ED Magedson – Founder
Banfield In Petsmart1101 South Canal Street, Chicago IL Internet United States of America
My 14 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi had very suddenly become lethargic and had terrible trouble breathing. I watched his condition for a day and when there was no improvement my partner took him to Banfield at PetSmart on South Canal Street in Chicago. I had previously used Banfield Skokie - Niles for VERY MINOR things without real problems. The pricing was always exorbitant but given the emotional attachment to my pet I never questioned it. This time was DIFFERENT - VERY DIFFERENT.
My partner arrived at Banfield at 9AM. Kirby was taken into their back area and IMMEDIATELY a cost run down is prepared - Estimated $860 which was to include ONE RUN of tests - Blood and Urine. I contacted the staff several times throughout the day to get updates on Kirby. I was shocked when told that Kirby had serious heart failure and would need to get to a cardiac specialist IMMEDIATELY - in NORTHBROOK. Keep in mind we live in the downtown area. Panicked and overwhelmed I agree to be at the clinic ASAP to get him to the "specialist". Keep in mind I was in Milwaukee on busines at the time. I took the train back as soon as I could and immediately proceeded to the hospital. Kirby was in NO better condition than when he was treated. In the interim while waiting for Kirby to be brought out we observed terrible treatment of a Giant Schnauzer being groomed - the poor dog was trembling and the groomer was not at all comforting to the animal. That should have been a warning!
I noted there was a delay in getting Kirby back out to me. Shortly it was all clear as to why. Alison - the Customer Coordinator - hits me with an additional $500+ bill which brings the bill well over $1000. I was SHOCKED! Then when I question the bill and want to see the details and Kirby they start dancing around and delaying. I was advised by Alison that I could have Kirby when I took care of the bill. I asked to see the nurse (Alexis) and the doctor immediately to find out how they went from $534.00 to over $1000. Arrives the Office Manager - Jessica May - who BLACKMAILS me and tells me unless I step into the examining room with her I will not get my dog back and she will not help me. When I refuse she threatens to call store security. I advise her to please do so. I told her what she was doing was criminal - blackmail and being held hostage for my dog was beyond belief.
Then they try to give me medicine to take with me to the "specialist" another $200!!! I refused the medicine which was for some type of worm they say they found. When I confronted Jessica that her actions were indeed criminal she reverted back to the staff area and suddenly Alexis brough Kirby to us. I advised them if they billed anymore than the agreed upon $534 it would be reported as FRAUD. I never authorized or signed the bill. I had a pet fighting for his life and had to get to this "specialist" in Northbrook - 30 miles from our current location.
We left with xrays and lab results. Arrive an hour later at the "emergency and animal referral hospital" That experience is a whole other issue. But here is the TRAGEDY - after the "cardiac specialist" sent out an intern - (we never saw the "cardiac specialist but were charged $300 for his examination) - they wanted to do a plethora of more tests - I questioned why since Kirby had just been through a horrible battery of the same tests. I refused finally and realized Kirby was never going to be better - at the end of the day he was dying and there would be no recovery. Despite their efforts to collect a GREAT DEAL of money - up to $4500.00 - I refused their services and realized the only humane thing to do for my great friend and pet - was to allow him to be at rest since the intern advised me to remove him from their facility would be devastating to Kirby and it would be cruel to do that. Kirby passed away that evening.
And the DIAGNOSIS - DEFINITELY NOT HIS HEART!!!!! All of that was a scam to get us to this hospital. They even tried to get us to let Kirby been seen by "Internal Medicine" since cardiology could NOT determine his illness.
IF YOU WANT TO GET YOUR EXPERIENCE NOTED - CONTACT KAREN JOHNSON at BANFIELD CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS (OWNED BY MARS, INC) at 1-800-838-6738 Extension 5476. She is Vice President of the Client Advocate Team. I am in talks with her now to get this horrible situation addressed!
BEWARE and MAKE SURE YOU REPORT YOUR INCIDENT TO THE STATE VETERINARIAN LICENSING BOARD!!!!!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/02/2009 01:54 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Banfield-In-Petsmart/internet/Banfield-In-Petsmart-PetSmart-Most-horrific-experience-EVER-Beware-of-the-staff-medica-532336. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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