Fine Print Of Banfield’s Pet Wellness Plans

Pete

Sarah Harper and Woo Lee said goodbye to their cat, Pete, in October.

Pete developed epilepsy last year and had to be euthanized. And now that he is gone, the couple is still required to pay for Pete’s wellness plan at Banfield, the Pet Hospital. (Sound familiar? We reported about this happening to another pet owner in July.)

When Harper and Lee took Pete into Banfield, hospital staff recommended that they sign up for an “optimum wellness plan.”

For Harper, it seemed reasonable to pay an enrollment fee of $69.95 and $16.95 in monthly payments for Pete to receive regular vaccinations and exams and discounts on medical service.

Harper thought the wellness plan was like insurance.

And now, since her cat is gone, Harper thought she could terminate Pete’s wellness plan. But, Banfield said she couldn’t because she had signed a one-year contract.

Harper stated, “Pete was our little guy. Charging for his healthcare after he’s dead? That’s just evil.”

But Banfield said this is all explained in the paperwork and contract that owners sign.

The company explains that their wellness plans are not insurance policies. Instead their plans are a way for pet owners to manage the fixed costs of routine checkups, and payments can be paid yearly, but most pet owners decide to make monthly payments to spread the cost.

In Banfield’s contract, it states “monthly payments could be required if the total amount of services rendered by Provider prior to cancellation (valued at Provider’s full retail prices) exceed the sum of monthly installments retained or recovered by Provider.”

On various websites, other pet owners who have signed up for Banfield’s wellness plan have complained about the same situation that Harper and Lee are going through, and how they are still paying their premiums even though their pets has passed away.

A Banfield spokeperson said, “It’s unfortunate that those are out there. We have 2 million pets on wellness plans. We take good care of them.”

Source: Chicago Tribune

(Thanks Debbie)

40 Responses to “Fine Print Of Banfield’s Pet Wellness Plans”

  1. Stefani says:

    The LA Times also ran an article on this in their “Consumer Confidential” feature, which includes some more interesting info — see here:

    http://www.latimes.com/busines.....ome-center

    Specifically, it contrasted Banfield’s program with VPI pet insurance, the latter being ACTUALLY insurance.

    Here is a quote from that article about how VPI works differently:

    “The country’s largest provider of pet coverage is Veterinary Pet Insurance, based in Brea. The company insures about 460,000 pets.

    Brian Iannessa, a spokesman for VPI, said policies typically cost $25 to $30 a month — about the same as a comprehensive Banfield wellness plan — and reimbursed expenses for most tests and treatments.

    If your pet dies, the coverage ends. Period.

    “You would notify us that your pet is deceased, and the policy would be terminated a day later,” Iannessa said.”

    I’m wary of these plans, and in spite of having giant veterinary expenses, have never pursued pet insurance. But if I was going to, it is clear that the first one I would look into would be VPI. Certainly not Banfield — it’s not even insurance, anyway.

    Any pet insurance experiences to share?

    Stefani
    The Toonces Project
    http://www.TheTooncesProject.com
    “Is Your Pet Safe at the Vet?”

  2. Carol says:

    I suggest clicking on the Chicago Tribune link to the full story—it will make you even madder!

    Another reason for me to never go to PetSmart or Banfield for anything!

  3. Stefani says:

    Does anyone have any experiences with VPI or other pet insurance? Stef

  4. pnegra says:

    I have been with VPI insurance for over 7 years and I wouldn’t give it up. I love my 4 legged babies and my feathery babies so I have insurance on all 4 of my babies. 2 Min Pins and 2 Cocketiels. I have never had a problem with VPI about any reimbursements. They are prompt and will refund your claim within 30 days of the day the receive it. There was one time my min pin had become very ill. I took him to the vet and he was diagnosed with Pancreatitis. He had to spend 1 day in the hospital with IV. That bill came out to be about $500. VPI reimbursed me $360 of that bill. All I had to pay was $140, which was a $50 deductible and after that they pay 80% of remaining bill. It’s not like Bansfield, it’s more like our own insurance thru our jobs. We pay the monthly premiums even if we don’t see the doctor at all that month. The same goes with VPI. I don’t worry if my dog has an accident ( I don’t want that to ever happen) but if it does, i know my babies are covered. I wouldn’t have to decide if i can afford the high cost of medical attention. They also offer coverages for the routine care, vaccinations etc. I would defintely recommend getting VPI.

  5. Marina says:

    I too have VPI for 2 of my dogs. I think it is a great insurance program. It sure came in handy when one of my dog’s had a torn cruciate. 3/4 of the bill was covered by my policy.

  6. Jane says:

    If you look on Rip-Off reports you will find several other people who are unhappy with Banfield.

  7. kathy says:

    I’m old enough to remember a time when there was no medical insurance, even for people. I watched insurance drive medical costs sky high (”my doctor is going to admit me to the hospital for this procedure so my insurance will pay for it”)and people began to go to medical school not because that was what they wanted to do but because it promised an extremely high income, and I have watched pet medical insurance do much the same thing. I prefer to take responsibility for my own health and that of my pets and yes it costs me more in the short term but for me, medical insurance would likely cost around $500/month and I haven’t spent $500 on medical care in the last 5 years. I for one am very much anti-insurance and their scare tactics (”What if this, what if that…..). If my pets need medical care I will come up with the money from somewhere.

  8. catmom5 says:

    Bandfield surely does take care of its customers!! Thanks, but no thanks. What a nasty thing to do to people. SHAME ON THEM for putting the owners of deceased pets through this. Guess it just goes to show that their number one concern is for their profit margin. (gee, are we surprised?)

  9. Kristy says:

    I had pet insurance for one of my cats for several years. The problem was, he had high vet bills and I could never get the forms filled out for reembersement. I’m just not organized enough to, after I take my pet to the vet, fill out the forms and take them back to the vet to be signed and then mail them in and keep track that they reemberse. Not to mention the fact that I simply don’t have time to fit all of that into my schedule. If I had put the insurance money into a special savings account, it would have equaled out to almost the same as the benefits I “would” have received had I been highly organzied (my vet wouldn’t do it directly with the insurance company.)
    While I am HARDLY a fan of Banfield (had a major problem with their vetting services many many years ago) I think the confusion here is what the wellness plan is. It is not insurance! There is no mention in the article (sadly) how much benefit that the cat had received before he passed away. There are many times you see a vet and have to pay a big vet bill even if your pet dies. That is because the vet still incurs the cost. I think it would be better if Banfield terminated the contract on the death of a pet IF the pet had not already received in excess of the costs that were being charged by the monthly contract. For example, if the person received vacs and other medical discounts totaling 300.00 the month before their pet died, then they certainly can’t complain about paying the 16.95 for the rest of the year. But if they haven’t even received the benefit of the 69.95 startup costs, then Banfield should error on the side of what is more compassionate to do - especially since it costs them no money to do so.

  10. mittens says:

    managed care has been a disaster for this country-is a disaster in all nations with socialized care( try getting certain types of critical care in england without being put on a 3 year waiting list IF it will even be paid for or ok’d. canadians come here for many types of care they have to wait too long for in their country) and our politicians seem more concerned with making insurance companies richer and driving doctors out of practice. i cant see where expanded pet insurance wont have the same effect. when the true market dictates the cost of things without undo government interference there tends to be more and cheaper choices. health care is outrageously expensive because of mismanaged health insurance not despite it.

    this refusing to stop insurance on a dead cat is really outrageous. i have heard nothing but bad things about Banfield in general.

  11. The Lioness says:

    I haven’t heard much good about Banfield, either. Back when I was really struggling, I considered going there, but I’m glad I decided against it.

    This is just heartless.

    ~The Lioness

  12. TEALCSMOMMY says:

    I have this “insurance” for my two dogs.Depending on the plan, for ex: Dental, Spay, Puppy,Advanced–the coverage would be approximately $300-$375. It basically covers two wellness days during the year (dog is dropped off and all vital signs are checked, etc); the special procedure is done….dental, spay; all vaccinations are covered; all office visits are covered;anal sacs emptied, bloodwork, etc. There is also a discount for things not covered because you have this plan. I think it is worth the money knowing I can drop by as often as I wish for checkups, consultations and not incur additional charges. I am currently seeking a holistic/alternative type vet so I will probably switch to something like VPI insurance so I can go to any vet, anywhere. One of my dogs has some health issues that may involve more expenses like x-rays, etc.and this plan may no longer suit my needs for him. I think all of this is worth the $3-4 hundred dollars.

  13. Jeanie says:

    The Banfield policy is stupid, however, they do make the policy clear when you sign up. At least it was made clear to me when I signed up for one year. I didn’t think it was a good deal, so I cancelled. Whenever you enter a contract you should read the fine print and if you don’t like something, don’t enter into the contract!

  14. Sarahkate says:

    I would never use Banfield after finding that one of the Banfields in Oregon kept a vet on staff after said vet was arrested, tried and convicted on animal neglect charges. On insurance, having had to have equine mortality/loss of use on one of my horses and finally getting down to read the fine print and being horrified at what you would be put through if your horse died or needed to be put down, I would NEVER have any insurance on any animal for any reason. As a paralegal of 35 years who has researched insurance issues more times than I can count, in my opinion insurance is a scam, a colossal fraud, and downright evil because these companies TAKE YOUR MONEY and DO NOT give value in return, often forcing policyholders into lengthy, stressful and expensive legal battles to collect what little they can after a loss. Just say NO to insurance!!!

  15. Lynne says:

    kathy, I completely agree with you on everything you said.

    I have a mini schnauzer who has probably cost over $10k in medical bills throughout her life. I was always able to beg or borrow the money to pay the vet. I too am extremely anti insurance— even for people. What a rip off.

  16. Alex from Embrace says:

    As others have touched upon, there is a huge difference between a wellness plan and insurance. Insurance is, by its nature, for the unexpected things in life. A wellness plan, on the other hand, only makes financial sense when the company behind the plan charges, at a minimum, enough to recoup the cost of the plan.

    The pet insurance companies that offer wellness plans typically give you twice as much in benefits as the plan costs. So a $100 plan gives you $200 in benefits. They are relying on you not using all the benefits to make it work financially.

    Financially savvy pet parents get pet insurance because its the right thing to do but you hope never to use it. You get a wellness plan because you do hope to use it!

    Also, for those asking about which plans are any good, check out http://www.PetInsuranceReview.com . It contains customer reviews of all the major pet insurance plans and is not associated with any of them.

    Alex, Embrace Pet Insurance

  17. Stefani says:

    SarahKate, you said:

    ” one of the Banfields in Oregon kept a vet on staff after said vet was arrested, tried and convicted on animal neglect charges”

    Could you please send me privately the information on this story? Is there news coverage, etc.?

    Stefani
    http:www.TheTooncesProject.com

  18. Rose says:

    How horrible for these people to be not only remined of their loss each month but to have to pay for it too. Glad it made it to this site and the Chicago Tribune though.

    Wasn’t Banfield where pets were injured (died) in recent stories or was it another pet store?

  19. Catslave Donna says:

    Oh My God!! They admit to 2 million people paying at least $17 a month but they can’t make provisions for grieving pet parents!!!!???? How inhumane are they? I would be in tears every time I saw the charge on my credit card! I will definitely never recommend them to anyone. I have insurance and a wellness care plan but it’s only for the life of my furkids. Please, always read the fine print before committing to anything!!!

    My condolences to Pete’s family.

  20. Robert Davis says:

    I use Banfield and they are an excellent hospital for my dog Cotton. The wellness plan is a PAYMENT PLAN for service over a year instead of paying for the service all at once. If someone paid for service ALL AT ONCE one day and the cat died the next day, they should NOT expect a refund! The payment plans allow you to spread the cost of health care over a year. I’m sorry this person lost their cat, but they still owe for the services rendered.

    Banfield NEVER implied this was insurance to me. In fact, I have Pets Best Insurance in case Cotton gets sick and I need to pay additional fees considering I may have already used up the part of the plan earlier in the year.

    If a person wanted to cancel their contract due to services not yet rendered, then I would expect Banfield would charge them the rate for non plan members for the services received and IT WOULD BE a WHOLE LOT MORE than if he just finishes paying for the service. I’m sure Banfield doesn’t allow for contract cancellations and in this case it is in the best interest of the pet owner to continue to pay the LOWER fee to cover the cost of service.

    Cotton has been on Banfields plan since I got her and I have been very pleased with the service in both NC and MN. And IT DID NOT cost many anything to transfer the service to Banfield in MN when I moved here.

    Cotton gets x-rays, bloodwork, shots, 2 exams a year, plus free office visits if I think she needs to see them. The only thing I pay extra is if something is not part of the plan and that is for stuff like medication.

    My advice - know what you are buying and don’t complain when you have to keep paying for the services received after the pet has died. It is also good advice to get pet insurance if your pet is eligible. Pets Best has the best caps of any of the plans out there and you can lock in a rate up to 8 years.

    Kind Regards,

    Robert Davis

  21. KAEfamily says:

    We almost signed up with Banfield until we received an incompetent medical service for our pup from that same hospital. On the contrary, a friend is perfectly happy with Banfield. I have had positive experiences with VCA Small Animal Hospital in Duarte, CA. I also heard that SPCA offers good affordable insurance. Does anyone here have any experience with SPCA sponsored insurance?

  22. Sharon says:

    I checked into health insurance for Kuma but she is thirteen and they consider everything at this stage in her life to be a pre-existing condition. It’s just another ripoff.

  23. Gindy says:

    Lynne and kathy, when you have to shell out $323,456.81 for a set of cancer treatments let me know how it is from the poor house.
    My husband was diagnosed with lymphoma in June 2007, 8 chemo treatments later he is in clinical remission. He’d be dead in a couple of years if he had not had insurance through his work to help us pay for it. Our cost was $4250. That’s it. There is no way in hell we could have “taken responsibility for our own health care” and paid for it all ourselves. In all reality we did take responsibility by paying our premiums, making sure our lifestyle choices were consistent with good health, and staying on top of preventative care treatments. But you know, sh%t happens that you cannot control and sometimes you need help.

    Now about Banfield’s policy, it is NOT, repeat, NOT an insurance. A similar example would be totaling a car you had a maintenance agreement on. You still owe the payments on the CONTRACT you signed. One must READ the contract and if you have questions, ask them. Harper obviously did not read the policy literature or he would have seen exactly what it was he was purchasing.
    It is pretty tacky that Banfield won’t absolve the agreement, but exactly how much of the service did Harper use? If he had a typical vet visit with a total of about $150 and only paid 3 months of payments, I say he can cancel the contract but owes whatever those services cost without the plan. Might be more than th remaining amount on the contract or it might be less, who knows.
    Bottom line, he signed a contract and he must abide by it. It sounds like a lot of people who need remedial reading classes signed up for this policy….

  24. pnegra says:

    I agree with Gindy. Sh%t happens when you least expect it. I don’t want to worry about BEGGING someone for money to pay for my vet bills IF I had to. Lynn and Kathy, I hope to God that you girls NEVER need to see a hospital/doctor for an emergency. An emergency visit could be over $500 for a few hours. The same goes for the animals. I go thru every day at peace knowing that if something went wrong my dogs/birds are covered. Just like my human family is covered thru my job insurance. Yes, the premiums are high but when that emergency comes up we are all covered. It’s worth the peace of mind. I cry when I hear about a pet owner having to put their animal to sleep because they couldn’t afford to get, lets say, treatment for heartworm. An expensive treatment. Or they get hit by a car and need surgery. Surgery can run between $1500 to over $3000 depending on the type of surgery they need. I don’t have to decide that because my insurance will cover the majority of the bill. I know there are alot of people who can’t afford this but if you can’t afford something for the benefit of your 4 legged babies, I believe you shouldn’t have one. It takes alot of money and love to take care of them. Just like real human babies. I’m not saying if you don’t have the money to get insurance you don’t have the love to give. All I’m saying is to avoid a heartbreak of having to put your baby to sleep because you don’t have $ to pay for any treatment it may need, it’s best not to get a animal at all. That’s just my opinion.

  25. kaefamily says:

    I have to agree with pnegra’s sentiment. I have already decided that I will not have another dog after these two are gone less I have a good paying job.

  26. Robert Davis says:

    Even though treatments can get expensive, they are not always the best option for a pet. When my first Cotton died I allowed him to be put to sleep humanely instead of cancer treatments. The treatments he would have received would have given him UP to 6 months with no guarantee of quality of life. In this situation, even though I would be willing to sell anything to pay for his treatments, it was not in his best interest. I hope kaefamily that you will reconsider giving your good home to a new dog if and when the time comes. My therapist once asked me, “Would you have given up the good times to not have to deal with this bad time right now?” It was that question that got me out of my depression when Cotton passed. The answer is a resounding “No I would not have given up the good times.” I loved my dog like he was my own child. I would never have not taken him because of a potential loss - afterall, we all die one day. It is the personal pains we feel in life that really help mold how we handle future situations - like do I watch a movie or play with my dog? We never know when tragedy strikes, but knowing you took the time makes it easier to deal with. Life is a fragile thing … a journey we can choose to contribute to and learn from or we can choose to run from. My new Cotton has shown me it is better to contribute to and learn from than run from sorrow. Because sorrow you can never truly outrun.

    Kind Regards,

    Robert

  27. Andrew says:

    You guys aren’t thinking logical. The Banfield Wellness Program is NOT INSURANCE. It’s a program designed to help save money with puppy shots and vaccinations along with the occasonial problems that NEW pet owners run into. It’s up-front payment for a years worth of service. If you can’t pay up front they do have monthyly plans which many people opt into. If you pet passes, how can you logically think, ohhh, “I don’t have to pay this anymore. If you die with 30k in debt, your debt isn’t forgotten about! Somebody’s gonna find your fam and collect.

  28. Laure says:

    There is a pro and a con when it comes to Banfields Wellness Program. They never say it is an insurance, they clearly say it is a “Wellness program” and what it covers. The only problem is it IS a year contract - just as if you were signing up for a cell phone contract etc. If something happens to your furry friend, you still have to pay because you did sign a legal contract.

    I am paying for mine still even though my cat just passed away. Banfield and PetSmart are great places as far as I am concerned. I have never been lead astray by the vets there and they are always were (and still are) concerned for our furry children’s welfare.

    Bottom line READ what you sign and ask questions, otherwise you will and do THINK you were scammed. No one forces you to sign anything and that is why they ask you to read it before you do.

  29. Connie says:

    Wow, many of you do not understand the difference between insurance and wellness plans. I have all of my animals on the Banfield Plan. I lost one kitty cat after putting out more than $400.00 plus the banfield plan because he was a very ill kitty. He received in his first two visits to Banfield twice the cost of the wellness plan in covered blood tests and other things like shots, spay, etc. When he died three months later I still had to pay for his plan because I used the services plus the $400.00. I understood that because I read the contract and I would rather complete the payments than to pay over and above the total of the plan which was more than $300.00 in services. If you don’t know what you are getting then don’t buy. Banfield Wellness plan is a great plan for kittens, and older cats as well as puppies and older dogs. You can choose what level you get for each animal and what services are covered. My animals have been covered since 2002 around November. I have had three cats and two dogs on the plan. Usually two Cats, one older and one younger and two dogs, one younger and one older at the same time. Our totals of services are astounding compared to what we have actually paid out of pocket. I am talking a difference of thousands of dollars over the years. My pets are well cared for and I know the status of their health at all times. When I need to bring a pet in for a checkup there is no additional fee for the visit. My older dog currently has Melanoma of the skin and has to have them removed. The cost of the surgery will not be covered nor will the medications. However, if we do the surgery during her normal scheduled teeth cleaning which is fully covered on the plan and this includes the anesthesia then we will not incur the extra costs of the surgery. Just the cost of actual surgery and her recheck appointments won’t cost us anything. You cannot beat the Wellnes Plan for bi-annual checkups, shots, complete bloodwork, etc. Read all contracts for what you are buying and ask all questions before signing on the dotted line. I am glad I got the wellness plan for all my animals. I am at ease knowing I can take them to the vet without an appointment at any time and their needs will be looked upon with some of the best Vet care we have ever received. Not all Vets are top of the line in any office. Sometimes a Vet chosen by a large organization proves to be the wrong decision and sometimes decisions are made without our knowledge of the background of the decisions. It is up to us to decide for ourselves what we are comfortable with. I chose Banfield because they knew what I was talking about regarding the medication my dog takes monthly for her Epilepsy. Interestingly enough, Banfield was the only Vet in all of Corpus Christi that knew what I was talking about. How’s that for Vet Knowledge?

  30. Jerry says:

    The previous poster is at least one person in here that has an idea what they are buying. Don’t fault Banfield because you can’t be bothered to read what you bought. Obviously, most of you have no clue what the term “wellness” means. Also, for those comparing this to other pet insurance companies, if you bother to read what they actually offer you will find that the items that are considered “wellness” are also not covered unless you pay extra to have those services covered. For example, normal shots will not be covered by insurance unless you specifically include wellness for an additional fee.

  31. Katrina says:

    I have 2 dogs on banfield plans and have been nothing but please with it. I like that my dogs are vaccinated for 3 years of some of their shots that other vets would do yearly.

    My older dog was the first to be on a plan. She had fatty tumors that needed removing and they suggested I put her on a plan as she would be due for shots. They removed he fatty tumors when they cleaned her teeth. It cost a total of $250 for the removal of 5 tumors and sending the biggest to a lab for biopsy. She has had all her shots and is healthy. We have had a few bumps along the way but it has always been affordable. She does well with the vet and techs at the office unlike some vets. I don’t leave her for her comprehensive exam as she gets more nervous without me. They actually will keep her in the room with me most of the time unlike other vets that would drag her into the back with every minor thing. Even though she is getting older the plan is well worth it. Because the visits are free, I find myself bringing her in for minor things instead of waiting until there are serious complications. The comprehensive exams are also great for early detection of potentionally serious conditions. My previous vets charged a minimum of $50 just too look at my sick dog. Now it is free which saves alot of money in the long run.

    With my other dog I called to sign her up. I decided to try the banfield that was slightly closer. It turns out they are much busier. It was apparent immediately that she wasn’t going to be cooperative as she was scared. She immediately barked at them when they tried to approuch her. I muzzled her for them and they took her into the back to draw blood for her heartworm test. After they returned her to the room, they started to tell me that they didn’t think she was a good candidate for a wellness plan as they didn’t think it would be a good idea to drop her off (as if I’d do that). I had already paid for the plan over the phone. They insisted the money would be refunded but I refused to pay the $80+ it would have cost for the services that were covered under the plan I paid for. So since I wouldn’t pay for what they had done they were forced to put me on the plan I had paid for. They insisted that next time she comes in that she needs to be muzzled when she comes in the store. We go to petsmart all the time without any problems so that isn’t going to happen. I will muzzle her when she gets into the exam room but not while we are in the store. She is not aggressive. The vet was just afraid of my dog so I decided to switch her plan over to the other one my other dog goes to. She did much better with them. I did have to muzzle her but they said she was better when they got her in back. They even must have removed her muzzle as they has to to check out her mouth and give her the dewormer.

    The thing you have to remember is that a wellness plan is NOT pet insurance. It is a bundle of discounted services you have signed up for to pay over time. It is a plan to help keep your healthy pet healthy. That is why it is called a wellness plan, not an illness or injury plan. You are paying for services in installments and the services a spread out into one year. If your pet passes away you are still responsible for the services you agreed to pay for as they are a package deal. You don’t have to continue to make monthly payments, you can just pay off the balance and be done with it. If emergency surgery was going to be $2,000 and your pet died just after surgery would you not be responsible for paying for the surgery because it wasn’t successful? The plan pretty much pays for itself in just a few visits so what is the big deal? If you used any part of the plan, you pay for the whole things as the services are discounted because you are buying it as a package deal.

    If you want injury coverage some of the microchip companies like 24petwatch and homeagain offer injury plans while your pet is lost for as little as $20 per year. Some pet insurance also offer accident insurance for $11 per month or accident and illness for $27per month. I would pay double what I am currently paying through insurance which charges extra for vaccines and have a bunch of coverage that I don’t need. Insurance also only covers a certain $ amount in wellness services when you pay extra for them. Plus since a wellness plan is a package deal, not insurance there is no deductable. I see the savings right when they check my dogs out. I just have to pay for the services not included in my plan and nothing for included services. I don’t have to pay for anything and send in forms for reembursement. I get a discount based on the plan that particular dog is on for services not included and medication. I couldn’t afford to pay a large vet bill and then wait for reembursement. The plans I have are very affordable and include the services I need for each of my dogs.

    Even with the discount I do not purchase my heartgard or flea/tick preventative from them. Instead I have them call in a prescription for generic heartgard to drs foster and smith. My previous vet tried to make it as difficult as possible to do that. If one of my dogs needs medicine but can wait a few days I will have them call it in and order it to save money. If I need it immediately I’ll purchase the meds from them.

  32. Katrina says:

    I forgot to meantion VCA quoted $1,500 for the removal of the tumors which included a veterinary surgeon which really sounded like overkill for simply fatty tumor removals which as a heck of a lot easier than spaying a dog which all vets are taught to do. My previous vet quoted $600 so paying $250 with the biopsy was quite a deal considering her vaccines and deworming is also included in the $30 per month.

  33. MandyJ says:

    I’m currently trying to cancel my Banfield plan after two years of membership with my cat. Every time I take him to the vet for a checkup or shots, they try to sell us on some new medication or treatment even though he isn’t sick. They also insisted on giving him shots even though his medical records clearly stated he was up-to-date on rabies - and the new vaccine made him very sick. It isn’t worth the price if they’re going to keep on finding a way to keep me paying more every time I visit. What should I expect from a “vet” operated inside of a pet supply store?

  34. maralee says:

    Thanks for all the pros and cons. I am currently looking to switch Vets and our local Banfield has been very helpful and willing to share knowledge to a new pet owner.

  35. Ethel Williams says:

    I think Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan is graet. Because able caugt tompert was in my cat’s tail and remove it. The 2 year check up can things that might not know wrong with my cat Princess. Have teeth clean 2 year help a lot. Without add nothing to my bill. I can came in the walk in went I need a vet for Princess. All Doctors and Nusies love her went she hard time and take care of her.

  36. Diane says:

    Well I will never get anything from petmart or Banfield Optimum Wellness Plan…not even doing the grooming..They groom my pug and they drop her…They call me and said she was bleeding from the nose…I get there and they say some dogs get upset and will bleed from the nose…My dog loves grooming and been doing it for about 9 yrs..I rush her to my vet in town and she was not upset…she had a truma done to her like someone drop her wrong which showed on xray…Sorry but my dog is like family to me and I will never trust them because one they lie to me and from now on all my pets go to a real vet and not one in a store with training people….

  37. Cassie says:

    To the people that love Banfield so much, do you realize that their “vet techs” never went to school? For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why my cat Tipsy was labeled a biter when she got there. She had always been perfect and very loving to the vets at other clinics. It takes about 2 years of schooling to become a vet tech, I looked into it because I was going to do that myself. Banfield’s are new hires with no experience and 10 days of training. As soon as I found that out, I immediately stopped taking my cats there. Good riddance to a horrible “hospital”.

  38. Khristine says:

    Simba Jade 03/26/1996-09/24/2008
    Optimum Wellness Plan Renewal 09/01/2008

    Still required to pay insurance of $40 a month not including Sasha her daughter. 80 bucks

  39. Rachael says:

    So say you buy a wellness plan that costs you a enrollment fee 70$ and first months payment 17$. So you dont pay your office vist, your vaccines, and deworming since they are all included. Basically you are getting a 66% discount on what it would normally cost. So lets say you cancel your plan 3 months later you paid 70 plus 17×3 which equals 121 dollars. But the amount the company invested in you already is way more than that. So you think it is fair to get all those products and not pay for them? I understand that your cat died, but you also have a commitment to pay for the services that you already used. You are able to get out of the contract earlier- but you have to pay for what you used- which normally costs a bunch more than if you just finish out your wellness plan. Unfortunetly people like you don’t care to listen how to take care of the situation because you rather play the victim. You know vets love animals- but that does not mean we should give handouts to everyone who comes crying to us. If we did that we would be more broke than we already are.
    For the comment about vet techs not going to school– About 1/2 of the techs I know have gone to school. Normally they are supervising. But not everyone can afford to go to school. Just becuase someone does not have a degree does not mean that they are stupid. I am sick of techs being treated like crap by clients and then the clients are totally ok with the doctors. They know a lot of information and you would learn a lot from actualy listening to them. They have more than 10 hours of training (like the previous lady mentioned). They have continual classes they have to take online in order to get a pay raise. The doctors watch supervise them, so if you have a bad tech it is most often the doctors fault.
    For the lady with the bad cat= have you ever thought your cat may act different when you are not around? When it is labeled as a “biter” it is in the protection of the workers. No one wants to be biten. Aspecially if you cat is unvaccinated. Did you know that by Law if your cat is unvaccinated and bites someone than they have to be quarantined for a set amount of time. Do you really want that to happen? Also if a cat bites, it often requires antibiotics? So yah we are going to use precautions. Also I am sick of when I walk into a room and people’s pets are hissing and showing their teeth and the owners say “o they wont bite you”. And why in the world would you think that? Just because you love fluffy does not mean you can ignore his flaws. Every pet has its down side just admitt that your pet has his and move on with your life- its no big deal.
    So basically I am sick of stupid people who formulate these opinions with no knowledge what so ever. I like banfield becaue they hae Quality health care for a resonable price. And you know what, you have to pay for quality. I have meet many doctors that I do not like- but just becuase you had one bad experience does not mean you are able to speak for the whole company.
    I understand you are venting- just like me- but please stop being so self absorbed for one moment to see someone elses view.
    P.S- we are not part of petsmart, we are our own company get it right.

  40. Betty Hannon says:

    I made the difficult decision to have my 13yr old sheep dog suffering loss of strength, organs, etc. on June 30th 2009. Her plan expired July 2009. One week later, my 12yr old golden mix had a tumor swell and started seeping. The Banfield Vet recommend giving her meds for infection, pain, and reduce the swelling at a cost of $150.00. (two years ago a recommend specialist by Banfield eval’d and found 9 tumors) Two days later I returned for a second opinion and the vet was doubtful the swelling would go down and the size of the tumor made it next to impossible to operate. Appreciating her honesty, and needing time to say my goodbye’s my final visit with Kelly was on July 9th, 2009. The total of both dogs Wellness Plan “lifetime saving” amounted to $24,000.00 and my costs approx. 12K - 16K plus the yearly fees. I was shocked to hear they are still charging me three months for my dead dog. Yes, I did sign a contract 12yrs ago. Am I entitled dogless office visits during this 90 day period? I hope I get my annual $300 yearly plan renewal offer of a free one month flea and tick coupon.


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