Terms of Business

 

Instructions

We cannot accept instructions from anybody under the age of 18 years, anyone under this age must get their parents or guardian to get in touch. In certain situations we understand that someone may act as your agent, such as the stable manager or stable owner.  We will assume that unless advised in writing by yourself that they have your authority and are acting in your interest on your behalf.  Request for any account details to be changed must be made by the account holder.

Pre-Purchase Examinations

Information pertaining to pre-purchase examinations remains the property of the purchaser instructing the Practice.  Payment for pre-purchase examinations is due IN FULL AT THE TIME of the BOOKING, PRIOR TO THE VISIT IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES.  Any additional work will be invoiced after the visit and will be PAYABLE ON INVOICE.

Medications

In order to comply with The RCVS Regulations we cannot supply medication on prescription without first seeing the animal.  We do not treat horses intended for human consumption.  Repeat prescriptions can only be given if the animal is under the actual care and attention of the attending veterinary Surgeon and we reserve the right in certain circumstances to re-examine the animal before prescribing medication.  An administration fee is chargeable for each prescription.

Insurance

An administration fee is charged for insurance claims however we reserve the right to increase this fee.  Both your insurance administration fee (a one off payment per insurance claim/case) and Excess fee (if applicable) must be paid PRIOR TO US BEGINNING YOUR CLAIM. Excess payments are not due if you are being paid direct by the insurance company and in these cases ALL invoices will be due for payment as per our usual Payment Terms.

All UNINSURED invoices will be due for payment as per our usual Payment Terms irrespective of insurance company payment methods.  PRE-AUTHORISATION FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANY will be required for NEW CLIENTS before a claim will be agreed for processing.  Once an insurance company has formally authorised payment direct to us, the insurance invoices forming part of the continuation for that particular claim/case will not be due for payment by the client.  We will endeavour to complete insurance forms as quickly as possible, however it is your responsibility to send in your continuation forms and to liaise with your insurance company to ensure prompt payment of ongoing claims.  Should the insurance company for any reason refuse or delay payment of your claim by the due date, you will remain liable for any payment of the insured invoices as per our 30 days from Statement Date Payment Terms.

Whether you are insured or not, the ultimate responsibility for payment always rests with you as a client.

Second Opinions

You may arrange for a second opinion at any time at your cost.

Treatment

Subject to our professional duties as Veterinary Surgeons, we reserve the right to make final decisions on treatment.  We retain the responsibility for radiographs and ultra-sonographic scans, but at your request these can be forwarded to another Veterinary Surgeon once they have been paid for in full.

Out of Hours

These visits are when the Veterinary Surgeon visits out of normal office hours, which are 8.00 am – 6.00 pm Monday to Friday.

Emergency Visits are charged separately.

PAYMENT AND CREDIT TERMS

New Clients

Upon registration we ask you to complete and sign our Registration Form.  You will be asked for payment IN ADVANCE until the form has been returned.  As a newly registered client we require payment for any treatment either in advance or within 5 WORKING DAYS (at our discretion) of the date the invoice is sent to you by CREDIT or DEBIT CARD, until we are satisfied that a suitable credit rating has been built up (known as the PROBATION PERIOD).

Invoices will be sent as soon as they are generated and we reserve the right to suspend your account if a card payment is not received within the designated time period.  At the end of this probationary period, your account will upgrade to a standard account and it will be allocated our standard credit limit if we believe this is appropriate.  Credit is always offered at our discretion and may be retracted at any time.

Re-Activated Clients

We will respectfully ask you to pay for the first treatment IN ADVANCE of the first visit. We will also ask you to sign and return the latest copy of our Registration Form.  You will need to pay IN ADVANCE until the form has been returned and you may then revert to your previous status & credit limit unless we do not deem this appropriate in the circumstances. Credit is only offered at our discretion.

All Clients

Statements for ALL UNINSURED and INSURED INVOICES for all veterinary treatment and medicines are automatically issued on a monthly basis.  UNINSURED invoices should be settled within 30 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THE STATEMENT DATE or sooner if your Credit Limit has been exceeded (an Instalment Payment Plan can be discussed with the Accounts Department).  By giving instruction, either in person or by your agent, for an animal to be treated, you will be responsible for our charges.  There are occasions on which we incur costs on your behalf such as tests performed at outside laboratories; these may be invoiced to you at a later date.  Drugs dispensed to clients via the office whether that be collected in person or by post must be paid for AT THE TIME OF ORDERING.  This includes repeat prescriptions and non-POM drugs.  Drugs ordered that are part of an insurance claim may only go on account for those clients passed the Probation Period.

Instalment Payment Plans

When a client requests instalment payments, we ask them to authorise regular payments being taken from their credit/debit card on a convenient day of the week/month.  You may be required to pay for new treatment IN ADVANCE during the instalment payment period depending on the payment terms.

We do not usually offer BACS payment options for instalment payment plans as they are difficult to monitor and missed payments will result in immediate suspension of the account whilst we attempt to contact you to arrange for payment.  You may be asked to pay IN ADVANCE for treatment followed by paying within 5 WORKING DAYS of the date the invoice is sent to you following an instalment payment plan in order to build up the credit rating on your account.

Payment Methods

Payments can be made by BACS, cheque, credit / debit card, on-line at www.shotterandbyers.co.uk or in cash.  Cash will only be accepted by attending Vets following authorisation by a partner and member of the Support Team when a receipt will be issued.  Payment by credit/debit card may be made by telephone by contacting the accounts department on 01306 627706.

Interest

We will charge interest on overdue accounts at a rate of 2.5% per month above the Bank of England base rate, compound.  If the involvement of a third party debt agency or The County Court becomes necessary you will be responsible for all agency / collection fees incurred.

Non – Payment/ Overdue Accounts

Queries on your account must be raised to the Practice in writing WITHIN 30 DAYS OF THE STATEMENT DATE.  Failure to do so will result in the charges being applicable on your account.  THE PRACTICE RESERVES THE RIGHT THAT IN THE EVENT YOUR ACCOUNT REMAINS UNPAID BEYOND 60 DAYS FROM THE STATEMENT DATE, YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE SUSPENDED.  In the event of CONTINUED NON-PAYMENT of your account, the Practice reserves the right to only provide BASIC FIRST AID AND PAIN RELIEF TREATMENT.  Should your account be passed to our debt collectors, a Suspension of Service letter will be provided giving 7 days’ notice and may require you to find another Veterinary Practice to take over the care of your animal.

The Practice reserves the right that failure to comply with Payment Terms may result in our insisting that any further treatment be paid for IN ADVANCE at the time of booking.

Complaints

We welcome feedback both positive and negative. We hope you will be entirely happy with the service you receive so if you have something to tell us either positive or negative please feel free to complete a feedback form on the website or contact us in person, by phone, letter or email to info@shotterandbyers.co.uk.

We will always investigate concerns raised and provide a full explanation of what happened.  In the first instance we would invite you to contact the practice and see if your complaint can be resolved by speaking with the Shotter and Byers team.  If that does not resolve the problem, please contact the practice manager Holly Shearman as soon as possible.

We will accept complaints where you became aware of the cause of the complaint within the last 12 months.  Complaints will be fully assessed and the persons concerned may be contacted to investigate further.  If we do not identify an issue of conduct, we will not investigate the complaint further. Where possible we aim to respond in full to all complaints within ten working days of receipt.  More complex cases may need 20 working days.

Our policy is that a partner shall investigate any concerns relating to the clinical care or treatment of horses and/or concerns regarding a vet’s dealings/communications with a client. Partners may also investigate concerns relating to non-clinicians or the delivery of non-clinical services, or they may ask other members of the management team to act as.

If you are not happy with the response to your complaint, you may request that it be dealt with by a different partner, we will then request a further 14 working days to consider the matter further and provide our final response.

General

These Terms and Conditions shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of England and Wales. The English Courts have jurisdiction in any dispute arising out of our work on your behalf.

If any terms or provisions of this agreement (or parts thereof) are to become invalid, illegal or unenforceable, the remainder shall survive unaffected to the fullest extent permitted in law.

 

 

 

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