Originally Posted by valanhb
As has been said, the professionalism, or lack thereof, is the killer in the deal. I'm sure if the receptionist had handled it differently, Cindy wouldn't be so upset.
Here's the thing, regarding being able to afford vet treatment and vets having payment plans: Most all of us have down financial times. Even if there was more than enough money set aside when the pet was acquired, one bad incident (period of unemployment, major medical issue, major family issue) can drain the savings, max out the credit cards, even take all of the nest egg. Financial situations change over the course of a pet's lifetime. It just happens. I have no doubt that any of us here would do ANYTHING necessary to pay for proper care for our cats, but sometimes it is harder than other times.
The other thing is, my doctor lets me pay my bills over time (I have yet to meet the deductible on my insurance, so it's all been out of pocket), I don't understand why vets can't do the same thing. It is medical care either way. The difference is that probably over 95% of the pets don't have insurance and it all has to come out of pocket. Vets do run a business, and they should get paid for their services, but they need be smarter about it. Making full payment due at the time of service, to the point of holding pets hostage until payment is received (see thread in IMO), only serves to make people less responsible than Cindy reluctant to seek veterinary care for their pets.
Cindy, I had a similar experience when I took Jamie to the vets' for the first time six years ago. I'd been going to the same vet since the early eighties, and had just had Straycat (RIP) in for some dental work about two months before. I'd always gotten a bill, and then transferred the money. I got no notice that the "terms of payment" had changed, nor was there any sign in the office area or waiting room, so I was rather shocked when the receptionist demanded the equivalent of about $120 in cash. By luck, I had $100 on me, and told her I'd drive home (10 minutes), drop off Jamie, and bring the rest right back. Since Jamie needed further shots, she told me to just bring it the next time.
While I understood why they changed their policy, I was a bit miffed that I hadn't been informed of the change. At the very least, they could have had signs saying, "As of (date), all payments must be in full and in cash!" up in advance.