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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Los Angeles Production Listings

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Do not use Banfield Pet Hospital

I can give you three good reasons, no matter how good they are or what they may have done, to not use Banfield Pet Hospital.

1. Our dog of many years, who was my late mother-in-law's dog, passed away. Banfield will not cancel the so called "wellness" plan. So I am paying each month until the end of the contract (in my case an additional 8 months after his death) or I have the option of paying what they say is the difference in their charge and full retail for the work done this contract (almost $1,000). We loved Winston. We are still grieving. Their policy does not support their claim of being part of the family and providing "wellness" for your pets and your family.

2. Banfield was once the family vet, but how can you be a family vet with the high turnover the company now has. It seems that we have gone no more then two visits in a row with the same doctor, and both surgeons who have worked on our animals are no longer with the company. While the staff loved Winston and our other dog Mimi, or at least appeared to, consistency of treatment is no longer there.

3. On some things you save money at the time. Winston's surgery surgery two years ago for cancer was far less than "retail" or what other vets we check on would charge. But all other services turn out to be the same or higher when you price shop the market. So their claim that the "wellness" plan saves you money is at best an optimistic interpretation.

File this under still missing our dog and very unhappy with the policies and practices of Petsmartand Banfield Hospitals.

From Consumer comes a similar story out of Florida:

Lawrence of Treasure Island, FL August 27, 2009
My son took our almost 15 year old cocker spaniel to a Banfield Vet in Gainesville, FL in February 2009 because of some bleeding from the ear. The vet recommended numerous tests including an EKG, Echocardiogram, etc. We all loved the dog very much but because he was blind and deaf and already past his life expectancy I questioned the extensive testing. They offered my son a wellness plan which had an initial charge of 273.74 and monthly payments of 37.95 which we assumed would end when he died. On April 18, the dog developed bloat and was euthanized by the Banfield vet that day. There was a charge of 194.39 that day and the 37.95 monthly charges have continued. I called to inquire if this could be cancelled or reassigned to my son's new cocker puppy but was informed by Chris that it was a contract unaffected by the dog's death and could not be transferred. He did offer that if my son called and answered some of their questions they would be able to non-renew in February 2010 (we had to request a non-renew for a dog they euthanized?). This is totally unconscionable and I would advise anyone to NOT deal with such a company but to find a professional Vet in an independent practice. Oh yes, on the 19th day of each month still I get the 37.95 Banfield reminder that the dog we so loved has died.

Read more:

Lack of civility in theater

Memories were sparked by my Monday column on civility in the theater, and they weren’t good memories.
I know I’ve struck a chord when readers write and co-workers stop to tell me their own horror stories.

Rich Pelkowski wrote, “Your suggestions for speaking up to ensure your enjoyment is applicable at many public performance. I regret to this day not speaking up when a person in the audience, and seated next to my wife, whistled loudly throughout a performance of the group Chicago at the Stardust (circa 2006?). When the annoying fan wasn't whistling, she was on her cell phone. However given the attitude she portrayed throughout the performance, I doubt she would have accepted any comment/request in a very polite manner.”

Michelle said during one of her trips to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, a woman took her large souvenir program and fanned herself continuously. “I was seething. What a gross invalidation of me. Finally, my left hand grabbed her right arm in midstroke. Neither of us said a word - not then or ever again - but it stopped.”

She actually gave some practical advice I hadn’t thought of: Tell the usher. That’s what she did when someone hard of hearing was asking questions throughout the first half of the play. “Two rows of people were angry and confused at the intermission about what to do. Again I went to an usher and explained the problem and gave the culprit's seat number. Not only did it get handled in a tactful, firm manner but it allowed all of us to remain anonymous.”

I can’t really advocate grabbing a stranger’s hand (although I have a dear friend whose fiddling with his ticket in the movies has forced me to snatch it from him more than once). But for really big annoyances, the usher can be to go-to person.

Now to the guy to wants me to write about pop-corn eaters in movie theaters, I doubt anyone can suggest to another how to eat popcorn. Sorry.