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View Full Version : Feel like I was gypped at the vets - advice wanted


svu geek
June 17th 07, 05:37 AM
I've been going to the same veterinary clinic for several years now.
The other day I took my cats in for their yearly exam. When it was
time to pay, the receptionist told me everything that they had done
(minus the individual cost) and then told me the final cost. I was
anxious to get out of there because two of the cats were freaking out,
one was scared and shaking and the other was severely angry. I've
never seen them act that way before.

Later that day I looked at the bill and realized two things. One, they
had charged me for the distemper vaccination and the annual exam. In
the past, they only charged for one, the vaccination has always been
included in the exam. So I would always pay $38 total but now they
charge separately so I end up paying $68. Had I known they changed
this, I never would've gotten the vaccination because it really isn't
necessary with this particular cat. So I would've saved $30.

The other thing they did was failed to give me a discount for bringing
in multiple cats. In the past, if I brought in multiple cats for the
yearly exam, instead of paying $38 for each exam I would pay $30 for
each exam. This time they charged the full price.

I was never notified of any of these changes.

I ended up going back there and talked to a different receptionist
about it. She told me that they changed the vaccination/exam policy
last year. I told her that they may have done that but last year I
didn't have to pay separately. I also told her that it was
unacceptable and wrong not to notify their clients of this change.

Then I asked about the discount for bringing in multiple cats and she
said they have never done that there. I told her they did it last year
because I got the discount.

She said there was nothing I could do, but she would let the office
manager know how I feel.


I am really ticked off here. I would like my money back for the
vaccination. I was never notified of the change and had I been, I
never would've gotten that vaccination. I won't worry about the
discount for the multiple cats because I would've taken the cats in
anyway, but I would like to give them a piece of my mind about that.

They keep jacking up the prices (so do all the other animal hospitals
in the area) and it's ridiculous. With these prices, I won't be able
to take two of my younger cats in this year (fortunately I can do a
home exam - I even have my own stethoscope). I suspect many other
people feel the same way. I spend more in veterinary bills for routine
stuff then I spend in health care for me, and I don't even have health
insurance.


Should I voice my concern to whoever is in charge and politely ask for
my money back for the vaccination? I don't want to be labeled a
problem client, but I think what they did is wrong. Or am I wrong for
just assuming that the prices for that were still the same as they've
been for years? Like I said before, they always included the exam and
vaccination cost together. Now you have to pay separately which costs
way more, in addtion to the fact that all the prices have gone way up.

Sherry
June 17th 07, 06:19 AM
On Jun 16, 11:37 pm, svu geek > wrote:
> I've been going to the same veterinary clinic for several years now.
> The other day I took my cats in for their yearly exam. When it was
> time to pay, the receptionist told me everything that they had done
> (minus the individual cost) and then told me the final cost. I was
> anxious to get out of there because two of the cats were freaking out,
> one was scared and shaking and the other was severely angry. I've
> never seen them act that way before.
>
> Later that day I looked at the bill and realized two things. One, they
> had charged me for the distemper vaccination and the annual exam. In
> the past, they only charged for one, the vaccination has always been
> included in the exam. So I would always pay $38 total but now they
> charge separately so I end up paying $68. Had I known they changed
> this, I never would've gotten the vaccination because it really isn't
> necessary with this particular cat. So I would've saved $30.
>
> The other thing they did was failed to give me a discount for bringing
> in multiple cats. In the past, if I brought in multiple cats for the
> yearly exam, instead of paying $38 for each exam I would pay $30 for
> each exam. This time they charged the full price.
>
> I was never notified of any of these changes.
>
> I ended up going back there and talked to a different receptionist
> about it. She told me that they changed the vaccination/exam policy
> last year. I told her that they may have done that but last year I
> didn't have to pay separately. I also told her that it was
> unacceptable and wrong not to notify their clients of this change.
>
> Then I asked about the discount for bringing in multiple cats and she
> said they have never done that there. I told her they did it last year
> because I got the discount.
>
> She said there was nothing I could do, but she would let the office
> manager know how I feel.
>
> I am really ticked off here. I would like my money back for the
> vaccination. I was never notified of the change and had I been, I
> never would've gotten that vaccination. I won't worry about the
> discount for the multiple cats because I would've taken the cats in
> anyway, but I would like to give them a piece of my mind about that.
>
> They keep jacking up the prices (so do all the other animal hospitals
> in the area) and it's ridiculous. With these prices, I won't be able
> to take two of my younger cats in this year (fortunately I can do a
> home exam - I even have my own stethoscope). I suspect many other
> people feel the same way. I spend more in veterinary bills for routine
> stuff then I spend in health care for me, and I don't even have health
> insurance.
>
> Should I voice my concern to whoever is in charge and politely ask for
> my money back for the vaccination? I don't want to be labeled a
> problem client, but I think what they did is wrong. Or am I wrong for
> just assuming that the prices for that were still the same as they've
> been for years? Like I said before, they always included the exam and
> vaccination cost together. Now you have to pay separately which costs
> way more, in addtion to the fact that all the prices have gone way up.

Your vets prices & policies are about the same as here. With any
veterinary
procedure, you can always get an estimate beforehand, then there's no
surprises.
Probably a good idea to do, it helps you budget the costs and you
don't get
sticker shock at the counter.
And yes, if you demand your money back, you will be labeled a problem
client. I wouldn't
do that, unless you plan to never patronize this vet again.
You can always call around and compare prices for a routine exam &
vaccs. Don't let $68
keep you from getting your cat's health evaluated. I mean, what's
that...$6 a month? You can
budget that much in. You can't examine your own cat as well as a vet,
can you?
There's a low-cost spay/neuter clinic here that also does exams/vaccs
at a greatly reduced cost. Some
vets offer once-a-year "vaccination clinics" and offer deals.That's
something you might consider.


Sherry

Sherry

svu geek
June 17th 07, 10:17 AM
Sherry wrote:
> On Jun 16, 11:37 pm, svu geek > wrote:
> > I've been going to the same veterinary clinic for several years now.
> > The other day I took my cats in for their yearly exam. When it was
> > time to pay, the receptionist told me everything that they had done
> > (minus the individual cost) and then told me the final cost. I was
> > anxious to get out of there because two of the cats were freaking out,
> > one was scared and shaking and the other was severely angry. I've
> > never seen them act that way before.
> >
> > Later that day I looked at the bill and realized two things. One, they
> > had charged me for the distemper vaccination and the annual exam. In
> > the past, they only charged for one, the vaccination has always been
> > included in the exam. So I would always pay $38 total but now they
> > charge separately so I end up paying $68. Had I known they changed
> > this, I never would've gotten the vaccination because it really isn't
> > necessary with this particular cat. So I would've saved $30.
> >
> > The other thing they did was failed to give me a discount for bringing
> > in multiple cats. In the past, if I brought in multiple cats for the
> > yearly exam, instead of paying $38 for each exam I would pay $30 for
> > each exam. This time they charged the full price.
> >
> > I was never notified of any of these changes.
> >
> > I ended up going back there and talked to a different receptionist
> > about it. She told me that they changed the vaccination/exam policy
> > last year. I told her that they may have done that but last year I
> > didn't have to pay separately. I also told her that it was
> > unacceptable and wrong not to notify their clients of this change.
> >
> > Then I asked about the discount for bringing in multiple cats and she
> > said they have never done that there. I told her they did it last year
> > because I got the discount.
> >
> > She said there was nothing I could do, but she would let the office
> > manager know how I feel.
> >
> > I am really ticked off here. I would like my money back for the
> > vaccination. I was never notified of the change and had I been, I
> > never would've gotten that vaccination. I won't worry about the
> > discount for the multiple cats because I would've taken the cats in
> > anyway, but I would like to give them a piece of my mind about that.
> >
> > They keep jacking up the prices (so do all the other animal hospitals
> > in the area) and it's ridiculous. With these prices, I won't be able
> > to take two of my younger cats in this year (fortunately I can do a
> > home exam - I even have my own stethoscope). I suspect many other
> > people feel the same way. I spend more in veterinary bills for routine
> > stuff then I spend in health care for me, and I don't even have health
> > insurance.
> >
> > Should I voice my concern to whoever is in charge and politely ask for
> > my money back for the vaccination? I don't want to be labeled a
> > problem client, but I think what they did is wrong. Or am I wrong for
> > just assuming that the prices for that were still the same as they've
> > been for years? Like I said before, they always included the exam and
> > vaccination cost together. Now you have to pay separately which costs
> > way more, in addtion to the fact that all the prices have gone way up.
>
> Your vets prices & policies are about the same as here. With any
> veterinary
> procedure, you can always get an estimate beforehand, then there's no
> surprises.
> Probably a good idea to do, it helps you budget the costs and you
> don't get
> sticker shock at the counter.
> And yes, if you demand your money back, you will be labeled a problem
> client. I wouldn't
> do that, unless you plan to never patronize this vet again.
> You can always call around and compare prices for a routine exam &
> vaccs. Don't let $68
> keep you from getting your cat's health evaluated. I mean, what's
> that...$6 a month? You can
> budget that much in. You can't examine your own cat as well as a vet,
> can you?
> There's a low-cost spay/neuter clinic here that also does exams/vaccs
> at a greatly reduced cost. Some
> vets offer once-a-year "vaccination clinics" and offer deals.That's
> something you might consider.
>


Thank you for that advice. I would feel that asking for a refund would
cause problems. I just think it's very deceitful for them to change
policies and then not tell anyone. I always ask about the costs of
everything else beforehand because I know the prices are always
changing. But for them to change the way the exam/vaccination costs
work is different.

I wonder if it would cause a problem to at least voice my concern to
the manager? I'm also considering suggesting (maybe anonymously) that
they consider discounts for people with a lot of pets, senior
citizens, low income households, and/or trying some sort of contract.
They could offer discounts on yearly exams and vaccinations as well as
other things if people sign a contract promising to bring their pet
there for a certain number of years.

Unfortunately, I have contacted over 80% of the clinics in my area and
their prices are all about the same (absurdly high). Two of the
reasons I choose to go to this clinic is because 1) I trust the doctor
to not lie to me. I've had two previous doctors lie/withhold
information that only hurt my cats. and 2) they are the second closest
clinic to where I live. All the other places are just too far away to
take some of my cats. Some of the cats get extremely upset during the
car ride and I worry that they will stop breathing or have a heart
attack or something. The one's heart was beating extremely fast, his
temp went sky high, his eyes looked strange, and he was acting like he
was going to pass out or something.

As far as the home exam, I think I can do just a good a job as the
average vet can (if not better). Although, I would never skip taking
my older cats in for their exam. These veterinarians around here are
really pathetic. They are completely misinformed about many health
issues from feline herpes to Chylothorax. It amazes me that they even
have a license. I'm better at diagnosing my cat then they are. I know
that sounds cocky and full of crap but it is true. My relatives always
come to me for a second (or sometimes first) opinion about their cats
because they know the veterinarians around here are not that great. I
would've been a veterinarian but I would never get passed those
science courses, and I'd faint performing surgery.

angry_dad
June 17th 07, 10:55 AM
"svu geek" > wrote in message

> Should I voice my concern to whoever is in charge

ARE YOU TRYING TO BE A PROBLEM SG?

you don't need the money, what are you worried about

it's just money; besides they'll consider you a problem if you correct their
error

June 17th 07, 11:39 AM
On Jun 17, 2:17 am, svu geek > wrote:


>
> Thank you for that advice. I would feel that asking for a refund would
> cause problems. I just think it's very deceitful for them to change
> policies and then not tell anyone. I always ask about the costs of
> everything else beforehand because I know the prices are always
> changing. But for them to change the way the exam/vaccination costs
> work is different.

If the exam is an anual exam, the price could have changed many months
earlier. ARe they supposed to announce to every client for the next
year that their prices changed? I Have seen prices go up a little over
the years at my own vet, but I have never seen or heard an
announcement. Vet prices are not usually displayed like prices at a
grocery store. You can always ask in advance, but there is never any
guarantee that the price is the same as last year. With all the
increasing costs in gas, electricity, etc; I would be very surprised
if prices did not go up.

As for the vaccination being charged separately, that is a surprise.
But quite honestly, I have never heard of any exam that includes
vaccinations, and certainly not one for such a low price. I pay $40
for a standard exam. (no vaccines, bloodwork, etc).


> I wonder if it would cause a problem to at least voice my concern to
> the manager? I'm also considering suggesting (maybe anonymously) that
> they consider discounts for people with a lot of pets, senior
> citizens, low income households, and/or trying some sort of contract.

It would be nice, but keep in mind that offering a discount in one
area will probably mean an increase in something else.


> They could offer discounts on yearly exams and vaccinations as well as
> other things if people sign a contract promising to bring their pet
> there for a certain number of years.

Sorry, this one would be foolish for the vet. The could never force a
customer to continue coming for a set number of visits. The contract
would be invalid. People would lie left and right, just to get the
discount, even if they had no plans of ever returning. My vet does
give a small discount for additional pets at the same time. And they
give a free toenail trim with senior exam (which costs more since it
includes bloodwork). They also give a reduced fee for a return
checkup.

A vet cannot assume a customer will be loyal if there is very little
history to go on. For example, the vet says payment due the day of
services and no payment plans, because people who can't afford vet
care would simply never pay if not forced to that day. But when I had
a larger bill looming (after 10+ years as a customer), the vet said
not to worry, payments would be fine.

>
> As far as the home exam, I think I can do just a good a job as the
> average vet can (if not better). Although, I would never skip taking
> my older cats in for their exam. These veterinarians around here are
> really pathetic. They are completely misinformed about many health
> issues from feline herpes to Chylothorax. It amazes me that they even
> have a license. I'm better at diagnosing my cat then they are. I know
> that sounds cocky and full of crap but it is true.

You're right. It does sound full of crap. Do you know how to diagnose
a heart condition? Do you know all the symptoms? I took my dog in for
one thing and the vet knew even before an x-ray that my dog had a
heart condition. And it was NOT from using a stethoscope (her heart
sounded fine). Can you tell me the symptoms to look for, and a heart
condition that shows those symptoms but sounds fine? And what would a
good treatment be? I thought I knew exactly what the problem was. I
just wanted to confirm it. And I was completely wrong.

Any good pet owner can handle basic problems. But there are a lot of
health conditions that we are not trained to recognize, and which may
be mistaken for something else. And if we assume we know it all, we
will miss it. Also, we do not have the ability to prescibe
medications.

I can understand that you may not like your vet. But I am sure that
even a bad vet is more trained than you, since they had to pass vet
school (and it doesn't sound like you have had any vet classes).

MaryL
June 17th 07, 12:11 PM
> wrote in message
ups.com...
> On Jun 17, 2:17 am, svu geek > wrote:
>
>
>>
>> Thank you for that advice. I would feel that asking for a refund would
>> cause problems. I just think it's very deceitful for them to change
>> policies and then not tell anyone. I always ask about the costs of
>> everything else beforehand because I know the prices are always
>> changing. But for them to change the way the exam/vaccination costs
>> work is different.
>
> If the exam is an anual exam, the price could have changed many months
> earlier. ARe they supposed to announce to every client for the next
> year that their prices changed? I Have seen prices go up a little over
> the years at my own vet, but I have never seen or heard an
> announcement. Vet prices are not usually displayed like prices at a
> grocery store. You can always ask in advance, but there is never any
> guarantee that the price is the same as last year. With all the
> increasing costs in gas, electricity, etc; I would be very surprised
> if prices did not go up.
>
> As for the vaccination being charged separately, that is a surprise.
> But quite honestly, I have never heard of any exam that includes
> vaccinations, and certainly not one for such a low price. I pay $40
> for a standard exam. (no vaccines, bloodwork, etc).
>
>
>> I wonder if it would cause a problem to at least voice my concern to
>> the manager? I'm also considering suggesting (maybe anonymously) that
>> they consider discounts for people with a lot of pets, senior
>> citizens, low income households, and/or trying some sort of contract.
>
> It would be nice, but keep in mind that offering a discount in one
> area will probably mean an increase in something else.
>
>
>> They could offer discounts on yearly exams and vaccinations as well as
>> other things if people sign a contract promising to bring their pet
>> there for a certain number of years.
>
> Sorry, this one would be foolish for the vet. The could never force a
> customer to continue coming for a set number of visits. The contract
> would be invalid. People would lie left and right, just to get the
> discount, even if they had no plans of ever returning. My vet does
> give a small discount for additional pets at the same time. And they
> give a free toenail trim with senior exam (which costs more since it
> includes bloodwork). They also give a reduced fee for a return
> checkup.
>
> A vet cannot assume a customer will be loyal if there is very little
> history to go on. For example, the vet says payment due the day of
> services and no payment plans, because people who can't afford vet
> care would simply never pay if not forced to that day. But when I had
> a larger bill looming (after 10+ years as a customer), the vet said
> not to worry, payments would be fine.
>
>>
>> As far as the home exam, I think I can do just a good a job as the
>> average vet can (if not better). Although, I would never skip taking
>> my older cats in for their exam. These veterinarians around here are
>> really pathetic. They are completely misinformed about many health
>> issues from feline herpes to Chylothorax. It amazes me that they even
>> have a license. I'm better at diagnosing my cat then they are. I know
>> that sounds cocky and full of crap but it is true.
>
> You're right. It does sound full of crap. Do you know how to diagnose
> a heart condition? Do you know all the symptoms? I took my dog in for
> one thing and the vet knew even before an x-ray that my dog had a
> heart condition. And it was NOT from using a stethoscope (her heart
> sounded fine). Can you tell me the symptoms to look for, and a heart
> condition that shows those symptoms but sounds fine? And what would a
> good treatment be? I thought I knew exactly what the problem was. I
> just wanted to confirm it. And I was completely wrong.
>
> Any good pet owner can handle basic problems. But there are a lot of
> health conditions that we are not trained to recognize, and which may
> be mistaken for something else. And if we assume we know it all, we
> will miss it. Also, we do not have the ability to prescibe
> medications.
>
> I can understand that you may not like your vet. But I am sure that
> even a bad vet is more trained than you, since they had to pass vet
> school (and it doesn't sound like you have had any vet classes).
>
>

This is an excellent, wel-thought-out response. I hope the OP will read it
carefully and not overreact to this situation. This incident involved a
change in prices, but it was not deceptive. I think it would be a good idea
to ask if the clinic would consider a slight reduction in price for exams
with multiple cats, but that would need to be worked out in advance of a
visit.

MaryL

barb
June 17th 07, 08:07 PM
Were you present during the cats' exams? I am curious as to why you seemed
to find an unusually upset cat afterwards. It seems as though you are
really unhappy with your vet. Have you spoken to him or her directly rather
than trying to deal with all these receptionists? My own reaction to all
this would be to just walk. (Find another vet.)

My own vet raised his prices and they seem very high to me. I had
questioned this group about them because I have a well, 4 year old cat.
Others in the group said the price was right. I can afford these bills but
think some people will just not be able to be responsible pet owners and
it's a shame.

--
Barb
Of course I don't look busy,
I did it right the first time.

Phil P.
June 17th 07, 11:27 PM
"svu geek" > wrote in message
ups.com...
> Should I voice my concern to whoever is in charge and politely ask for
> my money back for the vaccination? I don't want to be labeled a
> problem client, but I think what they did is wrong. Or am I wrong for
> just assuming that the prices for that were still the same as they've
> been for years? Like I said before, they always included the exam and
> vaccination cost together. Now you have to pay separately which costs
> way more, in addtion to the fact that all the prices have gone way up.

Who made out the bill, the vet or assistant/receptionist? The vet might not
even know how you were charged. Sometimes the person making out the bill
doesn't know about arraignments you have with the vet. This is common if
the person making out the bill is new- they just follow the prices on a
chart. Just politely ask your vet if he changed his billing policies
recently. He'll probably make an adjustment.

Phil

svu geek
June 18th 07, 08:09 AM
barb wrote:
> Were you present during the cats' exams? I am curious as to why you seemed
> to find an unusually upset cat afterwards. It seems as though you are
> really unhappy with your vet. Have you spoken to him or her directly rather
> than trying to deal with all these receptionists? My own reaction to all
> this would be to just walk. (Find another vet.)
>
> My own vet raised his prices and they seem very high to me. I had
> questioned this group about them because I have a well, 4 year old cat.
> Others in the group said the price was right. I can afford these bills but
> think some people will just not be able to be responsible pet owners and
> it's a shame.
>


The cat that was scared has been scared there before but I've never
seen her shaking like she was. The other cat was really mad which is
unusual for him. He seems to get madder every year that he has to go,
but this year he was really MAD. He was growling which I've never
heard him do before in 10 years and I thought he was going to bite the
vet. With his various health conditions, I don't like upsetting him
anymore than I have to.


I just want to make this clear, because there seems to be some
confusion. And please don't respond unless you read this entire thing,
that's why there's confusion.

I'm not upset about the prices going up because they go up every year,
I fully expect that. What I am upset about is that they are now
charging separately for the distemper vaccination. It used to be
included in the exam so it didn't matter whether you got the
vaccination or not, you still payed the same price: the cost of the
exam. I guess you could look at it as paying full price for the exam
and getting the vaccination free. It's been that way for years. Now
they are charging separately for the exam and vaccination. So you end
up paying twice as much and they're not telling anyone that.

To me, this is different then just simply raising the prices. Now
they're throwing in an extra charge without telling anyone. That's
deceitful. What if you went out to a restaurant you'd been going to
for years. When you received your check at the end of the meal, there
was a $20 service charge that had never been included before and was
not listed anywhere on the menu or posted anywhere in the restaurant.
Wouldn't you be upset? Shouldn't that restaurant have notified people
beforehand? It could've been something as simple as a sign on the
front door. That's what I'm upset about: a hidden charge. The vet or
office manager could've posted a sign on the front door or above the
front desk where all the other notifications are, but they didn't.

June 18th 07, 09:59 AM
On Jun 18, 12:09 am, svu geek > wrote:

> To me, this is different then just simply raising the prices. Now
> they're throwing in an extra charge without telling anyone. That's
> deceitful. What if you went out to a restaurant you'd been going to
> for years. When you received your check at the end of the meal, there
> was a $20 service charge that had never been included before and was
> not listed anywhere on the menu or posted anywhere in the restaurant.
> Wouldn't you be upset? Shouldn't that restaurant have notified people
> beforehand? It could've been something as simple as a sign on the
> front door. That's what I'm upset about: a hidden charge. The vet or
> office manager could've posted a sign on the front door or above the
> front desk where all the other notifications are, but they didn't.

What difference does it make whether it is listed together or
separate. You got the same service and product, and the price now
higher. If they had listed it together and charged you $68, you would
still be complaining at the $30 jump in price.

The real question is why did it jump that much in only a year. Could
be many reasons. The only way to know is to ask.

Personally, I find it a bit odd to include a vaccination in an exam
price to begin with, and I think you were getting a great deal before.
I've never heard of that before.


I'm also curious to know your answer to my previous question about a
heart condition and symptoms.

MaryL
June 18th 07, 12:55 PM
"svu geek" > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> barb wrote:
>> Were you present during the cats' exams? I am curious as to why you
>> seemed
>> to find an unusually upset cat afterwards. It seems as though you are
>> really unhappy with your vet. Have you spoken to him or her directly
>> rather
>> than trying to deal with all these receptionists? My own reaction to all
>> this would be to just walk. (Find another vet.)
>>
>> My own vet raised his prices and they seem very high to me. I had
>> questioned this group about them because I have a well, 4 year old cat.
>> Others in the group said the price was right. I can afford these bills
>> but
>> think some people will just not be able to be responsible pet owners and
>> it's a shame.
>>
>
>
> The cat that was scared has been scared there before but I've never
> seen her shaking like she was. The other cat was really mad which is
> unusual for him. He seems to get madder every year that he has to go,
> but this year he was really MAD. He was growling which I've never
> heard him do before in 10 years and I thought he was going to bite the
> vet. With his various health conditions, I don't like upsetting him
> anymore than I have to.
>
>
> I just want to make this clear, because there seems to be some
> confusion. And please don't respond unless you read this entire thing,
> that's why there's confusion.
>
> I'm not upset about the prices going up because they go up every year,
> I fully expect that. What I am upset about is that they are now
> charging separately for the distemper vaccination. It used to be
> included in the exam so it didn't matter whether you got the
> vaccination or not, you still payed the same price: the cost of the
> exam. I guess you could look at it as paying full price for the exam
> and getting the vaccination free. It's been that way for years. Now
> they are charging separately for the exam and vaccination. So you end
> up paying twice as much and they're not telling anyone that.
>
> To me, this is different then just simply raising the prices. Now
> they're throwing in an extra charge without telling anyone. That's
> deceitful. What if you went out to a restaurant you'd been going to
> for years. When you received your check at the end of the meal, there
> was a $20 service charge that had never been included before and was
> not listed anywhere on the menu or posted anywhere in the restaurant.
> Wouldn't you be upset? Shouldn't that restaurant have notified people
> beforehand? It could've been something as simple as a sign on the
> front door. That's what I'm upset about: a hidden charge. The vet or
> office manager could've posted a sign on the front door or above the
> front desk where all the other notifications are, but they didn't.
>

Why not call the vet and express your concerns directly to him or her
(instead of to the receptionists)? Lay out your objections, and see what
reaction you get. Also, is your cat an indoor-only cat? If so, many people
are opting not to get the vaccinations (especially after an adult cat has
already had them for several years) because of concerns over their safety.
I noticed that you said in your original post that you would not have had
the vaccination if you had known about the change in policy.

Also: Do you have any idea why your cats were more agitated or angry than
in their previous visits? I think this should be a concern. Were you
present during the entire exam (as someone else asked)? If not, I would
suggest that you be sure to stay with your cats during the entire exam in
the future. I recently had a panel of blood work done on both Holly and
Duffy. I was present for the exam, but they were taken to a different room,
and I could hear them screaming and crying for quite a long time. I was
almost in tears myself, and learned that both had struggled so intensely
that it was difficult to draw blood. One of Holly's tests was abnormal, so
it had to be re-done the following week. The vet expected that it would be
normal when re-done (and it was -- thankfully!!). He told me that stress
could have been the cause. The second time it was done, I asked to have it
done with me in the room. This time, Holly was quiet and did not struggle.
The procedure took only a couple of minutes, and her bloodwork was normal.
I learned something from that -- from now on, I will *always* be present in
the room when any work is done. I also know better than to interfere and to
stay out of the way, of course.

MaryL

Rene S.
June 18th 07, 04:27 PM
1. If you truly feel you were cheated, write your vet a letter. Stick
to the *facts* only and don't interject opinions. Include copies of
your reciept and a previous receipt, indicating the differences.

2. Find another vet if you don't like their billing style.

3. *Before* you book another appointment at this vet or elsewhere, ask
questions about how things are charged (how much, multiple cat
discount, etc. etc.) Ask for the name of the person you're speaking
with and write her/his name down. That way, if you were mis-billed,
you could say, on X date when I booked the appointment, so-and-so told
me this. Always helps to have facts handy.

4. *Before you leave the parking lot* carefully read your receipt. If
you have questions, ask right away. It's easier to ask the same day
and with the same person/vet rather than wait a few days.

5. I always have the cats in the exam room with me at all times! If
they need to draw blood, etc. I ask to be in the room. Even when one
of my cats was in the emergency vets and had an ultrasound, I asked to
be present (and was allowed). You are paying for the procedure and as
long as you don't interfere with the docs, you can be in the room. I
like to see what's going on, and my cats are usually better behaved
with someone they know nearby.

I also would not skip taking your younger cats in because of this.
Despite you having knowledge about cat health, you are not a doctor
and can't make an official diagnosis. If you feel care in your area is
poor, do research yourself and ask lots of questions during the exam--
or drive to another town and find a better vet.

barb
June 18th 07, 04:32 PM
Okay, I read every word of the post as the poster requested. Getting to the
bottom line, however, the fact is that the charge increased from before.
However the bill was calculated, that was the result. The tiff resulted
from not being forewarned. Now as I mentioned in my previous post, my vet
also is charging quite a bit more. There was no posting to say the rates
had increased. You don't generally see this whether you go to a restaurant,
movie or dry cleaner or your own doctor.

If this is the only problem with the vet you might just speak to him to
clear the air.

Stay with the cats while they are worked on and if you are not happy with
that, then move on to another vet.

--
Barb
Of course I don't look busy,
I did it right the first time.

PawsForThought
June 18th 07, 07:46 PM
On Jun 18, 11:27 am, "Rene S." > wrote:

Excellent post, Rene.

> I also would not skip taking your younger cats in because of this.
> Despite you having knowledge about cat health, you are not a doctor
> and can't make an official diagnosis. If you feel care in your area is
> poor, do research yourself and ask lots of questions during the exam--
> or drive to another town and find a better vet.

I agree. Finding a disease when the cat is young can really help with
treatment. A layperson just isn't equipped to do this.

Lynne
June 19th 07, 01:25 AM
on Mon, 18 Jun 2007 11:55:39 GMT, "MaryL"
-OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:

> I learned something from that -- from now on, I will *always* be
> present in the room when any work is done.

That is my policy. If a vet will not allow this, I leave and I don't go
back. Find out what is your vet's policy during a well exam. Don't wait
until your pet is sick. Some vets will tell you that the animal will
associate the pain or fear with you if you stay, but I am quite certain
that's total BS. You can calm your animal before and during the procdure
and comfort him or her immediately after. IMO that makes a huge
difference.

If someone is the nervous type, however, they can make things worse (on the
vet and the animal!) and should definitely NOT be present. It should be
your call as the animal's owner, though, and the vet's policy should be
that it is your choice to be present or not.

Now if your pet is hospitalized, that's a different story. Going to visit
your cat (or dog) during a stay can often agitate the heck out of them.
They get very excited to see you but then they don't understand why you
aren't taking them with you when you leave. IMO it's best to wait to see
them when it's time to go home. If they are in a good hospital, one that
you have checked out personally and gotten references for, they will be
very well taken care of, and they will get used to and usually do fine with
procedures. I also recommend taking them home as soon as possible (when
they are no longer critical) and administering IV's and/or meds at home if
you are up to the tasks because they heal faster at home IME.

--
Lynne