40$ a month for the plan and yet every vet bill is way over 300$ and I at one point was there 3 times a month or more,
with verifying mis diagnosis's of my mastiff!!,
as far as being cheap and unwilling to spend the time and money on my dog is ludicrous!!!,
I spend 80$ a bad of holistic large breed food every two weeks, 2 cans of happy hips at 3$ a can a day,
interceptor, any meds they tell me I should give monthly... I spend more on my beloved dog than I do on myself or rent!,
and, some how they gave me the wrong dosage of pain meds along with a torn iv line that resulted in toxicity and seizures for my dog, than billed me 800$ So screw you... as far as the comment that the vets are busy and our pet is not the only one they are seeing is no excuse for bad medicine practices ... than lesson your work load and give quality care!!!,
Instead of trying to see as many animals as possible to make that check for the beamer I saw my vet pull off in!
These are excuses for poor quality care and hunches instead of actual findings.

I hope you sleep at night with your lame justifications !

Oh did I mention my dog has heart worms now??!!!,
I am filing a lawsuit and you all should follow suit as well!

Kb
  8th of Jun, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

btw, the reason that your estimate changed was because they only put tests on the first one because they didn't know what it was. what did you think they were gonna do the test and then just send you home without anything to treat it?! oh and for that comment before mine... i work at a banfield animal hospital, and i promise you, if we were really the cause of your so called messed up dog, we would have been kissing your feet and giving you EVERYTHING for free. we take off half of the bill if a client waits too long! you are just ignorant trying to get money from a wealthy company!

Zo
  25th of Jun, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Hi... I met a lawyer once and what a jerk! Therefor... ALL lawyers MUST be jerks. THAT is sarcasm, baby. One person's story is never a whole story. It's easy enough to spin things for sympathy. I've been a Banfield customer for 15+ years on a wellness plan. My cat is now 17 years old!! Woohooo... only been sick twice since I've had her. I spent $1500 on her at Dove Lewis because she had the freaking hickups. Now... you wanna talk scam. Well, perhaps not. They did find her intestines were inflamed and she would have to live with it because there is no cure. Not happy about the money. Took me a year to pay it off. I have no extra money for anything. So... my point... don't open your mouth until The bottom line is... I love my cat. Things are expensive these days.

P.S. I got a second cat so I'm doing research on Banfield to see if I trust them enough to stay with them... but the bottom line is... I've not been mistreated or overcharged by them EVER. My cat is as healthy as she was 10 years ago and she's 84 in human years. That doesn't mean it doesn't happen. BUT... INDIVIDUALS work at them. Don't go blaming the entire company because you weren't happy with one or two people. You MIGHT be wrong. Take the proper channels.

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