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To Pay or not to Pay - that is the question!

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  • To Pay or not to Pay - that is the question!

    My friend had a vet come out to do some work on her horse and I asked the vet about doing a dental float on my horse. I asked her for a quote on what the cost would be so I could compare to my regular horse dentist. She quoted me $263. I asked, is that for everything? She answered yes. So I set appointment and she comes out, administered tranq and spent a total of 10 minutes actually working on the teeth that she said were in serious need. Okay, whatever. I get the bill and it's over $400! Plus they had added two vaccinations I didn't ask for and stated they administered two types of tranqs. However, it was one small amount in one syringe so I beg to differ.

    I've been going around and around with them about this. The vet agrees that she quoted me $263 so why am I being charged almost twice what was quoted when she said the $263 was for everything? I am beyond pissed and tempted to just pay the quoted amount and tell them to pound sand. And to attempt to pad the bill with claiming to have given two vax when they did not, it's tempting to call the licensing bureau to find out what is going on. Could just be an error but I found out she had done this to someone else as well.

    So my question is, do I pay the full amount of over $400 or pay the quoted amount? What would you do under these circumstances?

  • #2
    Before getting all up in arms, I would call the vet’s office to confirm that you were sent the correct bill. Perhaps they sent you your friend’s by mistake.


    • Original Poster

      I have spoken to them when I first received the bill and went over it with them. I told them I was quoted this price and the receptionist asked who quoted this. I told her the vet did and she confirmed with the vet that she had.


      • #4
        Sounds like maybe the office combined your float bill with another boarders' horse that got vaccinations on the same farm visit. What did the office say when you told them your horse wasn't vaccinated? I'm assuming you were right there with your horse when he was floated? I think I'd try to get the actual vet on the phone and go over the bill with them and have the vet get the office to modify the bill.
        ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


        • #5
          If you want to use this vet, or think you may need their services in the future, I would pay the bill. Considering how small the horse world is, sometimes it is better to just go ahead and pay, because you never know. Your vet may be out of town the next time you need an emergency visit - it is good to have options open for you.

          Do you have a breakdown of what the bill is? It may just be that the two vaccinations were what made the difference from $263 vs $400.

          That being said, $263 for a float sounds pretty high to me.. my dentist is usually $100 give or take.. but that is without sedation/tranq.
          AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012


          • #6
            A quote at the end of the day is the estimated cost that is not yet set in stone. Things can change the resulting price. However, I would be disputing administrating vaccinations without your permission especially since this is not your regular vet.


            • #7
              I personally would just pay it. IMO it would not be worthwhile to burn bridges with a potential vet that you could need for emergency services. A estimate is just that a estimate. It isn’t set in stone.
              "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world."
              -Dead Poets Society


              • #8
                Originally posted by 16 Hands View Post
                I have spoken to them when I first received the bill and went over it with them. I told them I was quoted this price and the receptionist asked who quoted this. I told her the vet did and she confirmed with the vet that she had.

                What happened? Did they send you a new, adjusted bill? Did they say, "so what?" and tell you to pay the bill they sent?

                As far as the two types of tranq goes, both could have been administered in a single syringe, so I don't think you can really argue that. But they certainly shouldn't have charged you for vaccines that weren't administered or were administered without your agreement.

                Did the vet do a good job of floating your horse's teeth or are you going to have to get your equine dentist out to finish the job?

                Is this your regular vet? You say you have a regular equine dentist but you didn't say anything about a regular vet.

                There are a number of variables that affect my opinion of whether or not you ought to just pay the bill as charged.

                "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
                that's even remotely true."

                Homer Simpson


                • #9
                  Is there a breakdown of what they did in addition to admin vaccine or tranq? It's $137 over the quote, which IMO is not that outrageous considering the vet said the horse's teeth were in "serious need" There is always the potential of having to pay more than what is estimated because they don't know the full picture of the teeth (or whatever) until they get in there. My dog's vet's vet charges $299 for starters - that doesn't include any extractions or whatever else they find in there or if something happens while dog is under anesthesia.

                  I think we've all had situations where something ends up costing more. Have you been to Jiffy Lube? Their $30 oil change can often turn into a $300 oil change - as they're always telling you some fluid needs to be changed.


                  • #10
                    The vaccinations sound like a mistake. I mean, you were standing right there, and no extra shots were given?

                    (Plus, my vet at least doesn't like to double up things like that. It's too hard to figure out what happened if there is a reaction.)

                    I had a similar thing happen earlier this year. I wasn't present, and the vet sent additional vaccines with the horse to be given later. In unlabeled syringes. (!!) We ended up throwing them out. But I paid for them anyway to avoid damaging any relationships.

                    ... and Patrick


                    • #11
                      my vet gives a Torb/dorm mix to float, I think, and it comes in a single syringe. not sure it is is compounded in the same bottle but I know it is one shot.

                      they should take the vaccines off and I would pay the rest. that is high, though -- I paid $160 per horse for float, meds, split farm call this year.


                      • Original Poster

                        No, this is not my regular vet but decided to give her a try; I do have a vet at a different practice. No, they did not send me a new amended bill and the receptionist denied that the vax were included in the bill in the first place when it was right there in black and white. I didn't ask for them and the vet didn't administer them. In the time it took her to do the float I can't imagine she did a thorough job and now thinking about it, I have seen horse dropping quite a bit of grain when eating and hay not completely digested. However, being an older boy his teeth are worn so that could be the problem there.

                        Yes, I was right there the entire time the vet was with my horse.

                        Am I wrong to think that the vet should stand by the quote she gave me in the first place? When I went over it with the receptionist she said the quote didn't include the sedation and the farm call. So when asking if $263 was "for everything" didn't amount to a hill of beans when it didn't include everything.


                        • #13
                          I might just go ahead and pay for tranq and farm call (tranq is not really that expensive even though they use a lot for teeth) and not use them again, but to the extent that vaccines are itemized out, I'd not pay that.


                          • #14
                            One person's "everything" and other person's "everything" can be two different things. One tip - always get a itemized quote in writing for any service, horse related or not. That way there is no misunderstanding.

                            Scan and email your copy of the bill to the office and highlight the charges for the vaccinations. Then follow up with a phone call to dispute the vaccinations. This is probably an office error.

                            I'd pay the bill for the float and tranq line items on your bill (even if over the estimate), plus the farm call of course. I would not pay for vaccinations that were on the bill in error that my horse never received.
                            ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


                            • #15
                              I agree with 4LeafCloverFarm. To you everything means the farm call, to them everything does not include the farm call, etc. I can see that both ways. Neither side is wrong. Both sides should have been more clear.

                              I want to add, that if the vet did not examine the teeth they have no idea what is required for the float so giving you a price should be a range, that is what my vet does.

                              Others have said it, but I will repeat it. One syringe does not mean your horse was not given two tranquilizers. That to me is an interesting thing to get that mad about.

                              Pay for the float, including the tranquilizer and farm call. If your horse truly did not get any vaccines, then do what 4leafCloverFarm said. Curious, how much is the bill with out the vaccines included? What is the difference between the quoted price and the bill (with out the vaccines)?

                              I thought undigested hay bits was the normal look of some manure.... So you might not want to insist that is your reason for deciding the vet did nothing.
                              Was the float done with power tools? A complete float with power tools should not take that long. Set-up, check over (to make sure they are OK being tranquilized) and waiting for the tranquilizer takes longer than the float does.


                              • #16
                                My vet is very vague on costs but his office staff make up for it.

                                Are the vaccinations part of the dental job, that is tranqs?. Or are they immunizations you neither asked for nor received, rhino or rabies or some thing?

                                In that case I would pay everything that was associated with the dental work but simply say theres been a misunderstanding because my horse never got the vaccs.

                                Whether the vet did a good job is another matter. You bought her service. You owe her payment. If you don't like her work, don't hire her again

                                Don't let that worry get mixed up with the apparent billing error, and decide she's not worth paying at all.

                                Pay everything related to the service you received, and decline to pay for what you didn't get.

                                Billing errors are common enough for vet calls to big barns. Should be no.big deal.


                                • #17
                                  I would pay for the sedation and farm call, although I would be annoyed about it.
                                  I would not pay for the itemized amounts of the vaccines.

                                  If possible, I would go into the office with a copy of the bill you were given and see if having it right in front of them will help? Then you can have them hopefully print you a revised invoice and a receipt for the payment you will make, showing your account balance at 0.


                                  • #18
                                    Shouldn't the work be recorded on the animal's medical record? Including all drugs administered? Just curious, because in the UK a vet can be struck off the register of practioners for failing to record drugs correctly.
                                    "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths


                                    • #19
                                      I would just pay the bill or go in person down to the clinic and see if they will take the vaccination charges off since you didn't ask for them in the first place.

                                      Have them write a new itemized , detailed bill with all the charges for what you asked for ( while you wait) and pay then.
                                      Don't be surprised if it ends up being even more!


                                      • #20
                                        I love my vet but their office is a billing disaster. For example in Feb when I had coggins etc done, they charged me the full call fee for each horse (I have 5 horses so YIKES). I emailed and they fixed a couple, I emailed again, they ignored me so I just went ahead and paid what I owed. Eventually I ended up calling to fix it again because they started charging me interest on the call fees I didn't pay.

                                        Anyway, I would pay what I was quoted period and then continue to argue it with. I'm amazed at the amount of people that apparently just like to get walked all over.
                                        PS I'm not in the vet business but I do quotes for people all the time, often for very large sums of money. If I quote someone wrong, that is my fault and I certainly don't require them to pay the difference even if it means I end up losing money
                                        Wouldst thou like the taste of butter and pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?