About unfair vet prices for prescription flea treatment?

(69 Posts)
SummerNights1986 Sun 20-Dec-15 09:48:44

It does sound petty as I write this as it's only over £7 - but I was irritated all the same!

I have two cats and they need flea/worm treatment, which is prescription only. I popped into our vets on Friday to buy some and was told the cats needed a free check up first as they'd not been seen in a year now, which was fine. I took them yesterday morning. All checked, they're in good health, similar weight and the vet can prescribe the same spot on treatment for both. Great.

The vet asked whether I wanted a 3 or 6 pack for them (to be used once a month) so I asked about prices. 3 pack = £26. 6 pack = £45. So I said a 6 pack. Went to the front desk to pay and collect and they asked for £90. A simple misunderstanding, so I apologised and said i'd only meant one six pack at the moment, and i'd be back in 3 months for more.

'But which cat are you treating?' asks the receptionist with a hmm face. Both, I say - i'll obviously buy the 6 pack because it's cheaper and split it between them. Which is when the problem started. From this point, I was in the vets for another 25 minutes, arguing.

The receptionist said I couldn't do that because it was a prescription medication and only to be used by the specific animal it was prescribed to. If I wanted a 3 month supply, I should buy 2 x 3 month packs, costing £52, with one prescribed to each cat. I refused. The medication is the same. I could pick up a different brand 6 pack off the counter right now and go and use it for 6 different cats if I wanted to and the fact that this is a prescribed treatment is neither here nor there. The receptionist told me that legally, she could not sell me a prescribed 6 pack knowing it was to be used for two different animals and refused to sell me anything. The vet (also the practice manager) was called out at my request.

He told me the same as the receptionist and I argued the irrationality of this and said it seemed that it was a money making exercise only. He was very brusque and said that if they suspected I was using a cats medication for another cat, they held the right to ask us to remove the animals from the practice. And that by doing what i'd asked, their records would show only one cat as having received treatment, which was 'incorrect and dangerous for the animal'. I asked if they could not just put the 6 pack on DCat1's record, with a note to say only 3 months was being used, and a manual entry onto DCat2's records to say he'd had a 3 month treatment. No, they can't, their systems don't have that capability and would be incorrect. I told them (massively irritated by this point, but as polite as I could) that I didn't really care what their records said and that was not my problem.

I ended up saying, fine - i'll buy one 6 pack for DCat 1's use only. DCat2's fleas aren't that bad so i'll leave him for the minute. Obviously rubbish. After 5 more minutes of arguing, with lots of warnings that I was only to use the treatment for DCat1, the vet grudgingly sold me one 6-pack for £45.

WIBU? I know it was only over £7 and I could have just paid, but the principle of it really got me - and £7 is £7.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sun 20-Dec-15 09:53:39

Course YANBU. The receptionist was being a pedantic idiot. Although you are lucky to get a free check up. Our surgery won't prescribe unless they have seen the animal within 6 months, and they charge £28 for the check up

Cloppysow Sun 20-Dec-15 09:54:51

Bloody hell. I'm a bit surprised. YANBU.

CallieTorres Sun 20-Dec-15 09:54:54

I'd change vets

But then I buy my cat flea treatment online

BrianCoxReborn Sun 20-Dec-15 09:57:43

Woah. I'd be taking my custom elsewhere.

My practice does a Healthy Pet Club scheme where you pay £10 a month (you get a pound discount per additional pet) and with that you get the yearly vaccinations and monthly flea treatment plus worming treatment plus a discount off any purchases in house.

Works out the best option for me coming in at around £27 a month for my 2 cats and dog.

Also. The flea treatment for the cats is given in one pack. Not 2 separate packs.

Your practice is telling you porkies.

GoooRooo Sun 20-Dec-15 10:00:09

YANBU. What a load of bollocks from the vet.

I buy a six pack of flea treatments for my two cats and split it between them. The vet (and his really miserable receptionist) know this. No one has tried to stop me doing it.

SummerNights1986 Sun 20-Dec-15 10:02:07

I'm definitely changing vets in the New Year! I really, really wanted to just walk out but the cats need treatment and I just don't have time to faff with registering them with a different vets and taking them for a check up this week.

I too thought it was just a pedantic receptionist on a power trip until the vet came out and said the same.

honeyroar Sun 20-Dec-15 10:02:16

No you were right. What a disgusting and grabby way to treat your customers. If the vet hadn't seen both cats I could understand the logic, but he knew the weight and health of both cats. I would move to another vets over that, they've pretty much made it clear that if your animals ever needed serious treatment they would milk you for every penny they could.

My small animal vet is amazing. He charges as little as he can, comes to the house for free and suggests cheaper ways of sourcing mess online. I actually buy from him rather than online because he is so honest. I moved from the previous vets (who do my horses) because they weren't so down to earth and charged nearly double.

I know vets need to make money and don't earn as much as we think, but this was OTT.

honeyroar Sun 20-Dec-15 10:04:01

Lol, sourcing meds not mess!

FairyFluffbum Sun 20-Dec-15 10:04:13

Bloody hell that's awful!

I must say I never have this problem. I pop in, ask for the medicine and they give me it. I would ask for a prescription for online next time. See if they will stand firm knowing you are taking businesses elsewhere

VegetablEsoup Sun 20-Dec-15 10:06:36

going against the grain here: yabu

the vet/receptionist is right, the rescriotion should be for the individual animal.

SummerNights1986 Sun 20-Dec-15 10:07:46

Even when the prescription is the same Vegetable? What difference does it make?

VegetablEsoup Sun 20-Dec-15 10:09:47

from your side it diesn't make a difference in this case. but if audited the vet has to have the records straight.

TheSquashyHatofMrGnosspelius Sun 20-Dec-15 10:11:20

I've worked for vets for thirty plus years and they are being unreasonable. We charge it to one cats account but put a note on the other cats account that flea prep has been purchased - simples! Ridiculous red tape pedants!

LikeTheShoes Sun 20-Dec-15 10:11:34

You can get the vet to just write the prescription and get the stuff from somewhere else (they are legally obliged to do this -they can charge but not much I think)

We get our pet meds from [www mrpets.co.uk] they do prescriptions -you scan I think we get flea and wormer for 2 cats for less than half what our vet charges! They also take PayPal.

(I don't work for them!)

lilydaisyrose Sun 20-Dec-15 10:14:40

Buy your prescriptions online!!

SummerNights1986 Sun 20-Dec-15 10:14:55

I never knew you could buy prescription stuff online. I'll definitely be looking into this when we need the next lot.

goodnightdarthvader1 Sun 20-Dec-15 10:15:45

YANBU, what a load of nonsense. If it was so important, they should have offered you a £7 discount in these circumstances - although I'm sure "their system" wouldn't have been able to do that either.

MammaTJ Sun 20-Dec-15 10:17:02

My dog had a stroke on a Sunday afternoon. I rang the vet and was upfront about having no money to pay him. His reply was 'We need to sort the dog out first, then we'll sort the money out'. I cannot imagine him going in for this sort of nonsense!

MaitlandGirl Sun 20-Dec-15 10:24:12

That's ridiculous - I now buy flea/tick/worm treatments online (saves a fortune) and all my vets ask is that I tell them what the dogs are on in case of a reaction.

When I did buy stuff from the vets they were more than happy to sell a 6 pack to split between 2 dogs.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Sun 20-Dec-15 10:27:05

My vet has no problem doing exactly this, the label shows one cat's name but the computer records show both cats.

gobbin Sun 20-Dec-15 10:27:55

You can buy Advantage for fleas online and needs no prescription. It works well on my cats.

lozster Sun 20-Dec-15 10:31:08

If you don't mind me asking, what brand is it? Is it definitely prescription only as I buy Frontline without prescription online and you do have to register the individual animal. I was just wondering if the vet may have given the impression it was prescription when it is available without elsewhere as long as you enter pet name and weight?

rainbowstardrops Sun 20-Dec-15 10:33:04

Yanbu! I'd have caused a scene too grin

honeyroar Sun 20-Dec-15 10:36:08

I believe some stronger types are prescription only lozster.

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