Banfield vet clinics can sucker a smart consumer if a pre-check isn't done with the Ripoff Report service. Now that I found out their sly "got-cha" plans, I have the impression that the network put for a lot of effort with the help of corporate psychologists for how to best manipulate people who are responsible pet owners.
They are a network that allows a person to believe that any of their clinics can access your pet's records, and that's desireable if one travels with his or her pet or needs to leave their pet with a relative who has a closer Banfield clinic.
The Wellness Plans are appealing to pet owners who are realistic that their pet will need a certain amount of primary care even while a young dog or cat. So the free teeth cleaning in the plan guided me to a more expensive plan.
Everything worked well enough with the first year of the plan except for succumbing to their pressure to buy their over-priced flea-tick-mosquito guard product that quickly sickened my 6-pound chihuahua. [continued below]....
..... They told me to just go find a similar product in the convenient (ha! got-cha) adjacent Petsmart, but to make sure the product had a different active ingredient.
Within one month of the 12-month renewal, they called me to bring in my dog for the free checkup. I knew my dog was healthy. I had recently traveled and paid cash to a vet because I forgot my dog's heart protection pills. But I dropped off my little one anyway. Then it all began to seem like an insidious trick. A vet called, telling me that the free blood test indicated an elevated enzyme, and they wanted me to buy a non-covered $95 test for a closer look. I refused and the vet kindly let me go with my good reasons for confidence about my dog's health.
I called the Banfield clinic 3 months into the second 12-month plan and asked why no one alerted me that my dog's rabies shot had expired. I said any good vet clinic contacts pet owners when it's time to renew an on-going treatment. That's when I heard this disgusting response: "Until you allow the test (the non-covered $95 one), we can't be sure that your dog can handle the vaccination and can't be sure she can handle anesthesia for the teeth cleaning." I told them that they had just broken the contract.
I had to change bank accounts in order to shake them off. They have an entire law firm on retainer, so I quickly received threats in the mail. I wrote back, telling them to go ahead and report to a credit bureau because then I can write my consumer's statement and have THAT on record with the credit bureaus. And I told them that when I apply for credit, if ever, in the future that I will just bring along my proof of the slimey Banfield behavior. I had to request the "free" blood test results so that I could see the supposedly elevated enzyme, and it arrived with the highest number in a column highlighted. I showed that to a real Vet and he was obviously disappointed that a vet clinic network was abusing responsible pet owners. He said, "Sure, that number is much larger than all the numbers for other enzymes, but that larger number is in the normal range." He promptly gave my dog her vaccination and tossed in some free Heart Guard (or something similar).