Banfield in the News
You may have read about poor Dr. Robb, who lost his Banfield hospital and substantial income when it was discovered that he was giving half doses of vaccines to his patients. Without telling anyone, clients or Banfield.
While I don’t condone his behavior, he was acting from the understanding that vaccinations are harmful. He knew the correlation between the deadly autoimmune diseases and a recent vaccination. I think his good intentions were misdirected, as it’s likely there’s significant potential for damage from a lesser vaccine dose.
But there’s more to be learned by looking at Banfield’s response.
Free Vaccinations! Balloons!
My initial favorite: Banfield offered free vaccinations to those whose animals had been “half-vaccinated!”
Remember now, duration of immunity is long, likely life-long, from the early vaccinations. Says who?
I suspect unknowing sheeple signed up for those free vaccinations and thought Banfield was doing them a great favor. Oh boy.
Make Him Look Crazy
But it gets darker.
When Dr. Robb heard of their response,
“I returned to the PetSmart in Stamford, Ct to warn my clients not to allow Banfield to inject more toxins into their pets’ bodies. I had handouts in my hands. When I arrived, Banfield called the police and wanted me arrested. The police would not do it because I was in the Petsmart store, not Banfield, and the store manager, Greg, said I was not trespassing. So the police called an ambulance and handcuffed me to a stretcher and whisked me off to Stamford Hospital for Psychiatric evaluation. I was found completely sane and released in a short while.”
Pretty heavy handed, right? Imagine the societal shame of being hauled off for psych evaluation in handcuffs!
But there’s more.
“I have been arrested once; handcuffed to a stretcher… been terminated from my position as owner of Banfield the pet hospital of Stamford; had the police sent to my house in New Fairfield by Petsmart, characterized as dangerous to employees necessitating armed guards posted at Petsmarts in Ct; had my website, www.Protectthepets.com, broken into and content removed; had viral (sic) emails sent that compromised my e mail; had my paycheck withheld and no money given to me for my hospital or my equipment…”
Under the Carpet. Stat!
You’d think those kinds of outrageous tactics would be all over the internet, right? Who acts that way and gets away with it?
Interestingly, if you do a Google search on “Banfield news articles,” the Dr. Robb story doesn’t appear until the bottom of the second page. It appears the corporate fat cat spin doctors have taken care of search placement quite effectively.
But let’s examine what’s at stake for Banfield, besides their reputation.
Bad for the Bottom Line
Remember The Optimal Wellness Plan?
You (supposedly) save a ton of cash every year by joining the Banfield managed care plan. You just pay a basic monthly fee, and get all your vaccines and check ups for free.
And Banfield is quick to inflate that figure, every time you check out, to show you exactly how big your “savings” were that day.
A Yelp reviewer in San Jose:
“the wellness plan pays for it self. They calculate how much you save with the wellness plan every time you go, so far I have saved about $2,000 which is no small amount of money. If you do the math, the wellness plan is well worth it.”
A New Hampshire dog owner:
“When we had Luna spayed, the whole surgery cost $65 (anesthetic, pain medication and cone). We went in today for a heart worm check and a fecal exam. I paid nothing but it said if I didn’t have the wellness plan it would have cost $227…”
$227? To look under a microscope at some blood and stool? Wow. In my conventional “country vet” days, we charged $10 each for those procedures. Nothing high tech about either one. The HW test is usually a dip stick type of test today.
So, you can see where this is going. Banfield sells a plan, auto renews it if you don’t cancel in the 11th month (!), has lots of things that are not covered in the plan that you must pay additional for, and most egregiously,
Banfield vaccinates your animal regularly, as often as twice a year!
And you can Banfield would rather you not read about their ham-fisted response to Dr. Robb. The less consumers are aware, the more plans they’ll sell.
Learnin’: Good for You, Bad for Corporate Medicine
As you take on more learning about the things that effect your animal for good or ill, you become empowered.
That’s good for you, but bad for Banfield.
Hard to use their smoke and mirrors of “bargain health plans” on you when you see what you’re actually paying for.
You need to be a shrewd consumer to ensure a vital outcome for your animal. Especially if you are at all swayed by the ease of turning your animal over to Dr. WhiteCoat, whether he works for Banfield or not.
As I pointed out last week, there “Ain’t nobody but you” to best take responsibility for your animal’s health. If you didn’t realize that when you signed on, I’m hoping it’s becoming more apparent as time goes on.
The good news?
You’re far from alone.
And: You Can Do This!