Beware, Veterinary Rant Ahead!

Food, Fitness and how to keep them healthy.

Postby Marinepits » July 13th, 2009, 4:04 pm

You guys know how I feel about vets, but this takes the cake:

We brought our new bird into an avian vet for a wellness check on Wednesday July 8th – everything seemed to be fine and the vet deemed Finnegan to be a healthy bird. The vet also did a gram stain to check for bacteria and other nasties, but did not have a tech available to actually do and read the test, so the vet told me she’d call with the results later that day. Okay, fine.

The vet called that evening to tell me that Finnegan has megabacteria (which is actually a yeast, not a bacteria) and that he’d need medication to clear it up. Okay, fine. Too bad I didn’t know that when I was actually AT the vet because the vet’s office is 45 minutes away. I tell the vet I’ll be in on July 10 to pick up the meds.

On Friday July 10, I drive all the way back to the vet to get the meds. I’ve never given a bird medication before so one of the techs showed me what to do and I paid for the meds and went home. Friday night I go to give Finnegan his second dose and then realize that the office didn’t give me enough meds. Either that or they told me (and printed on the bottle) the wrong dosage. I freaked out, thinking that I gave Finn 10 days worth of meds in one day. I tried to call the vet, but they were already closed for the day.

Saturday July 11, I drive back down there to show up at the vet first thing in the morning and talk to one of the techs on duty. After about a 10 minute wait, the techs tell me that the dosage is correct and that they’ll make up more meds for me to take home. Fifteen minutes later, a tech comes out with the meds and tells me that they don’t have enough meds for the entire ten day course and that I’ll have to either come back and get the rest later in the week or they’ll ship it to me. At this point, I’m getting irritated. I take what meds they have available and head home, with the understanding that I will call on Monday to find out the status of the medications, then make a decision from there.

Monday July 13 (today) at around 2:15 pm, I call and ask when the medications will be in. The receptionist tells me that the meds are all made up and waiting for me to pick them up. I asked her how that was possible considering I was there to pick up meds on Saturday and that the techs didn’t have enough meds to give me, yet on Monday all of a sudden they have the meds? Doesn’t make sense. The receptionist tells me that the meds must have come in today and they were ready to go. Oooooooooookay. I tell her I’ll be in Tuesday to pick them up.

At 3:30 the phone rings again and it’s the tech I dealt with on Saturday. She tells me that the meds are on order and will be in Wednesday, and that the office will overnight them to me at a substantial discount. Wait a second. First off, the receptionist *just* told me that the meds were ready to be picked up. Secondly, what’s this “discount”? I already paid for the medications when I originally picked them up on Friday. The tech doesn’t know what I’m talking about, so puts me on hold. She comes back a few minutes later to tell me that the receptionist was confused because someone had left a copy of my original receipt out and thought the meds were ready, but the meds are NOT ready. Okay, fine. crap happens, no big deal. The tech tells me that they will give the meds to me at cost with no pharmacy charge and will still overnight them to me. Now I’m getting pissed – I already paid for the meds and I’m not paying for any more. When I picked up the partial order on Friday, NO ONE, among all the folks I talked to in the past few days, told me that there would be an additional charge for any more meds and that I’m not paying for any more meds especially since none of this mess is my fault. The tech apologizes again and tells me that there’s nothing she can do. I told the tech that I need to speak to her manager because I don’t want to yell at her because I know it’s not her fault. She tells me that the manager can’t come to the phone right now but she’ll leave a note to have her call me. Oh, really? Now I’m furious. I tell the tech that the manager better call me by the end of business TODAY or she will be seeing me in person first thing tomorrow morning and she does NOT want that to happen.

It’s 4pm and I’m still waiting for a phone call.
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Postby maberi » July 13th, 2009, 4:07 pm

I'm glad I'm not the manager :wink:
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Postby ArtGypsy » July 13th, 2009, 4:08 pm

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I'm glad I'm not THEM.

(gulp)
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Postby ArtGypsy » July 13th, 2009, 4:08 pm

maberi wrote:I'm glad I'm not the manager :wink:



LOL, you and I posted that at the SAME TIME hahahaa.a.
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Postby katiek0417 » July 13th, 2009, 4:13 pm

I'm sorry, Jen...I'd be rather furious as well!
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Postby Malli » July 13th, 2009, 4:15 pm

holy miscommunication Batman! It is NOT good to do that with clients!
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Postby Pit♥bull » July 13th, 2009, 4:19 pm

Be sure to take pictures of the mess :shock:
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Postby BigDogBuford » July 13th, 2009, 4:25 pm

If they miscommunicate that bad about a prescription, what *else* are they messing up? I really, really dislike disorganized vet clinics.
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Postby Marinepits » July 13th, 2009, 4:43 pm

BigDogBuford wrote:If they miscommunicate that bad about a prescription, what *else* are they messing up?


EXACTLY!

Well, I just called back and conveniently enough, the manager "just walked out the door". :rolleyes2: She's "aware of the situation", but wasn't it nice she couldn't even give me the courtesy of a call back and instead leaves me hanging for yet another day?

I asked to speak to the vet who runs the practice and he's in with a client, which is fine because it's a busy practice, but I asked the receptionist to have him call me tonight. The receptionist said that she'd pass along the message but more than likey the vet would just refer me to the manager anyway. She said to also check my email because the office manager does a lot of her communication that way (What? Am I *that* old that face-to-face communication is passe?), and I told the receptionist to make sure to let her know that it would be a REALLY good idea if I got an email tonight, otherwise they WILL be seeing me at 9am tomorrow morning.

One thing I've learned about customer service over the years is that you handle these types of situations IMMEDIATELY and don't let them go on to percolate. Then you lose clients.
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Postby maberi » July 13th, 2009, 4:48 pm

Marinepits wrote:One thing I've learned about customer service over the years is that you handle these types of situations IMMEDIATELY and don't let them go on to percolate. Then you lose clients.


And that is the bottom line in any business.

I'm actually floored that they didn't call you back :shock: It only takes a few minutes to call a customer and fix things without having them fester. The fact that the vet who owns the practice wouldn't call you is mind blowing to me as well.

If one of our clients had an issue, the owner of our company would call them in a second if they requested it (and that is the LAST thing managers want).

I can't fathom walking out of the office leaving a customer hanging like that. I'm pretty sure my office wouldn't be here in the morning if I did.
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Postby pocketpit » July 13th, 2009, 4:49 pm

Holy crap, what a nightmare! I'd be mad as hell too :mad2:
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Postby Malli » July 13th, 2009, 4:52 pm

yep, people do not like obviously being blown off.
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Postby Marinepits » July 13th, 2009, 4:58 pm

I feel like I've gotten the complete runaround. :|

Never, EVER in all the years that I've worked in and around the veterinary and animal business, have I been treated so.....unprofessionally. I haven't yelled on the phone or in person although I've gotten heated and very pointed in my last couple of phone calls. I've tried to NOT take it out on the receptionists and the techs because it sounds like this issue goes FAR deeper than just the average workers at the practice. What kills me is that I REALLY like the vets -- they're extremely knowledgable and that's hard to find (around here) for exotics vets.

If the trip wasn't 45 minutes through HEAVY construction, I really wouldn't care. I'd be irritated, but not to this point. Stuff happens, especially when you have a busy practice and never enough staff to help. I've worked at a practice like that and it was hellish. You did the best you could and then bent over backwards to help out the clients when mistakes happened.

And this is so stupid because it's all over $26 worth of meds. But what do I do? Just suck it up or stand up for myself? :sad2: :mad2: :nono:
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Postby Marinepits » July 13th, 2009, 5:00 pm

AND, I haven't sworn at anyone yet, and that's a BIG thing for me, LOL. :oops: :giggle:
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Postby Pit♥bull » July 13th, 2009, 5:11 pm

Let me reiterate.... Be sure to take pictures.
I go through crap like this all the time, I usually buy a cheap domain and put up a website. They really cooperate then. :D
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Postby Hundilein » July 13th, 2009, 5:15 pm

Marinepits wrote:AND, I haven't sworn at anyone yet, and that's a BIG thing for me, LOL. :oops: :giggle:


I commend you on that! Sorry they're being so stupid about the whole thing.
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Postby BigDogBuford » July 13th, 2009, 5:31 pm

Whenever I have a customer service issue and I'm getting the runaround, I try to bring at least one screaming child in with me. They like to get you out of there FAST!
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Postby Marinepits » July 13th, 2009, 5:35 pm

LMAO Might have to try that! I wonder if my nieces will cooperate. :? :devil:

I just received an email from the practice manager and she has the story COMPLETELY wrong in so many ways, it's giving me a migraine. So, off to compose a lengthy response...... I should just send her this thread, LOL.
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Postby plebayo » July 13th, 2009, 6:14 pm

I just received an email from the practice manager and she has the story COMPLETELY wrong in so many ways, it's giving me a migraine. So, off to compose a lengthy response...... I should just send her this thread, LOL
.

They would be so very fired. You REALLY need to talk to the practice owner. It is entirely NOT professional to be contacting you by e-mail. I would say appointment reminders etc, okay, but something like this should be delt with over the phone. She just doesn't want to have to talk to you face to face. It's much easier talking to a computer. I feel you have every right to be angry, they miscommunicated a lot of things, you are probably not the only one who has had a problem like this.
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Postby Marinepits » July 13th, 2009, 7:14 pm

Apparently, email is an accepted form of communication to deal with an irritated client. :neutral:

Here is my response to her email:

Ms M****** –

Thank you for finally contacting me. At this point, this situation has become far more than a mere “inconvenience” about some medication. After reading your email, I realize that you have not been made aware of many things that did and did not happen. The easiest way to clear this up is to give you a time line of what happened:

• Finnegan and I had a wellness exam with Dr M****** on July 8. At that time, she did a gram stain and the gram stain was not finished by the end of our appointment, so Dr M****** said she’d call me at home with the results. I left the office.

• Around 3:30 pm on July 8, Dr M****** left me a message on my home number that Finnegan has megabacteria and that I would need to come in and pick up some medication. I called back and spoke to a receptionist and let her know that I would be in on July 10 to pick up the medication.

• On July 10 I arrived in your office with Finnegan to pick up the meds. I paid for the meds and then a nurse showed me how to administer them to Finn because I am “new” to birds and have never given a bird medications. AT NO TIME did anyone tell me that I was not receiving a complete set of medications, it did not occur to me to check that I had a complete set as I trusted that your office would give me the proper full amount, nor did anyone tell me that I would need to pay for more medications. In answer to your question, I do not know why your staff sent me home with only one bottle of meds and yes, that was a mistake on your staff’s part.

• During the evening of July 10, I gave Finn his second dose. At that time, I realized that I did not have enough meds to give him the whole 10-day course. I became concerned that maybe your office had mislabeled the bottle and I inadvertently gave Finn the entire course of medications in one day OR your office simply didn’t give me enough medication. I tried to call your office but you were already closed for the day.

• I came back to your office on July 11 around 10am to clear up the medication issue. The receptionist checked the dosage with one of the doctors, told me it was correct, and then C****** made up another partial course of medications because your office didn’t have enough on hand. She and I spoke about the fact that it would be my FOURTH trip down from my home for the medications and that maybe your office would ship them once they became available. We left it that I would call on Monday to find out when the meds would be available and I’d decide at that time if they would be shipped or I’d make yet another trip down to pick them up. The receptionist asked me to pay for the meds, I said I already did and showed her the receipt, and she never said that I owed more for the two bottles that C****** had just given me or that I would have to pay for more meds when they became available.

• Monday July 13 around 2:15 in the afternoon, I called your office to find out when the medication would be available. Your receptionist, T******, told me that the medication was sitting there in your office, waiting to be picked up. When I told her that I was just in on Saturday and that the medication WAS NOT available because your office was out-of-stock, she told me that the meds must have come in that morning. I said that I would be in tomorrow (Tuesday the 14th) to pick up the medication. She did not tell me I owed anything more for the medication I hadn’t received.

• Monday July 13 around 3:30 in the afternoon, C****** called me to let me know that the medication was on order, would probably arrive Wednesday, and that your office would overnight it to me at a “substantial discount”. When I told her I had already spoken to T****** today and T****** said that the medications were already in your office ready for pick up, C****** didn’t know what was going on. She put me on hold, spoke to T******, and came back to the phone to let me know that T****** was “confused” because my paperwork was put in the wrong spot and that the medications were definitely not ready. C****** offered again to ship the medications to me overnight at a substantial discount and that became the sticky-wicket. C****** told me the price that I paid was for only ONE vial of medications and that I would owe for the other vials of medications. This is the first I had heard of the additional charges. My receipt shows that I paid $27.45 for Ampho-B Oral Suspension 100 mg. I have not received anywhere close to 100 mg at this point nor had anyone told me until C****** did today that I owed any more money for medications I have received and have yet to receive. It did occur to me that maybe the “100 mg” refers to the strength of the prescription as listed in your computer program, but that doesn’t change the fact that no one told me that I owed more money for the rest of the course of medication that I thought I had fully received and fully paid for on July 10.

All this miscommunication has not only aggravated me, but has left me with a very bad impression of your office. Given that I have worked in and around veterinary practices for the past 20 years as a receptionist, as a groomer, as a former Animal Control Officer, and as a pit bull rescuer, I am more than sympathetic to overworked staff at a very busy hospital, but this situation is just ridiculous. All I want is the medication to fix Finnegan.
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