The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website
Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In

Banfield Pet Hospital / this place is a scam!!!

1 Gaithersburg, MD, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

Banfield is the worst place you can take your pet. My dog was fine before I began taking him to Banfield. One day, after a regular check up, he started having some jitters. (two weeks after I signed up with Banfield) I was told I was signing up for a month to month plan (misinformed by the vet at the Gaithersburg, MD location), but soon found out that I was liable for a year's worth of fees.

They couldn't diagnose the problem because the Vets did not know what they were doing. I actually had to tell them what I THOUGHT it was after the research I had done searching through various online medical journals. (I am an IT consultant by profession and have nothing to do with the medical industry)

Soon after Banfield administered unnecessary medication (and charging me over $2000 in medical fees in addition to the monthly "OPTIMUM WELLNESS PLAN" monthly fees), they decided that I might be better off taking him to a "REAL PET HOSPITAL". This is what the Germantown, MD location told me.

So I took him to a REAL PET HOSPITAL - VCA Veterinary Hospital in Gaithersburg, MD, and my dog passed away due to unexplained fluid build up in the brain. I was told by the Vet that it was highly likely that this was because of cortisone administered on an old dog and that the Vet at Banfield should have known better..

The whole reason I signed up for this "alternative to pet insurance" was so that I wouldn't be stuck with crazy medical expenses if anything happened to my dog. Not only did they create medical problems, they trapped me with fine print on their contract tying me into a year long service agreement.

They weren't able to diagnose the problem, all I got out of the 3 visits to them, was over 2 and a half thousand dollars worth of bills.


If you value the life of your pet and your hard earned money, please stay away from BANFIELD, the family pet butchers...

Sort by: UpDate | Rating


  • Dl
      28th of May, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I registered 2 pups in the Wellness Program (at the same time/male/female). Knowing they were 1/2 related I decided to upgrade my female 3 mos later so she could be spade when she was older.

    I ended up giving them to good homes and knew I would have to honor my contract for a yr each pup. Since I upgraded my female I was forced to pay an xtra 3 mos after the yr ended.

    Made no sense to me but it was either that or my credit being threatened.


    By the way, shame on me...this was the 2nd set of pups I went thru them with. NEVER AGAIN!!

  • Do
      24th of Mar, 2009
    -1 Votes

    I've dealt with Banfield at both the Germantown and Gaithersburg locations. The complaints above regarding the yearly Wellness contracts are based on wrong assumptions.
    There is no "month to month" plan. The (optimum) wellness plans are a specific cost for one year, and the payments can be spread out in monthly installments over the course of a year. This monthly installment option is convenient, and from what I recall there are no extra fees for doing this.
    When someone signs up for a year-long plan such as one of the wellness plans, there's a risk that something may come up during that year where you don't need the plan anymore. Well, in such a case, you can't just cancel the contract - you still owe the inital plan's cost.
    I've had great cost-savings by being on the optimum wellness plan the past year and a half or so (keep in mind, the plan will automaticall renew after the first year unless you cancel it, or tell them not to automatically renew it). I also like Dr. Parma in Gaithersburg, who's very knowledgable and explains things very well, and even finds ways to keep extra costs to a minimum when I've asked. This has not been true of any other vets I've had for my dog (which have included a few other places in the area). In fact, one visit to other vets has easily cost the yearly fee for the optimum wellness plan! Also, the vet techs at this Banfield are very nice and helpful, and also know a lot about dogs (and always remember my dog's name!).
    Of course, serious problems do need to go to better equipped animal hospitals, and Banfield will definitely recommend this. For example, when my dog was young, she had a serious problem which was immediately diagnosed as her having ingeseted rat poison. In this case, I was referred to a pet hospital in Rockville, where they could do a blood transfusion (there are not many, or any, regular vet practices that are equipped to do this procedure).
    I do recommend Banfield and their optimum wellness plan.

  • Ch
      22nd of Mar, 2010
    +2 Votes

    The writing in the comment recommending this location looks suspciously professional. As in, congrats for the attempt to rectify this situation by the Banfield Public Relations Department. Perhaps instead of writing this and posting it as if it came from a happy customer, should just inform the public of who actually authored this post. Was it Banfield?

  • De
      23rd of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Banfield Hospital in Crestwood, IL was responsible for my pe'ts death. The vet and staff convinced me to perform an operation on my 15 year old pet which resulted in death. They charged me $1, 000.00 on top of it all. The death of my pet was bad enough but my complaint went on death ears. Their customer service is poor and the top officials would not talk to me or return my calls. You can not cancel the health insurance with them when your pet dies. You have to pay until the insurance expires. I would not recomend Bandfield to anyone. Beware of the small print of their contract. I wish Banfield would close so that no one else has to suffer like I did. I will be taking this to the better business bureau and eventually an attorney.

    Banfield is the worst business I've encountered. They smile in your face then stab you in your back. BEWARE!

  • Ge
      6th of Aug, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Talk about a SCAM!!!Last Saturday afternoon we came home to find that our dog had chewed up his tail big time ..Knowing that Banfield was the only vet open in our area other than the emergency hospital. we took him to the Banfield Pet Hospital in East Peoria, Il. The vet said that his tail was dying and he needed an amputation immediately. or it would travel to his spinal cord if un-checked.. She even claimed that it was not from chewing but some other trauma besides chewing such as getting his tail caught in something etc..(which didn't make sense because he was in our bedroom for 3 hours as always on Sat. mornings.) He had been biting his tail due to his allergies and had been given an allergy shot on Thursday and seemed fine on Friday.) Anyway, she insisted it was not chewing and I asked her about the cost of the surgery...She said in these words " fifieen to two". I resopnded, "Do you mean 1500 to 2000?! " She answered "yes"...My husband who was sitting there with me told her that we need to see our own vet..She said "Well, I wouldn't be suprised if you have to take him into the emergency hospital by tomorrow...We said we would take that chance...and she gave us anti-biotics (how caring)and we left..We happened to know where our vet lived so we decided to chance it and stop by...Thankfully she was in her yard and was able to look at our dog and said right away that his tail was NOT dying, showed us the bite marks, told us to give him the ant-biotics and come back to her office in 2 or 3 days...Went back and he is recovering nicely. In the mean time I have been gettin quotes from different vets on tail amputations and the highest was around $300...One vet told me to get a hard copy from Banfield and when I called them they said they needed me to bring him in...Then I complained and told her my experience...She did not offer to look into it and her apology was very shallow...I am so angry...Thanks for letting me air my feelings . Her final words were, Well, let us know how he's doing."

  • Z1
      8th of May, 2012
    0 Votes

    Banfeild is terrible! I won't even go through the angry frustration they put me through.. Anyone deciding to use this place should think twice!!! Compared to what you spend at a normal vet that actually cares about your pets their is no cost savings and Banfeild will let you down guaranteed. Rude customer service (was told by an employee to complain to her supervisors, like she didn't even care about fixing the problems she caused). ALL check out consumer affairs report on this place 91% ANGRY customer rating!

  • Sm
      16th of Mar, 2013
    0 Votes

    I first visited Banfield when I adopted my Chihuahua mix and the rescue group included a coupon for a free exam. After reading several negative reviews regarding Banfield in general, I was pretty skeptical but needed to save $ so I made an appt., forgoing my usual vet who was much closer to my home. Two additional dogs later (both adopted at age 14, so they are not your average patients), I would never consider going anywhere else. I am certain that Dr. Parna at the Kentlands Banfield in Gaithersburg, MD has saved my dogs' lives on several occasions, beyond the normal well visit appts. I was initially concerned that an office in the middle of a retail outlet would lack a sense warmth but I was wrong on that count, too. Every time we have been in for an appt. we have been welcomed warmly and made to feel that there is a genuine desire to do what is best for our pets, so much so that we carry several of their business cards to give to friends who ask which vet we use. Understandably, not everyone has the same exact experience but I am very happy with Banfield and respect and appreciate Dr. Parna more than words can say.

  • An
      18th of Sep, 2015
    0 Votes

    Has anyone been able to sue Banfiled or the Doctor for damages (medical expenses incurred) ? My 12 year old cockapoo was treated for allergies when she was later diagnosis with a mass in her trachea. She died during surgery to remove the cancerous mass that could have been treated orally with medication.

Post your comment