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Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 6867
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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I feel as though I've been scammed and not sure of the course

Customer Question

I feel as though I've been scammed and not sure of the course of action to take. After using a particular vet location since the 1970's and becoming dissatisfied with the most recent policies of the location. I made an appointment with Banfield Animal Hospital for my 3 cats booster shots and a wellness check for one. Upon arrival 5 minutes after they opened, I waited over 2 hrs. They did have a couple of emergencies so I was patient. Coming up on 3 hrs I stated I needed to step out to get something to eat. Before leaving I was presented with a plan of treatment totaling $1,200 with all kinds of stuff I didn't come for. I said no, the 3 cats just need their booster and 1 a wellness check... still the bill came to nearly $400. I received a call from the vet tech that the Vet needed to see me immediately. I rushed back and no one was to be found, I was frantic because she let me know something was wrong. After pacing I began knocking on the door for someone to come speak with me, no one came for 30 minutes. The Vet informed me that Nicky was very sick with jaundice, his blood levels were off & I needed to take him to the animal hospital emergency. She suspected he had a liver problem and needed an ultra sound of the liver. They sent me to Animal Specialty Center in Yonkers, NY. They said Nicky was very very sick, needed iv fluids and couldn't tell me if he would die until they did tests. If they just treated him in the ER & I took him home it would cost nearly $2,000.00. They said that would cover them watching him 24 to 48 hrs. I left him at 7 pm after being out with all 3 cats 12 hours. By 11 am the next morning they called to state all the things that they wanted to do to find out what was wrong xrays, enemas, iv fluids, an ultra sound of the liver, tube feeding. In asking Tiffany well how much is this all going to cost? She stated she didn't have time to go over each expense with me but she could fax or email it to me. I was already upset by the condition they were describing for my cat and I want to be informed about the cost and if he was going to die. She hung up on me. I called back to speak to someone in charge and was informed she was in a meeting for about an hour. I requested that she call me back which didn't happen so I called back 5 hrs later only to be connected to someone who stated she could only speak with me 3 minutes. I requested the person in charge who spoke with me very indifferently, said she would speak to Tiffany and I need to pay $2,100.00 more to continue treatment. I had already paid over $450.00 on Tuesday when I left him and by the end Friday the total was just about $5,000.00. Even then the test revealed possibly 1% hepatitis and 99% liver cancer. Chemo therapy would cost an additional $4,000.00 to $5,000.00 which I told them I couldn't afford the 1st part and wouldn't be doing chemo. On Wednesday night the 1st vet called me at night to encourage me to go forth with the tests. I had been crying not knowing what I should do. They had suggested Credit Care however I had not expected the cost to be so high. The first vet did a blood test, the hospital did a blood test the same day. My overall feeling was they were more interested in making money than my animal. I took Nicky home that Friday, was told he may have weeks to months to live. Was given a prescription for steroids to make him feel better. I saw a show on Hot Bench where a dog was shot in the leg which was fractured in several places. The dog had surgery on his leg and was in the hospital 4 days and it cost $5,000.00. If I was told the cat wasn't going to live, I would not have put out $5,000.00. I felt like I had no recourse in the situation especially while feeling very upset at the time. I have animal since the 1970's and never experienced anything as traumatic as this. How do I even know they did all the tests, xrays, enemas etc. Is there any recourse in how astronomical the costs at animal hospitals are? I feel like the first place sent me to the second place and their prime purpose was to make money, not caring about my animal. I've had the cat 9 years, he is neutered, micro chipped and they all are well cared for. Is there anything I can do? I have excellent credit. I'm currently on a sick leave w/o pay after the loss of my last relative my dad.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your post. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
As a pet owner I sympathize with your concerns. However I am a bit unclear as to the scope of your question. Do you believe that they did not perform the work, or that they overcharged you? Have you considered going to a different vet for a second opinion? Please advise.