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Vet is running hours late. Is it too much to ask for a phone call?

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  • #61
    I see your point, OP, and it applies to farriers, too. I'm just lucky with mine
    and he and his office are great to deal with - but he lives by emergencies being a reproduction specialist, too. His staff and service are excellent and there is no way I feel I am a lesser client than his large breeding farms.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

    Comment


    • #62
      My vet's practice gives us a 2-hour window for appointments, and then we can also request a "heads-up" call or text so we can time our arrival with minimal waiting on our part. This works well for the vets, too, as they will not be kept waiting while the client runs out to bring the horse in, etc.

      So this way we are pretty much guaranteed to avoid the twisting in the wind at the barn, wondering when - or if - the vet is ever gonna get there. (Or leaving work ridiculously early for nothing.) And of course since the office is already calling and/or texting us, if there's a delay, they do let us know. (Rarely happens.)

      I should add that the staff is typically one person at any given time. But nobody thinks it's asking too much NOT to inconvenience the clients with unreasonable wait times and lack of communication. I love them!!

      Comment


      • #63
        Originally posted by StGermain View Post
        Personally, I don't think it's unreasonable for a person to expect their vet or farrier to show up when scheduled or call if something has come up. The vet/farrier certainly wouldn't expect to wait for two hours at our place until we decided to show up! And we all understand that emergencies happen. But whether it's your human doctor (how many of us would happily sit in our doctor's waiting room for 2 hours past our appointment time with no word from the doctor or front office staff?) or your vet or farrier, they have to understand and appreciate that your time is as valuable to you as theirs is to them.

        If I have to leave work to be home when the vet gets there, I have to arrange it. For me, that's no big deal, just an email to my boss telling him I'm leaving early. But for some people, it means something. Some jobs, it can mean an attendance ding on your next review.

        And further more, I'm sorry if he's had a craptastic day. NO ONE raises their voice to me. I don't raise my voice to waitresses, nurses and store clerks. They wouldn't be back another time if they yelled at me an didn't apologize for their behavior.

        Courtesy is a two-way street.

        StG
        Exactly. I won't tolerate this sort of treatment from a human doctor...why are vets and farriers put in an ivory tower?
        America dialed 911. Donald Trump answered the phone.

        Stop pumping money into colleges and start getting ready to earn money in the projected tradesman shortage of 2024. Make Trades Great Again!

        Comment


        • #64
          Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
          He should be calling his client back with ETA and any pre vet arrival instructions.

          If your vet has a one person staff, then she is likely The Most Important Person in His Life or at least his business. He would not take kindly to anyone telling her how to run his office to YOUR satisfaction. You have no idea after the vet's initial call, how many times his manager's phone rang before she could call you to tell you he'd be late. She prioritized. Emergency, clients either new or old calling in, possible conversation with vet to schedule an ER or clinic visit then, call the person she knew was already at the barn waiting. Well, Duh, I'm sorry, that just isn't too hard to figure out.

          With the price of gas and time, a "one horse barn" is likely not a high ticket item. I pay my vet and farrier a generous amount on top of what is a very fair farm call and services price. Probably close to the amount or slightly less than what two horses would be. While my vet and farrier are both quite punctual and good about calling if they're going to be late (see prior sentence) I wouldn't squawk if they didn't. If I say I have an emergency, I do not ever have to wait. Also, morning appointments are generally for multiple horse barns, because, they always add something extra and just like the doctors office, if you're not first, you're not going to be, probably, on time.

          You are really lucky your vet didn't fire you on the spot. Male, female, doesn't matter. If you think that does, then it has nothing to do with whether you are right or wrong, that's just attitude.

          I'd probably start shopping before I really needed one if I were you.
          I predict that with the current economic situation, "one horse barns" will become more important to service people. They usually pay on time, are committed to animal care, and cause a minimal amount of delay to services rendered. Big barns run tabs, delay services because of their own scheduling/commitments/conveniences, and are chaotic in general. And many, many boarders are selling and getting out of horses.
          America dialed 911. Donald Trump answered the phone.

          Stop pumping money into colleges and start getting ready to earn money in the projected tradesman shortage of 2024. Make Trades Great Again!

          Comment


          • #65
            Originally posted by RubyTuesday View Post
            [one-horse barns] usually pay on time, are committed to animal care, and cause a minimal amount of delay to services rendered. Big barns run tabs, delay services because of their own scheduling/commitments/conveniences, and are chaotic in general.
            I wonder. I wonder who reneges more on vet bills. Big barns who need a lot of vet care, or one-horse barns who vet hop often because they don't pay their bills.

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            • #66
              The clinic I use is typically pretty good about keeping me notified if my vet is running late, especially if the cause for the lateness is just that a regular appointment ran late. I have occasionally been left out of the loop waiting for a vet that gets called to an emergency, but I assume that things get pretty chaotic sometimes in an emergency. If it were my horse in an emergency situation, I would want the vet to be focused on the moment, not calling the next vaccination appointment or the office to check in on being late. I would have let this one go.

              Comment


              • #67
                Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                I wonder. I wonder who reneges more on vet bills. Big barns who need a lot of vet care, or one-horse barns who vet hop often because they don't pay their bills.
                Actually, I'm almost positive the big barns fail to pay much more frequently.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
                  Actually, I'm almost positive the big barns fail to pay much more frequently.
                  This^^^^^. Vet goes to big barn and vaccinates 40 horses. Only gets paid for 25. Two years later is still trying to get paid, but the number is up to 75 unpaid bills, as vet is a slow learner.

                  Some of these posts are making me remember why I quit being a tech. Thanks for the reminder.

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                  • #69
                    Ugh, how sad. Well, heads up, I know vets are finally wising up & cracking down on the deadbeats. Clients quickly get "fired" these days. Can't blame them. I wouldn't like it if 30% of my salary every month was withheld because my boss just didn't feel like paying me. So why shouldn't vets feel the same way?

                    I admit I was thinking of big barns like "big barns with one owner with lots of horses" as opposed to big barns with lots of individual owners, vs. one owner-one horse clients.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #70
                      Wow lots of posts and lots of different viewpoints. I have heard my vet complain that at some of the larger barns there's a big deficit because they will treat several horses at once and only get paid by a few. In my last boarding barn this same vet required payment on the spot for routine visits, like fall shots, when it was a large barn. On this visit, I had my checkbook ready, as I always do for non-emergencies, and he said never mind, I'll bill you. While we may have had our differences, he knows I"m good for the bill

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                      • #71
                        My vet, who is wonderful, usually gives an approximate time and then calls me when he is on his way. That really helps me out as I do understand what the OP is saying. It isn't necessarily that I don't like waiting as much as it is that it isn't always great to leave work at 1 PM and wait until 3 PM for the vet to arrive, all the while looking at your watch and worrying about work. I do understand being bumped for emergencies completely, but it is nice to not have to leave work until you really need to. When my horse saw the vet multiple times for an injury, my vet bills were pretty steep and I didn't want to pay the barn for a holding fee each time, but I also didn't want to miss days (or half days) of work for all of those visits. With him calling, I could leave work, drive to the barn, meet the vet, and stop and get lunch and be back in an hour. I would understand if my vet couldn't do it, but it sure is nice.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                          Ugh, how sad. Well, heads up, I know vets are finally wising up & cracking down on the deadbeats. Clients quickly get "fired" these days. Can't blame them. I wouldn't like it if 30% of my salary every month was withheld because my boss just didn't feel like paying me. So why shouldn't vets feel the same way?

                          I admit I was thinking of big barns like "big barns with one owner with lots of horses" as opposed to big barns with lots of individual owners, vs. one owner-one horse clients.
                          The big barns with one owner and lots of horses is also a problem. Especially breeding operations.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            My vet is in solo practice out of his home, with his wife covering the phone when she is available. They rely on voice mail communications when no one is available to answer the phone. They are refreshingly good about communicating, the vet gives clients his direct cell number (with the understanding that he won't answer when he's up to his armpits in some horse), and usually he or his wife let us know if he's running more than half an hour late. Occasionally he has been later with no phone call, but those occasions have been few and far between.

                            In turn, we go in on vet visits with a neighbor across the road (two horses in each place for a total of four) to help keep it worth his while for routine visits (although until these neighbors moved in a year ago, it was only us and he never complained).

                            The neighbor sometimes amuses me because she often schedules something that can't be moved closely behind vet or farrier appointments (we share our farrier too, and the farrier is always at least an hour late). We've tried to explain to her that she needs to be more flexible, but I'm not sure if the message has sunk in.

                            The vet also serves at a local racecourse, and I'm surprised at how good he's been over the years on getting to us pretty much on time for routine visits. And emergencies--when we went through several rounds of colic with my beloved Hackney pony, the vet was out quickly at all hours, including around 2 am on Sunday in the middle of winter, to take care of my boy.

                            The way we handle the farrier being late is that I just can't be there for most of those appointments, since I'm the one who works outside the home. The only reason I care is because I really, really like our farrier and miss visiting with him while he's trimming. My husband has far more flexibility in his schedule, and he just schedules farrier appointments for days that he knows he has plenty to do around the house and land.

                            We had a farrier a few years ago who was always on time, but she hated my mare and could not get along with her. I'd rather have less reliability and pleasant, productive appointments. Both my horses are great for our current farrier. The mare is very old and can no longer hold her feet up for long. The farrier makes it so easy on her and everyone ends the visit happy.

                            Rebecca

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                            • #74
                              Any service provider (and I do mean ANY) that considers it appropriate behavior to get in the face of and yell at a customer would quickly be fired and asked to leave my property immediately. Unless it is a life-threatening situation, you can communicate professionally and calmly, which does not include yelling or talking down.

                              It's not rocket science; he could have just as easily gotten the point across by telling you that any complaints you have regarding his staff or service should be directed to his attention only and explained, if necessary, that they do not have the ability/desire/whatever to track or predict arrival times that closely. Whether you were right or wrong to be displeased with the service you received became irrelevant the moment he decided to act in an aggressive, unprofessional manner.

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                You are not out of line. I say this as a former equine veterinarian. Heck, on the rare occasion that a major emergency has me running behind as a small animal GP, I have clients called with a heads up and options for them.

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by Anne FS View Post
                                  I wonder. I wonder who reneges more on vet bills. Big barns who need a lot of vet care, or one-horse barns who vet hop often because they don't pay their bills.
                                  I can tell you that big barns here like to run tabs, some of which run on for months, and many people expect to be able to pay by check, like cash is no longer available to be had. Individual owners here are very easy to bring around to the way of thinking of paying cash when services are rendered. Individual owners are also less likely to have it as easy to just skip town on their vet bill...much easier to leave a boarding barn than one's own property.
                                  America dialed 911. Donald Trump answered the phone.

                                  Stop pumping money into colleges and start getting ready to earn money in the projected tradesman shortage of 2024. Make Trades Great Again!

                                  Comment


                                  • #77
                                    It is interesting to read the different opinions. I fired a vet just for this reason. Her first thing in the morning would turn into 11 AM and then 2 PM and then it would end up being the next afternoon. My time is valuable. I wasted days waiting for her, bringing horses in, not making other appts etc....
                                    My awesome vet now is generally right on time. If he is not, I get a text. I understand about emergencies and don't get upset if my appt time is bumped from time to time. But I want my time respected.
                                    Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty; inaccuracy, of dishonesty.
                                    Nathaniel Hawthorne

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                                    • #78
                                      I'm a Vet and I think you were perfectly reasonable. We don't communicate with carrier pigeons, unlike when I was a new grad working in rural Yorkshire!

                                      Bad service, bad communication. Staff member should have sucked it up, and he should have kept quiet.

                                      They should be lucky to keep your business.....

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        Originally posted by RubyTuesday View Post
                                        I can tell you that big barns here like to run tabs, some of which run on for months, and many people expect to be able to pay by check, like cash is no longer available to be had. Individual owners here are very easy to bring around to the way of thinking of paying cash when services are rendered. Individual owners are also less likely to have it as easy to just skip town on their vet bill...much easier to leave a boarding barn than one's own property.
                                        Dude, well, I don't pay in actual cash either. I can't even imagine! I don't carry around hundreds of dollars, and I don't always know what my bill will be before the vet sees him. I pay with a credit card, which my vet clinic has on file. I approve the charges before they run my card...usually...sometimes they run it without talking to me first, but they are not really supposed to. I haven't had many billing disputes, though, so it typically is not a big deal.

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          I don't know anyone who pays cash either. If you don't have an account with my vet, it's check or credit card at time of service. If you set up an account, they bill you.

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