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Not impressed with my vet

(8 Posts)
MummyDoIt Sat 06-Oct-12 16:24:10

I had to have my cat put to sleep last week. She was a grand old lady of 21 and it was a tough decision. I was very upset at the time, in floods of tears, and was very grateful when the vet allowed me to leave via a side door so I didn't have to walk through a full waiting room. She said not to worry about the bill, that could be settled later. I'd opted for individual cremation so that I could have her ashes back and was expecting to pay the bill when I collected the ashes.

Yesterday the bill arrived, including a charge for the cremation, but when I rang the surgery to check, the ashes won't be back till next week. I thought it a bit insensitive to bill me for a service that hasn't yet been completed but I appreciate that bills are generated automatically by computer so I didn't say anything. However, today I received a reminder that my cat is due her booster injections. Surely to god they must be able to put some flag on their system to stop generating reminders when a pet dies, particularly when it is put to sleep by them!

Am I being a bit over sensitive here or is it a bit off?

cozietoesie Sat 06-Oct-12 16:43:05

Yes- you're maybe being a tad over sensitive. Back of house bureaucracy can get a bit screwed up at times.

cozietoesie Sat 06-Oct-12 16:44:29

PS - a little note to the vet might not come amiss, though. They'll likely be mortified.

beautifulgirls Sat 06-Oct-12 22:10:09

I'm sorry to hear about your cat. Sounds like she reached a great age and had had a good life with you. Your vet also sounds quite kind and thoughtful for the side door and not expecting payment at that time.

It isn't unusual to have the account sent before the ashes are returned. It doesn't mean the vet doesn't care, it does mean that they are running a business and incur costs with these services themselves.

With regard to the vaccination reminder - there is a high chance that these reminders are automatically generated a few days ahead of posting them out. As you have had this sad decision on the cusp of the month it is quite possible that the reminder was generated and printed before your cat sadly passed away. This may not have been done at the practice but possibly via a printing company with a mail merge, hence the different timings of the account and booster reminder. Still worth the suggestion above to drop them a note and just let them know though so that they can be 100% certain that the computer system is up to date.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 07-Oct-12 13:54:35

I agree with beautiful girls on all points. Our reminders are generated and then sent out to mail merge company so actually arrive about 7 days after they are generated. We are lucky our computer system does tell us when we bill a euthanasia that a reminder has been recently sent, but that is quite unusual.
Sadly I have a shelf full of boxes of ashes that people have asked for individual cremation and then never paid the bill.
I also had someone else complain the other week that the bill had arrived after the condolences card and that the individual felt we shouldn't send our condolences until the bill had been settled.
I do think your vets will be sad they have upset you, but it can be very difficult to get it right for everyone.

frostyfingers Mon 08-Oct-12 17:21:17

I'm sorry about your cat, it's a hard decision - I always get terribly upset.

I've had reminders for deceased animals, including a horse. Indeed I went to pick up a vet's report for my current horse and the girl said here's old horses name's report. When I said no, wrong horse he was put to sleep 18 months ago she was so embarrassed she went bright red. I wasn't hurt by it, and ended up apologising for upsetting her!

In a perfect world it would all tie up together and reminders and bills would be sent out in order, but unfortunately it doesn't always happen - it's just one of those things, which when you are understandably sad about losing your pet seems awful at the time.

sunflowerseeds Mon 08-Oct-12 21:29:24

My vet sent a condolence card after I'd had a cat pts for terrible behaviour issues. I felt guilty enough without that.

MummyDoIt Mon 08-Oct-12 22:19:08

Thanks for the replies. I didn't realise reminders could be generated so far in advance - that makes it a lot less upsetting. I realise I'm being totally over-sensitive and emotional so thanks for the reality check! My vets have been absolutely brilliant over the past few months as my cat deteriorated and I can't fault their treatment of her. I think I'll take them some chocolates or biscuits as a thank you when go to collect the ashes later this week as a thank you.

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