Complaint / review text:
Alright, after cruising this site for a while, I've decided to write an HONEST perspective of Banfield - from an employee. Yes, I've worked at Banfield for a long time. I'm a little disgruntled, so I'm going to write a little review. Hopefully soon I will find another job.
1. The veterinarians I've worked with have all been great and have treated their assistants with respect and gratitude. However, management treats us like we are C-RAP! I'm not going to go into the specific abuses that our manager has committed because I don't want to be identified.in general, he/she makes people work overtime but then adjusts our time punches so that we don't get paid overtime, makes us work through our lunch breaks (unpaid), comes up with excuses why we can't have promotions or raises, and blames us for things that are his/her fault. The more money the hospital makes, the more money the office manager makes. Office managers get dinged for things like overtime and having too many people scheduled. For example, there is an actual equation for the number of hours assistants can work based on how many pets come in that day. The manager gets in trouble if he/she schedules too many hours. However, that always leaves us understaffed and scrambling to get the work done on time. Then we get in trouble for "poor time management" and not doing other duties like cleaning, equipment maintenance, and whatever other projects we are assigned.
2. Corporate policy. UCCK! Corporate stinks! They are so strict in terms of what they will allow. They put so much pressure on us to sell sell sell. I understand that it's a business, and we want to be profitable, but sometimes I just want to tell these people to shove it and let me do my job. And good luck getting anyone on the phone. I tried calling the wellness plans relations team once, and I was put on hold for 20 minutes before anyone picked up.
3. Staff to pet ratio. I've already talked about the equation of assistants to pets. We have to struggle to get things done. We offer drop off appointments for sick pets and pets needing their biannual (comprehensive) exams. Often, pets will be in our care for 6-8 hours before they are ready to go home because we are so understaffed. We are told to tell people that we are still "running tests, " but really no one has looked at your pet.
4. Dental cleanings. Dental cleanings for dogs and cats require anesthesia. That's right. Your pet is completely anesthetized. Banfield has a great anesthetic protocol; however, there are several gaps in the quality of care.in the manual for anesthetic protocol, it says that it is Banfield's policy to have 1 person performing the procedure (dental cleaning, spay, neuter, other surgery) and 1 other person monitoring. However, during dental cleanings, the assistant is often left ALONE to both monitor and perform the dental cleaning while the doctor leaves to see room appointments. I have been left many times alone. There isn't even another assistant to grab the doctor if something goes wrong. Also - how am I supposed to keep a keen eye on the anesthetic depth of your pet if I'm in it's mouth cleaning it's teeth? I can't possibly look at the monitors and at what I'm doing at the same time. This means that I have to take breaks to look and at record vitals, which means your pet is under for longer. Also - unlicensed assistants do the cleanings - not registered technicians. Although we are trained on anesthetic monitoring, there is no licensing or test we have to take.
1. Wellness plans. Ehh... Not really a great deal, but not a rip off either They are good for puppies and kittens needing a spay or neuter, because they cover the cost of that plus ALL their vaccines (and sometimes puppies and kittens need up to 4 sets). For adult pets, it's a little different. Let's take a look at the basic plus plan - it covers all vaccines and exams, bloodwork twice a year, urinalysis, heartworm test, fecal test, deworming, tonometry, and a dental cleaning. If you were to get all those done separately, it would run you MORE than what you would pay with the wellness plan. And that's not just at Banfield - you would pay more anywhere you go. I do believe in routine bloodwork for older pets, as it can lead to early detection. So... I guess it's a good deal if you are planning to do all those services for your pet anyway. All I know is that I can't afford $40 a month for my pets, even though I'd like to do all of those services for them.
People complaining about the contract need to be quiet. READ IT BEFORE YOU SIGN IT! So many people complain that they have to pay for unused services should they cancel or their pet passes away. The ONLY thing Banfield requires is that you only pay full retail price for the services USED. Since they bundle everything and offer a discount, you can't just use up all the services and then cancel and expect not to pay your bill. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.
2. The cost. I've worked in 3 different hospitals and I can tell you that Banfield isn't really more expensive than other clinics. The only exception is their vaccines - which are a little on the high side. Plus - you need an exam ($45) any time your pet needs vaccines. Other clinics will only require an exam if your pet hasn't been seen in the past year. However, at Banfield, every time your pet walks through the door it's $45. Everything else is on par, however.in fact, dental cleanings are pretty cheap considering they come with preanesthetic bloodwork, iv catheter and fluids, and monitoring.
1. Standard of care. I do believe Banfield has a good standard of care when it comes to recommending treatment. It may seem like overkill to some people, but those people didn't go to veterinary school. Yes, we are going to recommend preventive care AS WELL as treatment for anything that seems wrong with your pet. Our job is to recommend the best treatment and then work with you in terms of what your budget can afford. We aren't evil money grubbing people because we recommend the best - that is just simply our policy. It is our policy to NEVER assume someone can't afford treatment - so we recommend the best and then work from there.
2. Technological capabilities - we have a lot of things that older practices don't - like in house bloodwork, blood pressure, ECG, etc. I'm not saying that this is rare - I'm just saying that it's nice that we have these things as many places do not.
3. The staff. We honestly do care. We are paid GARBAGE, so obviously we must love our jobs. Banfield generally requires either training in veterinary assisting, an RVT license, or a bachelor's degree in order to be hired as an assistant. Can you imagine going through all that education to be paid $10 an hour? That's NOT even enough to live on (in my area, at least). We care about your pets and want the best for them.
This section applies to ALL veterinary services, not just Banfield. I'm in a particularly feisty mood, so I must comment.
1. Vets are NOT greedy. I see SO MANY people complaining about the cost of veterinary services, commenting how vets are getting rich off of preying on people's emotions. GROW UP AND EDUCATE YOURSELVES!!! The average vet has between $150,000-$200,000 in debt after graduating from vet school. Do you think that they should discount your services or give your pro-bono work because you can't afford it? Are you $200,000 in debt? Don't you think that the vet has a right to pay pack his/her student loans? It takes upwards of 10 years to pay back those loans, what makes you think that you should be given free/cheap services so that the vet can continue to live in debt? The average vet only makes about $75,000 (and new grads make much less). That's not that much considering they went to MEDICAL SCHOOL (for animals). That's 4 years undergrad, 4 years grad school. They do it because they care. I'm sorry, but people complaining about the cost of veterinary care need to educate themselves. Imagine all the costs of running a veterinary clinic - you have to pay for your staff, your equipment, malpractice insurance, maintenance costs, etc! You are paying for all of that PLUS the expertise of the veterinarian. Don't you think that the vet should get paid for his/her education? Every time I see an owner complain that his pet died because the vet refused medical care I want to scream! A vet can't just go and save every sick and dying animal without compensation! It's your responsibility as an owner to take care of the lives of your pets. I don't see why a vet shouldn't be able to pay back his student loans just because you can't afford treatment. The vet doesn't want to get rich off your sick pet - he needs to stay in business and be able to pay his bills!
2. Medication costs. Yes, you can get it cheaper online. That's because they are able to stock much larger quantities, and can therefore make a profit. We can only stock a limited supply due to space restrictions, and when you count in shipping and the time it takes for the assistant to prepare the meds, it's no question why it's more expensive to buy in person. It's not us trying to rip you off - it's just our operation costs.
So all in all - would I take my own pet to Banfield? No. I'd find an independently run, high quality veterinarian. You may pay a little more, you may not. I just don't believe that they are staffed properly to take care of my babies. Plus they have a high turnover rate. I like to know the people who take care of my animals.