Angry beyond words? Try this when you or your veterinary team has been attacked online - DVM
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Angry beyond words? Try this when you or your veterinary team has been attacked online
Turn negative reviews into positive opportunities.


DVM360 MAGAZINE


2. Look for ways to improve

Review: Every time I've tried to go here (as it's very conveniently located!) I feel like I'm burdening the staff. I was told today that I couldn't buy cat food from them because I wasn't a client. Excuse me?? Do you or do you not sell cat food? How is it a problem that I want to pay your exorbitant markup without you having to do any actual work? No thanks. I'll drive the three miles to the veterinary staff that's actually nice.

Reponse: I'm sorry your experience with our office didn't meet your expectations. Having read of your visit, I admit that I too am a bit disappointed in how my front office staff treated you, but a brief explanation is in order. The receptionist you dealt with is fairly new and was trained that a "doctor-patient" relationship is legally required in order for us to prescribe, sell or refill prescription medications. She thought that since we did not have a medical relationship with your pet, she was not allowed to sell you the prescription food you needed. The truth is, we would have been OK with her calling your veterinarian for confirmation to make sure the food you requested was the correct one (there are so many similar-sounding diets that it's often confusing).

At this point I can only apologize, but since you did mention we are a bit closer to your home, I would be happy to offer you a courtesy exam for your pet to give us a chance to establish that "relationship" so that if you need our services in the future, we will be ready to help you. In addition, when you run out of your cat's food again, we will be happy to sell you your next bag at our discounted "rescue organization" rate. And thanks for your comments—they are actually very helpful in training our staff.

3. Educate

Review: We have taken our dog to Century Veterinary Group since 2009. Although we have never been particularly enamored with them (the office staff is always in disarray, the charges are high, the wait times are long), the office is close to our house. So we kept going there. Recently, however, our dog has had ongoing skin issues and as a result we have brought him to CVG twice since Labor Day weekend. Each time, Dr. Gale prescribed steroids and antibiotics, and each time they did not work as well as they should have. After these two visits (and nearly $600 in charges) and our dog's constant scratching and itching, I called the office on Saturday morning to see if there was anything else that could be done. The office staff—as usual—was overwhelmed and claimed to be too busy to deal with me. They said that someone would call me back on that day. Days later I have yet to receive a return call. Tired of waiting and on the recommendation of friends, we took our dog to another vet, who IMMEDIATELY saw that he has a staph infection. Dr. Gale on two occasions completely missed this. Given all of this incompetence, we will not be returning to Century Veterinary Group.

Response: We wish to correct any confusion this reviewer, Steven N., has about his dog's treatment at our hospital. Steven's dog was treated by Dr. Gale for pyoderma, commonly know as a bacterial 'staph' infection of the skin. The diagnosis was not missed. In fact, the cycles of antibiotics and corticosteroids she prescribed are precisely the defense of choice in these types of infections. Pyoderma can be persistent and often takes time to resolve if the underlying cause is not addressed, and we must trust that clients are compliant. Typically, these infections are secondary to an allergic reaction from any number of sources, including food, fleas, environmental allergens or airborne irritants. The allergy can be temporary or, more commonly, recurrent. Yet the treatment of the secondary pyoderma (staph infection) must always come first to bring the animal relief. Again, it often takes time and repeated attempts. We are happy the infection was ultimately resolved. Steven's dog was treated properly by Dr. Gale and it appears by the successor veterinarian as well. We are, however, disappointed that a call placed to our hospital went without a return call. We are embarrassed by that oversight and we have apologized sincerely to this client.


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Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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