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Bad Vet Experience!

Crestfallen
March 16th, 2009, 02:43 PM
Okay - so this a rant a bit, but I am wondering what someone else would do.

A friend referred me to a non-profit organization that helps people on a fixed income / tight budgets (NOKA) help get their animals neutered. We got our older dog fixed and it cost us close to $500.00 so getting our 2nd (who is a boy) fixed was a concern for us but we didn't want to spend that again, nor could we afford it this time. So the organization helped us find a place who helps owners. It's a normal clinic, and they get paid the same the $$ is just subsidized by the government to the clinic (which I have since learned about). I booked the appointment through the clinic and it was all good.

When we brought our little guy in to get fixed the clinic was nothing but terrible.

The receptionist was rude to me to begin with and when she finally helped me she could not find my dog or our name on the list. She accused me of getting the date wrong. She finally said "Oh you're one of those NOKA people" I said "Uh I guess so"......her reply to me was "OH someone was supposed to call you we're don't deal with NOKA anymore". No one had called me and I had only made the appointment 3 days before. I later checked my messages and calls, and no one had called. She kept going on about how she was sure someone called and no one had.

She then asked "so how much can you afford?" I said "well this is all I can afford, this is what I was told I would be paying by your clinic. I'm a student you know?" She asked me this right infront of other people, which was humiliating. I am a student and I am on a fixed income and for someone to go out of their way to make me feel cheap and like a ****ty dog owner. She kept razing me to pay more and went off to decide.

She finally came back and said "Okay well we'll do it this time but never again" I made the mistake to make a joke saying "well i guess that's good because I don't think they grow back." She didn't laugh. She told me to give "Artie" (referring to my dog -- Atticus) to the other woman taking him to the back. I said "His name is Atticus" The woman didn't pick up this poor 15 lb dog, she just dragged him as he was crying on his leash.

I didn't get a call when the surgery was done.

When I picked him up, I didn't get any info on what to do and how to care for him. Nothing. No smiles no nothing.

I usually thought most vet's were nice...so what is going on????? I actually want to file a complaint.

BenMax
March 16th, 2009, 02:48 PM
Crestfallen - file that complaint. You have every right to.

I must commend you on being a responsible pet owner. As a student, things can be very tight so i can appreciate your efforts.

You did good! Shame on those people.

Crestfallen
March 16th, 2009, 02:53 PM
It was back in January that this happened, but I just don't know how to go about this and I didn't realize how upset I was about this until much later.

I am thinking of just writing a letter to them directly and seeing what kind of response I get from them. Any suggestions?

On a side note tho: NOKA was great, and they were beyond friendly, so it was nothing THEY did. I commend groups that try to help people keep their pets the healthiest even if no everyone has the most $$.

BenMax
March 16th, 2009, 03:01 PM
Just write the letter of complaint and address it to the administrator. End the letter as follows:

'I thank you for your assistance to this matter and look forward to your reply.'

Ensure to express your displeasure with the treatment that both you and your pet endured. Trust me, they do not want anyone to know that they treated your pet so badly. It's called bad business and it can ruin them.

Bailey_
March 16th, 2009, 03:02 PM
I agree that you should write a letter. Even if just to bring to light how this receptionist is dealing with customers. What she said to you, especially in front of others, is not okay.

Back in 2006, we had adopted a toy poodle from a breeder that we later found was running a puppy mill. (There were many warning signs, but hindsight is always 20 - 20 - we should've known better, but it was certainly a wake-up call for my husband and I.) The first day we had our puppy she was not showing signs of normal puppy behavior (wouldn't walk, had trouble standing, etc.) We took her to our local clinic and I was treated so rudely by the staff.
I had been crying and after they put me in the checkup room, I could hear them laughing and talking about me. I was so horrified and enraged that I couldn't think straight. When the vet finally came to talk to me, I was too concerned about my pup to actually care about what the girls out front had done.
(The vet diagnosed my puppy with 'consitaption' and sent me home with directions to put metimucil on her food. Over the next few days her condition worsened, and we took her to a different clinic, where we were immediatley told that our puppy's neck was not attached to her spine. Her head was literally not attached to her body because of the horrible in-breeding. Constipation? I don't think so. We had to make the difficult choice to put down an eight week old puppy.)

Anyway, the point of my story is that I never actually went back to that clinic and formed any sort of complaint - not only against the women who made me feel like a tool, but to the vet that failed in diagnosing something so serious in our dog.

I really think you should say something, if only to make you feel better. Bad vet experiences are NOT okay.

BenMax
March 16th, 2009, 03:09 PM
Baily - what a nightmare.

It is very important that we all stand up and correct a wrong. It has happened to everyone I am certain. People must learn in that business that we can make them or break them. It takes one big mouth (like myself) to get people to listen.

hazelrunpack
March 16th, 2009, 03:33 PM
I think you should write the letter, too, Crestfallen. If the vet clinic employs that receptionist knowing how she deals with customers, then shame on them! But perhaps they don't know.

This is a little off topic, but BenMax, why don't you run for office and put yourself in a position to really give your words some oomph? Think of what you might be able to get done from a position of authority!

BenMax
March 16th, 2009, 03:39 PM
I think you should write the letter, too, Crestfallen. If the vet clinic employs that receptionist knowing how she deals with customers, then shame on them! But perhaps they don't know.

This is a little off topic, but BenMax, why don't you run for office and put yourself in a position to really give your words some oomph? Think of what you might be able to get done from a position of authority!

Ha -that's a good one Hazel...and so I can expect your vote then right? I think not.

hazelrunpack
March 16th, 2009, 03:40 PM
If I were living there, yes, I think you could.

Crestfallen
March 16th, 2009, 03:40 PM
Just write the letter of complaint and address it to the administrator. End the letter as follows:

'I thank you for your assistance to this matter and look forward to your reply.'

Ensure to express your displeasure with the treatment that both you and your pet endured. Trust me, they do not want anyone to know that they treated your pet so badly. It's called bad business and it can ruin them.

Believe me I've told people all my animal buds and they're not impressed.

Thanks for the tips tho.

BenMax
March 16th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Believe me I've told people all my animal buds and they're not impressed.

Thanks for the tips tho.

Good for you. You are a do-er!

Crestfallen
March 16th, 2009, 03:42 PM
I agree that you should write a letter. Even if just to bring to light how this receptionist is dealing with customers. What she said to you, especially in front of others, is not okay.

Back in 2006, we had adopted a toy poodle from a breeder that we later found was running a puppy mill. (There were many warning signs, but hindsight is always 20 - 20 - we should've known better, but it was certainly a wake-up call for my husband and I.) The first day we had our puppy she was not showing signs of normal puppy behavior (wouldn't walk, had trouble standing, etc.) We took her to our local clinic and I was treated so rudely by the staff.
I had been crying and after they put me in the checkup room, I could hear them laughing and talking about me. I was so horrified and enraged that I couldn't think straight. When the vet finally came to talk to me, I was too concerned about my pup to actually care about what the girls out front had done.
(The vet diagnosed my puppy with 'consitaption' and sent me home with directions to put metimucil on her food. Over the next few days her condition worsened, and we took her to a different clinic, where we were immediatley told that our puppy's neck was not attached to her spine. Her head was literally not attached to her body because of the horrible in-breeding. Constipation? I don't think so. We had to make the difficult choice to put down an eight week old puppy.)

Anyway, the point of my story is that I never actually went back to that clinic and formed any sort of complaint - not only against the women who made me feel like a tool, but to the vet that failed in diagnosing something so serious in our dog.

I really think you should say something, if only to make you feel better. Bad vet experiences are NOT okay.

WOW that is terrible! I am SO so so so sorry. That is beyond terrible. :( Poor thing.

Bailey_
March 16th, 2009, 04:14 PM
:sad: It was quite awful. What was worse, that was the first experience my husband ever had owning a dog.

Heartbreaking, horrible, and awful. But our experience has helped us make sure that others don't make the same naive mistakes while looking for a pet. This particular breeder was later shut down, however after talking to a woman that works for the rescue organization SCARS - I found out that there are poodles being abandoned in the same area that this woman used to live...which makes us all think she's somewhere again, up and running and breeding.

Very horrible.

TacoGrl
March 16th, 2009, 04:25 PM
I once had a vet who did $600+ worth of dental work that didn't fix the problem and when Jaeger went back under less than a week later, they discovered she had mouth cancer (which I would have thought they would have found the first time around) and still charged me another $600+!!! The vet left a voicemail for me saying "The cat has cancer...don't expect her to live another month". Yes, on voicemail!!! When I went to pick her up, they tried to charge me full price to euthanize her...I went elsewhere. I wrote a complaint, but unfortunately, the vet was a major player in the group who owned this particular clinic (they own like 15 here) and I got nowhere. :sad:

Having said that, you still have to try...file a complaint...I have met a few front office folks who have been less than cordial and they have been let go after complaints. We pay a lot of $$$ to vets and most of the time we are not having the best of situaitons when we are there...the folks there should be compansionate.

Oh and to ramble some more...:D

I dealt with an emergency clinic here when Seth had that issue with his mouth and I must say, the people on the phone were less than pleasant...they had the same attitude because the rescue got discounted rates...I sent a complaint, but have no idea if anything was done...I was taking him there because that's where Seth's rescue org dealt with, but I ended up taking him to my regular vet and paying out of my own pocket...glad I did. :)

Unfortunately, there is a stigma with anything subsidized (I don't agree with it because everyone falls on hard times) and I know for sure I will try anything to keep from having to go to either of these clinics and giving them my money...they made poor business decisions by treating me like they did...I pamper my furries. :D

Crestfallen
March 16th, 2009, 04:30 PM
That is so sad. I can't even imagine. I would imagine that it would be difficult to face a vet clinic after something like that happens.

That's kind of how I felt at least. I didn't want to face the vets, i was so mad/upset.

I'd be interested to know what a veterinarian would think about the shotty service. Most vets I've been around are over the to nice and are working with animals because they love working with animals.

hazelrunpack
March 16th, 2009, 04:31 PM
Is there a veterinary board of some sort that takes complaints about clinics? Or would that just be for complaints against the veterinarian?

Crestfallen
March 16th, 2009, 04:38 PM
I once had a vet who did $600+ worth of dental work that didn't fix the problem and when Jaeger went back under less than a week later, they discovered she had mouth cancer (which I would have thought they would have found the first time around) and still charged me another $600+!!! The vet left a voicemail for me saying "The cat has cancer...don't expect her to live another month". Yes, on voicemail!!! When I went to pick her up, they tried to charge me full price to euthanize her...I went elsewhere. I wrote a complaint, but unfortunately, the vet was a major player in the group who owned this particular clinic (they own like 15 here) and I got nowhere. :sad:

Having said that, you still have to try...file a complaint...I have met a few front office folks who have been less than cordial and they have been let go after complaints. We pay a lot of $$$ to vets and most of the time we are not having the best of situaitons when we are there...the folks there should be compansionate.

Oh and to ramble some more...:D

I dealt with an emergency clinic here when Seth had that issue with his mouth and I must say, the people on the phone were less than pleasant...they had the same attitude because the rescue got discounted rates...I sent a complaint, but have no idea if anything was done...I was taking him there because that's where Seth's rescue org dealt with, but I ended up taking him to my regular vet and paying out of my own pocket...glad I did. :)

Unfortunately, there is a stigma with anything subsidized (I don't agree with it because everyone falls on hard times) and I know for sure I will try anything to keep from having to go to either of these clinics and giving them my money...they made poor business decisions by treating me like they did...I pamper my furries. :D


I just think it's sad, I mean I would pay whatever amount of $$ I had if I had unlimited funds to do whatever I could for my animals, but I don't have the funds now, so I am penalized for it.

chico2
March 16th, 2009, 05:47 PM
Crestfallen,NOBODY has the right to treat you rudely,there is no way I would accept that kind of behaviour.
I sincerely hope you write NOKA ,also,sometimes a veterinarian is not aware how rude the receptionist is,so it would not hurt to tell the vet too.
I know this is probably bothering you a lot,best cure is to let your anger be known,it does not matter if you are a student or an oldie like me,get this off your chest.
I too commend you for doing right by your pup:grouphug:

Crestfallen
March 18th, 2009, 01:33 PM
Crestfallen,NOBODY has the right to treat you rudely,there is no way I would accept that kind of behaviour.
I sincerely hope you write NOKA ,also,sometimes a veterinarian is not aware how rude the receptionist is,so it would not hurt to tell the vet too.
I know this is probably bothering you a lot,best cure is to let your anger be known,it does not matter if you are a student or an oldie like me,get this off your chest.
I too commend you for doing right by your pup:grouphug:

NOKA was aware of the situation after, my friend let them know and they were NOT pleased at all!

What surprises me is the vet, who we picked atticus up from, was just as un-personable.

I think that is going to be one of my projects is going to write them a strongly worded letter though. It's just a matter of finding time. I was glad that Atti was fine though!

Blackdog22
March 19th, 2009, 12:21 PM
I'm sorry you had to go through that. It's a good thing little Atti is doing okay.....
I too have an 'Adicus'.

glasslass
March 19th, 2009, 01:33 PM
When you write the letter, add a "cc: NOKA". Send the copy to NOKA. The clinic would probably ignore your letter but if they know NOKA received a copy, they are more apt to respond.

I, too, am sorry for these miserable experiences. I'm also appalled that your first dog cost almost $500 to be fixed. I can't remember how much it was for Den-Den and Corky, but I know it wasn't even $100.

kungfutina
March 20th, 2009, 06:50 PM
You can also write the local newspaper stating what kind of service you had received. I highly doubt it will make a difference in the way the vets treat people at their clinic and it will probably just tick them off even more. You can also check the Better Business Bureau to send a complaint, but not much happens after that (I've done it before with another company). I am just finishing up teachers college after completing 4 years of university and know what it is like to take care of a pet on a tight budget.

LooneyBoone
March 20th, 2009, 06:58 PM
Like everything else out there there are good vets and bad vets and the bad vets really hurt the good vets. I know plenty of people who have had such bad experiences that they don't trust any vet even the ones that go above and beyond for their clients, give large discounts or don't charge at all in some circumstances. I've worked for both good and bad and the bad really stood out bad enough that I find myself second guessing my vet and wondering what goes on once I'm out the door.

Write a letter, like everyone else has said, send it to anyone and everyone, there is also a site called Vet Ratingz where you can comment and rate vet clinics.