8.1 As far as is reasonably possible, we will provide you with an estimate of charges before providing the Services. Note that the charges estimated are not fixed and are based on our standard price and rates at that time and our understanding of the condition of your animal at the time of providing the estimate. All prices are in pounds sterling (£)(GBP) and include VAT at the applicable rate.
8.2 We may in some cases charge a registration fee for registering your pet at the Practice.
8.3 If, once we start providing the Services, we are of the view that our original estimate will be exceeded, we will do our best (taking the particular circumstances into account) to agree a revised estimate before continuing to provide the Services.
8.4 However, there may be circumstances where, acting in the best interest of your animal, we provide the Services without first agreeing an estimate of charges (for example in an emergency). In these situations, you will still be required to pay for the Services, but we will ensure that the charges are reasonable. We will only pursue a course of treatment where we consider it to be in the best interests of your animal.
8.5 You may need to purchase certain products from us (for example medicines) that your animal needs in response to treatment and/or care provided. In some cases, you will be able to purchase these directly from the attending Practitioner (in which case the products will be included on the invoice for the Services provided). In other cases, you will be required to collect and pay for these products separately (e.g., medicines dispensed from a practice).
8.6 We will be entitled to charge you fees if your animal’s case is referred to another specialist practice, clinic or hospital for treatment. Separate charges will also apply for the costs of posting or delivering clinical samples relating to your animal for analysis and sending out orders for veterinary medicines and/or other goods if requested. These are usually sent by recorded or special delivery post or delivered by courier.
Payment of fees
8.7 You must pay for the Services and any goods (including food, accessories and veterinary medicines) at the end of your appointment, or on the discharge of your pet. We may at our discretion require full or part payment for the Services in advance. If you have a valid pet insurance policy, we may make a claim directly to your insurance company, as set out in clauses 8.9 to 8.11 below.
8.8 We accept payment by cash and most major credit or debit cards (excluding American Express). We do not accept cheque payments.
8.9 We strongly support the principle of insuring your pet against unexpected illness or accidents. Subject to satisfactory insurance with a CVS approved insurer, the Practice may (subject to the Practice’s policy regarding client insurance claims), at the client’s request, submit a claim directly to the insurer. In such cases, the client must pay the excess and any excluded amounts at the end of the consultation or upon demand and, if a claim is refused by the insurers, will remain liable for our fees. If an insurer fails to acknowledge our claim or respond to communications from us within 30 days’ we will treat this as a refused claim and seek to recover the full cost from you. You may, of course, seek to recover the costs directly from your insurer should this occur.
8.10 You must advise us prior to any treatment if you wish us to submit a claim to your insurer in respect of our fees and complete an Insurance Claim Declaration. If you do not advise us in advance that you would like us to submit a claim directly to your insurer you will be liable to pay our fees as they become due, and you will need to recoup the cost from your insurer yourself.
8.11 The Practice reserves the right to charge clients a reasonable admin fee (inclusive of VAT) for assisting with the preparation, submission and administration of client insurance claims.
Late payment of fees
8.12 If your payment is not received by us in accordance with clause 8.7, we may charge interest on any balance outstanding at the rate of 5% a year above the Bank of England’s base rate from time to time. This interest accrues on a daily basis from the due date until the date of actual payment of the overdue amount, whether before or after judgment. You will be required to pay us the interest together with any overdue amount. We may refuse to supply the Services to you until you have paid the overdue amount.
8.13 We shall take such action as we consider appropriate to recover overdue amounts, which may include engaging third party debt collection agencies and/or instigating proceedings against you in the county court. In such cases, any costs levied by the debt collection agency and associated legal expenses will be added to the overdue amount owed by you. Please note that the use of debt collection agencies and the county court could affect your future credit rating.
8.14 If you cannot pay for the Services provided our obligations will be limited to fulfilling our minimum legal responsibilities and professional regulatory obligations to the animal under our care.