Ban Banfield Pet Hospital

by Marianne Richmond on August 6, 2005

My son suggested the title for this post….On Thursday, I knew I would be writing a post about Banfield Pet Hospital that would discuss their poor customer service and the misleading tactics that they use for their so called Wellness Plan. Yesterday, when their corporate staff seemed willing to right the situation I imagined a different post. TODAY’s post that I am actually writing is about the completely unacceptable treatment of our cat, TJ.

A brief search of the Internet uncovered quite a few complaints about the Wellness Plan, bad service, misleading tactics and mistreatment of animals. This is what happened to us.

We purchased a Wellness Plan last year when we adopted TJ. Over the course of the year, the plan hardly seemed worth the price plus importantly the care at Banfield at Sunset Hills, Mo. was of questionable quality. I informed them on a visit there on 6/26 that I was not renewing the plan. I watched them enter that in the computer. Nonetheless, several weeks later they called and inquired about the renewal and I again told them, no thanks. They REALLY push those plans! If only they treated pets with the same passion that they used for selling products and plans.

A postcard arrived from them postmarked 7/22 informing me to bring TJ on 8/4 for a comprehensive exam, vaccinations, and 2 tests ALL of which the postcard told me were covered by the plan I had all ready paid for this year.  It couldn’t have been stated more clearly. So…I took sweet fat TJ in on 8/4. Heather, a Banfield employee immediately informed me that my plan with Banfield had actually expired on 8/4 and that my charges for these services would be $173.00. Huh? I come in for services that they have told me are covered by a plan I have all ready paid for on the day they set up for me to come in and they tell me I missed the expiration day??  Suffice it to say the conversation with Heather deteriorated from there! I left with TJ.

A message awaited me upon my arrival at home…yes of course they had my cell phone number. Heather informed me that maybe they could cover the worm test. I went to the web site and got the corporate phone number, called Sunset Hills back and said I was giving them one more chance before I called their corporate office. They gave me the phone number of their "customer advocacy" department. I called, stated my issues and faxed off a confirming note with the postcard attached.

Several hours later I received a phone call from Aaron who said this was his responsibility and at the end of our conversation agreed to honor the postcard and to set this up at another Ban field. I was not interested in returning to Sunset Hills. And that would have been the end….

This morning I took J into another Ban field location on Manchester Road and there the real problems began. First of all, they also tried to charge me for the services but that eventually got straightened out. I left J with an uneasy feeling. About 2 hours later they called and matter of factly  informed me that TJ was ready to be picked up and that I should be sure and bring his carrier because he had gotten so upset that he had defecated on himself and they would not be able to clean him up.

Upset at what? TJ has been to the vet many times and though he doesn’t like it, he has never gotten "upset"…I asked more questions. What do you mean you can’t clean him up? He is so upset they said that he is trying to bite us. OK, TJ has NEVER been upset, never bitten anyone. They tell me I should come immediately. As my kids would say, "DUH!" Needless to say, I was furious and worried. What had they done to TJ?

Well, we arrived at Banfield they took the carrier and returned with TJ inside. He smelled like you know what but this cat was not angry and not looking like he was going to bite. I can only hypothesize about what kind of treatment he got and can only pray that there will not be repercussions for our sweet cat.

As my son Sam said: Ban Banfield…or at least be warned! They cannot be trusted with your pet.


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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer Munroe September 25, 2007 at 5:33 pm

I am having a difficult time with Banfield and I’ve been with them for several years — do you know who to contact in the way of customer service / advocates?

Phoebe November 14, 2007 at 2:46 pm

I work for Banfield… you should see how they treat their employees. It’s a terrible place and you couldn’t pay me to take my own pets there for treatment.

michael December 11, 2007 at 1:33 pm

i was ripped off by banfeild for a thousand dollars and they couldnt find what was wrong with my dog . I went to another vet and within one visit at another privite vet, my dogs problem was solved . If i continued to go to banfeild , my dog would have been dead .

Richard December 31, 2007 at 5:38 pm

I worked for Banfield last year. They claimed they would train me to be a veterinary technician. This claim was specious at best. The primary job of their vet techs (so-called “pet nurses”) is to push products, vaccinations, and their wellness plans. The Pet Nurse Director who was supposed to be in charge of my training was often too busy doing her own job. I was often asked to do procedures for which I had had only minimal exposure or instruction, or sometimes no instruction at all. What pet owners need to understand is that Banfield doesn’t hire certified vet techs–they don’t want to pay the going rate for already-trained vet techs. Instead, they hire people with no veterinary, laboratory, or other medical experience at all. Banfield gives their new vet techs (pet nurses) minimal training, expects them to be up and running as full-fledged vet techs within 10 working days, and asks them to perform procedures for which they aren’t qualified, hoping they won’t kill your pet. Anyone with any common sense realizes that veterinary technician training doesn’t happen in 10 days. Would you want a nurse treating you at a hospital with only a few weeks of training? Anyway, if you value your pet’s health, you should probably take him to another veterinarian and stay away from Banfield.

Christina Cameron January 6, 2008 at 1:10 pm

What can we do what can we do what can we do what can we do!!!
Our baby is gone a vet at Banfield KILLED HER. SUFFOCATED HER.

Last Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, we took our healthy little dachshund in for minor surgery to remove well-contained tumors from her abdomen. The surgery went fine, she was doing really well.

My father arrived to pick her up and the vet wrapped a bandage around her abdomen. They wrapped it so, so, so tightly. She was so heavily sedated that there was no sign of labored breathing. THEY SUFFOCATED OUR DOG.

She died within 5-7 minutes of leaving the hospital, an otherwise healthy and spunky dog that was fine after minor surgery. My mother discovered just how tight the bandage was when she tried to feel for a heartbeat and could not even get her finger under the stretchy material.

My father brought her back after hearing her death-rattle. The Dr. Naruszewicz said he “didn’t mean to” and well, since he (my dad) was there would he like to have her cremated? You know, since they already took $900 to do the surgery what’s a little more money to dispose of the evidence?

They are monsters. Oh please someone tell us what to do. Help help

Mary September 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I realize that each City and State has different Banfield’s and most certainly must have different approaches to the pets, and owners then the one I have been taking my dog to in Elk Grove California. This is the first Banfield I have ever went to, and the treatment to the animals, and owners is EXCELLENT. I enjoy going, my dog was so well cared for, I applied for a job, I guess I will find out more as I work their, I have seen that it is a ten day training, I feel I have had excellent training, I have been told if I do not know for a fact what the owner is asking, to let them know, I am new and will ask, and get back to them with the correct answer. I have no problem with trying to sell the Wellness program as I have saved so much money on that program for my own dog, and I think if you take advantage of it, it does work for you very well. Each person has a good or bad experience with company and it is sad that many have had bad experiences with Banfield. Perhaps more complaints should be sent to the Head Office. I know the Banfield in Elk Grove is part owned by the Vet, and she is a excellent Doctor.

Lisa October 5, 2008 at 3:05 pm

Very sorry to hear of the bad experiences people have had with your local Banfield. I have been bringing my five pets to Banfield in South Florida for 7 years and adore my doctors and staff. They are knowledgeable, professional, and take time with each pet. I wouldn’t bring my furbabies any place else.

Kara February 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Banfield actually requires that Pet Nurses take an exclusive training course and log many, many hours of education before they are expected to take responsibility of certain duties. It is a franchise, meaning yes it is a corporate company, but each clinic is owned and can be purchased by any veterinarian. So I think the varying opinions on Banfield hospitals is due to this fact. In my personal experience (both in taking my animals to the hospitals in Colorad, as well as landing a job at one that I ultimately could not accept) I have been able to see a great deal of how they function and I have been nothing but extremely satisfied for many years. Both of my dogs are on wellness plans that have saved us several thousand dollars.

Christopher February 18, 2009 at 4:06 pm

I have been a client of Banfield in Clarksville TN for about a year now, and I can say this. They are the only vets I will allow my dogs to see.

How many people can say there VET has offered to come to there house at 2am to work an issue and save you about 1k and an hour drive to nashville. How many people can say they have there vets personal cell and home numbers programed into there phone.

Yes there probobly are bad vets out there. Just like fire departments has dirt bag fire fighters who perform arsons to get insurance money. Just like there are Police officers, who accept bribes, and use drugs, and just like there are soldiers, who are suposed to be defending your country willing to make the ultimate sacrafice, who rape, murder, steal and commit felonys on a daily basis. I can say that for a fact. I am a fire fighter on a government military base. The fact of the matter is if your house catches on fire your still gona call the fire department, if your house gets broke into your still gona call the cops.

There are some corupt, deranged, and twisted people out there. But don’t let the few screw ups give a bad name to the whole lot, you still count on your soldiers, sailers, airman, and marines to defend your fredom.

You may have bad experiances, but I can tell you for a matter of fact. Dr. Tate and her vet staff at the Banfield in clarksville TN are the best vet care group I have ever had the privalage to work with. I have been working with Search and Rescue dogs for over 6 years now, and again I say I wouldn’t trust my dogs, MY PARTNERS, in any one elses hands. They are the most careing and compationate staff I have ever EVER worked with.

Max July 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm

We as pet owners are outrage about the lack of compassion, professionalising by your chief of staff at your Pembroke Pines location. We have taken our Dog Foxy to Banfield for the past 9 to 10 years, I’m a Disable Veteran my wife lost her job, we have never ask for any discounts or to give us anything for free. My dog was diagnosed with cushings, and for the last year we have spend well over $2000.00 today I was back at Banfield and I was just there last Friday explaining the Vet How we were struggling since my wife lost her job. Today 07/22/09 for the first time I had to ask for a discount or some type of assistance, payment plan, the answer was no in other words they really do not care about the pets or the pet owners. Last week it was $78.00 today $336.00 The chief of staff stated that the best that they can do is to pay half of the original $270.00 and the rest by next week,She did not speak with me directly. An hour later they call stating that it was going to be an additional $67.00 for the Meds. The bottom line is if you can come up with the money they will let you Pet died. Thank You Max

Max July 22, 2009 at 1:15 pm

I am having a difficult time with Banfield and I’ve been with them for 10 years — do you know who to contact in the way of customer service advocates? Some one has to be in charge! They do not want to give you a phone number for customer service, stating that they don’t have one!

Fred October 9, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I want to know if any dogs from Banfield off Sunrise BLVD, Citrus,CA, has had any coughing problems? On Saturday, Oct. 03, 2009, I dropped my dog off for a comprehensive test, @ the the time they told me she needed medicine for her earwax built up and purchased toothpaste for her tater problem. Come Thursday, October 8, 2009, my dog woke up with this horrible honking sound cough, she was coughing so hard she was heaving. I had her looked at the same day, I called today and let Banfield know she is still coughing. Now they want to charge me $61.00 for her medicine for a week.

Tom Gerds November 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Banfield in Minneapolis/St. Paul Metropolitan market spent 2009 de-partnering the remaining experienced vets which were put in place when Banfield was “offering” partnerships to veterinarians with experience, and who cared about their clients and their individual locations. Banfiels (in our market) has systematically removed caring vets like clockwork ever since the Mars Corporation bought out Dr. Campbell’s share of the corporation. I would like to hear from other Banfield “Partner” Doctors across the United States who have been “de-partnered,” replaced or “Fired” on trumped up reasons beyond their control due to management decisions in 2009. We are especially interested in talking to Doctors how have been recently replaced by new graduates. It appears many of the experienced vets in our market have been staffed all by new grads. Now you can go to a banfield whith a chief of staff who has just recently graduated.

Tom Gerds

Marge (B) November 14, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I’ve been taking our puppy to Banfield for over a year now. Never had a problem until the Doctors started changing,like the weather changing. I was never told before by the other Doc’s that the puppy had to have worm medicine each month. The previous Doctors would view the puppy’s chart, examine the dog each time and never once said do you want us to go ahead and give him or her a worm pill? I took the dog into Banfield for a simple physical and was approached by a new assistant that came out took the vital signs, did the little pat on the head thing, smiled and said the Doc. would be in. The assistant came in again and all of a sudden started talking worm medicine, pushing the product. She look like she was reading a book to me. I looked at her and said it was the first I heard giving the dog worm medicine each month, and that I was new at having a animal. She still thought she had me. She try to tell me he hadn’t had any worm medicine and should take a pill. I told her to read his chart again and to stop with that he hadn’t had stuff because I have all the dogs records. She left the room. The Doc. came in gave the dog a simple physical, up the nose, up the A??, through the mouth, check the temp thing, looked at his chart. Blah, Blah, worm conversation came up. I told them I had no problem with the dog taking the worm med. but, to say he never had the worm med., pissed me off. I left went home and thought why the worm thing now? The next day I rec’d a phone call from Banfield asking how was the dog? I thought to myself you’ve never called before about a simple physical,he didn’t get a shot. I told them the dog was fine. The next day my husband took the dog for his normal walk to waste and never had a problem before. This particular day the dogs waste, he saw something the size of a piece of rice move at the bottom of the puppies bottom. My husband kept the stool. I called another Vet, went and had the dog examined and the dog had a tape worm. The little thing that look fresh. The dog had no other parasites. Just strange after all this time and why now? Yell we called Banfield and spoke with customer service about extra charges. The answer to that, Oh! we can add it your next months bill.

I think is sad

KK December 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm

I took my Vizsla in for a well visit once at the one on Rock Rd. in Wichita, and the stupid vet asked how my WEIMARANER was doing!! Uh hello, Weimaraner’s don’t come in red! And “I’M telling a VET this? That’s no vet! Any idiot who knows much about dog breeds, knows Weimaraners are gray. He told me my dog was quite thin, and that’s after I told him she has chronic liver disease( thinness from not metabolizing ones food, is one of the prominent symtoms of liver disease.

I will NEVER go back to a Banfield. If you think about it, why would any vet want to work there and not for a private practice they could join? It’s kind of like, the people that work at Supercuts; they aren’t there because they’re awesome stylists; they’re there because either they’re just out of school and don’t have much experience, or they just plain stink at their job.

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