Report: #800089

Complaint Review: Banfield the Pet Hospital

  • Submitted: Sun, November 20, 2011
  • Updated: Sun, November 20, 2011
  • Reported By: Tessa — Minnetonka Minnesota USA
  • Banfield the Pet Hospital
    4190 Vine Wood Lane
    Plymouth, Minnesota
    United States of America

Banfield the Pet Hospital Pet owner with Banfield care contracts targeted to buy non-contract tests or else forfeit covered treatments Plymouth, Minnesota

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In 2011 I renewed the Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan that was initiated 8/30/2010. It is the plan of choice for dog owners who want to finance lazer teeth cleaning for their dog once per contract year. The Plan also includes the normal assortment of vaccinations. Other minor work is included, such as a blood test to check for heartworm before prescribing maintenance protection which is not covered by the plan. Banfield recommended a packet of 6 pills for $50 for my 6-pound chihuahua. The first pill gave her a rash, so I stopped its use and accepted that $50-loss.

During the second month of the second year in the renewed Optimum Wellness Plan, I brought my dog in for a regular, covered examination. A vet called me (never putting non-covered recommendations in writingt) and said that the covered blood test (for worms) indicated an elevated liver enzyme and another test should be done to take a closer look; the test is $100 and not covered. I declined.

During the sixth month of the second contract, I called the Plymouth, MN, location and asked why I haven't been contacted about my dog's rabies vaccination and also wanted to schedule teeth cleaning via laser. At that time I was told (never in writing) that without that "special liver test" Banfield vets couldn't be sure that my dog could survive a vaccination or anesthesia for the teethcleaning. So I asked for the blood work results to be mailed to me with the questionable enzyme highlighted.

I went to another vet clinic with the blood work results from Banfield. The Gehrman Animal Hospital and Clinic is family-owned and has a good local reputation. The main reasons I chose Banfield is that they have a clinic close to where I would travel far from home and they sell payment plans for future, higher-priced elective service, such as teeth cleaning. At Gehrman, one of the owners looked at Banfield's blood test results that were highlighted and said that although the number is higher than many other numbers for other enzymes, the questioned and highlighted number is/was in the normal range for that enzyme. He vaccinated my dog for free and scraped some tartar off her canines.

I called Banfield corporate and told them they had effectively broken the Optimum plan by refusing to issue the rabies vac or do teethcleaning. They offered 2 months free, but I didnt't accept and repeated they broke the contract. Next I put a stop payment on the monthly WDs from my bank account. After the first non-pymnt, Banfield worked around the bank's system and took the premium (which was blocked initially) plus $20 more. I had to close my account. Within a week later, their collection company on retainer delivered an orange envelope to my mailbox, containing all-capitalized letters in their warning. I sent a consumer statement to the major credit bureaus. Banfield seemed to have made use of mini-extortion because of wanting to sell that unnecessary, uncovered blood workup "test."
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