San Diego, CA
My experience was exactly like Betsy W.'s. I never really write reviews for places, but this experience was so bad, I felt that I should warn others about it somehow. I too, took my dog in for a small allergy problem. Just like Betsy W., the vet came in, looked at my dog for 3-4 minutes, left the room...and in came the Vet tech. The vet tech seemed a little uncomfortable holding the 'estimate' in her hand when she came in and before giving it to me, immediately began explaining that 'she is about to give me the estimate and if I need anything explained she would try to do so and they have a payment plan available if necessary.' She finally gave me the estimate and it was $700! The estimate had charges for tests that would be done just to see what the problem was (including a test that would not get results in for about a month later), which was fine; but I thought it was strange that it also had charges for treatments as well, all of which I was to go home and start right away. It was strange because they gave me treatments for 3 different things that could "possibly" be the problem when we hadn't even started any of the tests yet.
Hidden in the upwards of 10-12 different charges was a $40 charge for the vet tech to wash my dog for me with the same shampoo that they were charging me another $30 for and sending me home with (so I clearly could have given my dog the bath on my own). They also slipped in a $100 charge to put my dog on a fancy new flea medication pill, when I had already told them that my dog was on Frontline and it worked just fine. etc.
Anyway, when I started to question the vet tech about some of the charges and what the treatments were for, she had trouble explaining some of them to me. I asked her if all of the treatments were absolutely necessary and she basically said no and that she could 'try to get the bill down for me.' Then proceeded to ask me the all important 'HOW MUCH ARE YOU WILLING TO SPEND?' question. Stupidly, I told her 'Maybe about $400,' and what do you know, she comes back with a new estimate for $400! Wow, so what was that other $300 for? Who knows?!
The whole thing felt like I was buying a used car rather than trying to cure my dog from suffering. After I guess I asked too many questions about the price, the vet tech went and got "the closer" (a little sales term for you guys), Dr. Luke who tried to give me this guilt trip, saying 'you dont want your dog to suffer do you?' and 'if you're not careful she might actually bite her paw off!' (yes, she actually said that to me!).
Anyway, long story long, I ended up paying $400 out the door ($300 less than the original quote) and my dog is fine now after we treated her for everything it could possibly be. What that extra $300 was for? Again, I don't know. I'm thinking the $400 was more than I should have paid.
Anyway, don't take your pets there...unless you're good at haggling. Not trustworthy at all...I will never go back.