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abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

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  • #31
    Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

    Originally posted by tarmill View Post
    But first, I have a question. You claimed they were going to charge you $100 to get in as an emergency patient. But Dr. Siebert said the charge is $35. Just curious if there's a chance they told you $35 and you just wrote $100 here to emphasize how bad it was that they would charge anything?
    Hi Tarmill,
    Thanks for pointing this out -

    I should point out that the office manager, Tal, did call me after I stopped in to confront them that afternoon, but no one was around. The manager sounded sympathetic and apologized profusely and declared how much all the staff care about the animals, however remained pretty "Swiss" and although didn't offend me, did come to Dr. Cohen's defense claiming that this has never happened before.

    So, usual visits at HoC are about $85, and when the receptionist told me I could pay extra but it will be about a hundred and something, I thought she meant on top of the usual fee and just heard $100 something - it was never clear to me until I found out afterwards from here.

    v

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    • #32
      Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

      OH my god...
      I had a experience with her as well... My cat, god forbid gained too much weight and had tail end issues... so i rushed her in as I was unaware of the over weight issue and thought she had a ruptured anal gland. sorry for the graphics... anyway, basically she made me feel like i was an uncaring owner which is totally not true as I have 4 rescue cats mostly from the streets...
      I also think the costs are outrageous and i have to say that when my sweet thashas was dying of kidney failure, they milked me for everything just to keep her alive without consideration to her comfort... I would rather know that my sweet, lovely pet, a part of my family only had limited quality time left that i be given the tools to make her life as comfortable as possible or to be given the choice that to quietly put her to sleep.
      This was not the case and i still have nightmares with how her life ended..
      Lesson learned, not again...
      I have 5 cats and 1 dog, any vet recomendations???

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

        When I was 17 I worked for North Shore Animal League for a summer, and got fired because the manager and I didn't see eye-to-eye. The HR person used the excuse that I didn't care enough about the animals - mind you, I've been vegetarian and demonstrating at all sorts of animal rights protests since I was 13, and loved working there - so I knew it was a poor excuse the manager came up with.
        Trying to put myself in Dr. Cohen's shoes, I am sure she didn't go through all the agony of schooling to get a job where she can get to animals to take out frustrations - but with the fee that she had to back up and represent, I unfortunately saw the side of her of how she sometimes interacts with customers.
        Most likely had I left huffing and puffing reacting to her comment, and had a minute outside to think on my own, I would have just went back to make peace and get my cat care cared for immediately - no matter what the cost.
        However the combo of everything and then her chasing me down the corridor to the exit just freaked me out more and exacerbated the situation.

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        • #34
          Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

          Sorry about that bad experience.

          Due to the high prices I take my dog to a vet in Brooklyn who is excellent and a third of the Chelsea rate. But in an emergency when she started yelping in pain in the middle of the night I found a great place that is open 24 hours.

          Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists One West 15th Street (212) 924-3311

          They are like a real emergency room and do triage. An assistant imediately, looked at my dog and asked questions right in the lobby. He found the location of the pain on her leg and gave a quick assesment. At the same time a man had brought his kitten in who was clearly lethargic and in danger. They took the cat in and treated he. I was happy to wait knowing that my dogs pain was not life threatening. We also celabrated with the owner of the kitten when the news came that it had been revived and would be ok. Then the Vet saw my dog, was very thourogh, gave her pain killers and told me how to proceed the next day.

          Chelsea pet owners should keep this place in mind if you run into something in the middle of the night. They were refered to me by the ASPCA over the phone. In addition to emergency care they specialize in surgery.

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          • #35
            Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

            I just want to put my 2 cents in here. Since it's the "chelsea law" that you need a pet to live here, I'm just glad this issue has come up. Sorry that Vidis had to deal with a bad situation, but just as always a good comes from a bad.

            There are many.. i mean many of us that have animals that need doctors from time to time. Unfortunately it has become so expensive and a "business" that the humanistic side gets buried away in the financial side. I thought being a vet, the most important aspect was to help the animal, that was many years ago. Unfortunely, it is a business...a big money making business.

            I have a cat and dog and have been able to care for them thus far. But seeing the cancer scares and the costs that comes with it...i don't think i have an option any longer. I don't think it can be a choice of living or death.....living is way too expensive...too expensive for me...
            maxipantss....

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            • #36
              Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

              My best friend and I put his cat to sleep back in October. For a year she was going crazy, crying, hissing and losing weight rapidly, peeing all over the place. After my friend sank thousands of dollars to get her diagnosed, they never found out what was wrong.
              That night at the vet's on W55th, they offered my friend a fee to put her down peacefully or pay pay another $2000+ to do another EKG and they still wouldn't be able to guarantee they could solve the problem. We had just lost close human friend, so it hit home hard too soon.
              His cat's case is different because it was ongoing and seemed futile, and she was very obviously unhappy and in a lot of pain.
              With my cat's emergency situation, I know I wouldn't have felt hindered if the tables were turned and someone needed to rush in front of me to get their pet emergency care, and if I overheard they were charging an extra $35 to cut the line, I know I would scratch my head and quiz this.
              Once again, it's not about the money - an emergency is an emergency and a good customer shouldn't feel intimidated and pressured at that moment of crisis.

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

                I think the whole industry as a whole has changed so much in the last 10 years or so. I heard that new vet hospital (w.55th) is so expensive. It's horrible that knowing you may have to put your animal down because you don't have the money for the fees. It's a "business" now.

                It's so sad.
                maxipantss....

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

                  It really is a sad state of affairs when it is a decision between money or a pet who in all reality is a intigral, important member of the family... Put a human perspective on it and it would never happen. My opinion is that it should never have to be a choice with your fur children either... I understand that livings must be made, but it was the doctors choice to venture into a business where the human emotion is at its highest with concern, anxiety and down right unconditional love for their four legged family memeber. Please do not put us in a position to have to choose this way... We are the ones who take in the wanted or abandoned, abused as they become our beloved pets.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

                    It's a mirror of what happens with human health care, in a way...how often do we hear about people who have to choose between medicine and food, people who lose everything they own because of their massive medical bills, and people who are at risk because they simply can't afford the care they need?

                    Health care in this country has become such a sickening business. It's horrible the way some vets take advantage of our love and concern for our pets and charge such outrageous fees. And I do believe that some of these vets really don't care about the animals...if they did, they wouldn't use scare tactics, they wouldn't spend more time trying to sell products than examining the animals, and they'd keep their fees more reasonable to ensure that owners could afford to bring their pets in and get them the care they need.

                    With my cats, I've always said that I want to be able to give them the best quality of life I possible can, and to make sure they get any medical care they need. It does frighten me to know that might require going into massive amounts of debt, and might eventually be out of my financial reach completely.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re:Emergency fee waived at Heart of Chelsea

                      Hello Readers,

                      First, I would like to say the emergency fee is abolished.

                      I am the medical director and owner of Heart of Chelsea Animal Hospital. The emergency fee was a terrible idea. I can try to justify it, but you are all correct, it was a bad idea. Therefore, we abolished it. Instead, we have decided to leave several appointment slots open in the schedule as “emergent appointments.” So if there are any clients who feel that their pet is having an emergency, they can walk in without an appointment, we will have time in our schedule to see them.

                      It truly saddens me that my years of service and dedication to the community and to veterinary medicine can be smeared by one patron’s experience. It should be noted that Mr. Vidis never directed his complaint to me nor to the office manager, but chose to curse us out and walk out the door. He was offered to be seen immediately but chose to leave. Had Vidis expressed his disappointment with me or the office manager directly (we were both 10 feet away), we certainly would have addressed his concerns and made the situation whole. Instead, he chose to start this fire storm against me and my clinic on this internet site. When I first heard of this thread, my office called him to try to make amends and ask if everything was OK. He said on the phone that he much appreciated the call.

                      I would like to finally say that my business is open to any comments or criticisms. I am just like you, someone who works for a living and tries to do the best job he can. Sometimes we come up with bad ideas, and when these bad ideas are brought to our attention, we re-think our logic, and change direction. I truly appreciate the feedback, and will continue to use it to make my hospital and business a better place to visit and work in.

                      Dr. Siebert

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

                        If you think I am the only one with a gripe towards HoC, you need to re-read all the entries here on CYB, or better yet - try this recent one too -
                        http://newyork.citysearch.com/review/7103701/2225722


                        Before I began this "fire storm" as you call it, I did actually come back to your office - nobody was available to be seen - so much for being "just ten feet away".

                        The only reason your office manager ever called me was because she saw this blog. Something tells me no follow-up would have been made otherwise.

                        Kudos for making the decision to lose that fee. Hopefully now pets' lives will go back to being your office's primary concern and not intimidating animal lovers to empty their wallets.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

                          Thank you Dr Siebert.

                          As everyone knows there are 2 sides to a story and thank you for cooperating and addressing the situation. It shows that you are working in the best interest of your "patients".
                          maxipantss....

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

                            Dr. Siebert,

                            First, I do want to thank you for dropping the emergency fee and seriously considering the complaints that were raised on this blog. If you are working to better your business and provide improved service to your patients and their families, that is greatly appreciated, and I am sure the animals you treat will benefit.

                            However, I would like to point out, as Vidis did, that several people--including myself--have had problems and negative experiences at your animal hospital. I can tell you that while I found your front desk staff to be lovely, I had such a negative experience that I would not have even considered taking the problem to you. I felt it best to move my cats to another practice, because your hospital left me with such an overwhelmingly poor impression. And yes, I will tell people about my experience at HoC, because I do not want anyone else to feel the way I did or have a similar experience.

                            You have not addressed the fact that many of us feel that your staff treats patients and their owners in a less than respectful manner, nor have you addressed the scare tactics used by your employees to try to get Vidis to pay the emergency fee. If you were 10 feet away, I am surprised you didn't step in and reassure him that his pet was not in fact in danger of expiring on the spot, and reprimand the vet who followed him, screaming.

                            While I do not condone verbal abuse, I will say that in a situation where one's beloved pet is at risk, even the most patient person can be compelled to behave in an abrasive manner. I'm a pacifist, and if I felt that someone were treating my cats badly, I would probably act the same way.

                            I'd also add that this blog is not a firestorm. It's important for members of this community to look out for each other, and that means warning others about businesses they feel have treated them poorly.

                            Once again, though, I do appreciate your comments on the blog, and hope that those who patronize HoC can expect better treatment in the future.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

                              Mr. Vidis. Clearly no matter what I try to do or say to resolve your complaint, you will be unsatisfied. I can assure you that when a client uses the kind of language aimed at our staff members that you used, the office manager will be alerted. The "expletives" that you admitted you used were very disturbing, uncalled for and disparaging to women.

                              It is wonderful that in this great country of ours, there are so many offices for veterinary services from which choose. I invite you to frequent someone else's establishment where you will be better served and get your needs met. None of us can be everything to all people, we can only do the best job we can do. Good luck to you and your cat, may you and he live a long, healthy and emergency free life.

                              Again I thank you for your constructive criticism and plan on using this exchange between us as a life lesson for me and my staff.
                              Best regards, Dr. Siebert.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: abusive doctor @ Heart of Chelsea

                                Dr. Siebert,

                                I too would like to thank you for having the courage to come in and face this "crowd"! I know that must have taken a lot of guts. And I have respect for you for doing that. And I respect you for being able to reverse course and drop that fee. It takes a lot for anyone to admit something they've done may not have been the best idea. So, personally, I respect you for what you've done and thank you for coming on here and responding to all these complaints.

                                I don't know what happened when Vidis was in your office, I can imagine it probably got a little out of hand and that might make you want to discount what he has said here. But we on clickyourblock have "known" AlexisMcKinnon for a long time and she is always most respectful and kind to everyone, even when she disagrees with them. So I think you might take her comments with something more than a grain of salt.

                                Just in reading all this it does seem that there may be some employee there, or possibly more than one, that is rubbing people the wrong way. It sounds like maybe they're a little abrasive with people. Maybe a gentle reminder to them to be gentle with people when they bring in their sick pets might be a good idea.

                                Anyway, once again I think all of us here should have a great appreciation for the fact that you were willing to come on here and talk to us - and listen to us, and especially that you were willing to drop an unpopular fee. Thanks you.

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